The Golden Spaniard

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Diamondhairdan
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The Golden Spaniard

Post by Diamondhairdan » Fri 12 May, 2006 15:31:53

One could argue that The Golden Spaniard is one of DW's greatest thrillers, and indeed it was his personal favourite, along with The Second Seal. Though it does not draw upon the occult or black magic as a central theme, all the great ingredients are present; an action packed storyline set against a historical backdrop, a fantastic plot that twists and turns all the way to the frenetic climax, and an emotional subplot.
The Four Modern Musketeers for once turn against each other, in a plot hinting at Dumas earlier tale, with De Richleau and Richard pitting their wits against Simon and Rex in pursuit of a consignment of gold that will ultimately secure the authority of Spain for one of the sides who are involved in the Spanish Revolution. Though they remain friends, both parties never let up in their mission and the emphasis swings from side to side (though tellingly, DW never once shifts his own allegiance away from that of DR). There are brilliant scenes throughout, including the Madrid riots, the massacre in the swimming pool, and the clever switching of the bombs on the Rex's plane. Mr Wheatley, typically as ever, even finds time to throw in some makeshift wining and dining, and despite hiding out in a disused warehouse, The Duc and Richard are readily able to tuck into some fine hock. The best, however, is saved for last, when we discover the source for the Duc's odd countenance, resulting in a powerfully uplifting final chapter.
For a true thrilling ride, this is up there with his very best.

Toohey
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Post by Toohey » Tue 11 Jul, 2006 11:08:26

A very enjoyable book, one of my favourite books by Wheatley. Bu the politics will make you grit your teeth! This book is so hysterically one-sided in favour of the fascists it makes you wonder if he was serious. Basically it's message is Repubilcans/Democrats are evil and the Fascist Franco and his rebels are heroes.

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Post by Hoyo de Monterrey » Tue 18 Jul, 2006 00:17:57

Toohey wrote:A very enjoyable book, one of my favourite books by Wheatley. Bu the politics will make you grit your teeth! This book is so hysterically one-sided in favour of the fascists it makes you wonder if he was serious. Basically it's message is Repubilcans/Democrats are evil and the Fascist Franco and his rebels are heroes.
Sorry, Toohey, I can't let you get away with that one. By the end of the book the Four Modern Musketeers have decided that both sides are as bad as one another. Moreover, Franco was not a fascist - he was a simply a right wing, conservative, catholic, traditional nationalist. Being a wily chap he played up to Hitler and Mussolini to obtain the financial and military support he needed, and which he could not have got elsewhere, but he was not himself a Nazi or a fascist; Hitler's anti-religious and "National Socialist" policies, for example, would have been anathema to him as they would have alienated much of his core support.
"Here's to crime"

Toohey
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Post by Toohey » Tue 18 Jul, 2006 07:54:19

Franco still accepted help from both Hitler and Mussolini so he was a bed-fellow. The fact that he was not an out-an-out fascist does not excuse what he did and the regime he ran in Spain. So the Duc can hardly get any brownie points for trying to aid him. As for Hitler and Musslonin being anti-religion are you sure? What about the concordant with Rome signed in 1936 between the Pope and Hitler. Why did the Catholic church help some many Nazi war crimianls escape Justice at the end of the war?

Yes, at the end of the book the gold will be used to aid those who have lost out due to the civil war. But the book does remain one-sided in it's treatment of the protaginists. The 'rebels' are portrayed as heroes and savoiurs of Spain whilst the the republicans are bloody thirsty savages.

Hoyo de Monterrey
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Post by Hoyo de Monterrey » Fri 21 Jul, 2006 22:45:24

Toohey wrote:Franco still accepted help from both Hitler and Mussolini so he was a bed-fellow.


Doesn't follow - pragmatic chap that he was, he was simply getting help from where he could - and he wasn't going to get it from anywhere else.
Toohey wrote:The fact that he was not an out-an-out fascist does not excuse what he did and the regime he ran in Spain. So the Duc can hardly get any brownie points for trying to aid him.
No, it doesn't - but speaking purely for myself, if I had been a Spaniard at the time I'd rather have had Franco than the alternative, as the lesser of two evils. The Duke obviously felt the same way!
Toohey wrote:As for Hitler and Musslonin being anti-religion are you sure?
I did not say that Mussolini was anti-religious.
Toohey wrote:What about the concordant with Rome signed in 1936 between the Pope and Hitler.
The concordat was in fact signed by Cardinal Pacelli (the Pope's Secretary of State) and the German government in June 1933, and included guarantees of liberty for the Church, independence for Catholic organisations and youth groups, and religious teaching in schools. That was its purpose; Hitler, unsurprisingly, reneged on all these promises, leading the Pope to issue the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge condemning the Nazi ideology of anti-semitism and totalitarianism and Nazi violations of the concordat. Copies had to be smuggled into Germany so they could be read from the pulpit.
Toohey wrote:Why did the Catholic church help some many Nazi war criminals escape Justice at the end of the war?
Far from assisting Nazi war criminals in their escape, Pope Pius XII authorised the submission to the War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg of a Vatican dossier documenting Nazi war crimes and atrocities.
Toohey wrote:Yes, at the end of the book the gold will be used to aid those who have lost out due to the civil war. But the book does remain one-sided in it's treatment of the protaginists. The 'rebels' are portrayed as heroes and savoiurs of Spain whilst the the republicans are bloody thirsty savages.
I don't read it quite that way. The Duke and Richard were there at the very beginning, the period in which the worst of the Red atrocities were committed; DW is, as ever, being historically accurate. As time goes on, DW takes a bit more of a balanced view, although I agree his sympathies undoubtedly remain with the Nationalists - as do mine.


P.S. What is it about the Spanish Civil War that still arouses such passions 70 years later? I can think of no parallel.
"Here's to crime"

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Post by Bob Rothwell » Thu 3 Aug, 2006 23:59:16

The discussion between Toohey and Hoyo de Monterrey, interesting though it is, has moved off-topic. I have therefore moved the rest of the discussion to the Off-Topic forum, where I hope to see the relevant points expanded further.

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