Wheatley's worst book

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Wayne
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Wheatley's worst book

Post by Wayne » Mon 21 Nov, 2005 04:12:41

Just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons, does anyone have an opinion on what may be Wheatley's worst book? To start the ball rolling, I'll nominate The Star of Ill Omen. Why he ever thought he could write a science fiction novel is beyond me. As a thriller writer, author of historical fiction or black magic author, Wheatley had few peers at the time. Why then did he try a subject in which he had no expertise? Perhaps he had to try it to see if he could do it and after seeing that he couldn't, then stopped trying. What do others think?

Wayne

Alan
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Post by Alan » Mon 21 Nov, 2005 13:28:36

Agreed, an atrocious book! A distant second is "Linda Lee", with "valley of fear" third. Still, considering the general quaility of DW's work, three shockers isn't too bad!

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DW's Worst Novel

Post by Jim » Wed 23 Nov, 2005 00:17:23

I'm putting in my bid for THE MAN WHO MISSED THE WAR. When I read it, this book felt very slapdash, with a rushed ending. I haven't read LINDA LEE yet, but I thought MISSED was worse than the other two nominees. YMMV

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Post by Alan » Wed 23 Nov, 2005 08:05:43

(errata): The title I quoted above sshould not have been "Valley of Fear' but "The Fabulous Valley". The valley might have been fabulous, but the book wasn't!

As for "Man Who Missed the War" I rather liked it. It was probably the last of DW's occult novels I read, and was so pleasantly surprised to find a "new" DW magic book that I went into raptures. Admittedly, not up to his best, but certainly readable.

Wayne
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worst book

Post by Wayne » Wed 23 Nov, 2005 09:12:52

Thanks for your reply Alan. I must agree that Linda Lee was very close to the top of my list too. It was another example of Wheatley trying another genre and getting it woefully wrong. At least he had the sense not to do it twice. It would be interesting to see the sales figures on these turkeys.

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Post by Alan » Sat 26 Nov, 2005 08:24:27

Wayne, wasn't it his last book? Maybe that's why he never tried that genre again - regardless, I don't think he would have done, anyway. It just wasn't his style...

Wayne
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worst book

Post by Wayne » Sat 26 Nov, 2005 09:53:15

Alan: Linda Lee wasn't his last book. There were the last two Roger Brook's and The Deception Planners after it. I think his autobiographies followed them as well. But I do agree with you about his decision not to try that genre again.

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Post by Alan » Sat 26 Nov, 2005 13:37:26

Thanks, I really appreciate the info - I was never to clear about the order books were written in DW's final years. I was really meaning to say "last novel" but being in the throes of preparing for an interstate trip at the time indulged in a bit of sloppy thinking. As it turns out, I was wrong even by that criteria!

I recall only two scenes from the book - one is Linda's mentor quizzing her about current events, and the other is the description of him as a "once a night man" - an insult DW seems to use more than once in his canon!

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Post by Garry Holmes » Sat 3 Dec, 2005 13:58:58

'Star of Ill Omen' must be near the top of anyones list. That said, it does have the saving grace of being unintentionally hilarious at times!

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Worst Black Magic Novel

Post by gloomysundae » Fri 30 Dec, 2005 21:13:26

I've only read the black magic novels and I'd have to say that "Gateway To Hell" was disappointing - even the Devil doesn't seem especially inspired in that one.

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Post by Hoyo de Monterrey » Tue 6 Jun, 2006 00:24:25

The worst DW book I have read is "Star of Ill Omen" - but even then, I kept turning the pages, which can't be too bad!

I haven't read Linda Lee or The Fabulous Valley, so perhaps I'm over-critical of SOIO.

On reading "Gateway to Hell", another contender for DW's worst (and certainly the worst of the Black Magic books) I got the very strong impression that DW lost interest towards the end - hence the oddly rushed ending.

Having said all that, I really can't get on with the insufferable Roger Brook at all. Some public-spirited ancestor of the Duc de Richleau should have dispatched the insolent young puppy after the first book.
"Here's to crime"

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Post by Toohey » Thu 27 Jul, 2006 14:40:29

I'd agree the star of ill-omen is the wrost book I've read of his so far.
It starts off, badly, as a 5h rate James Bond caper and goes down hill from there with the appearance of the alien. I only made it asfar as the fyling saucer and had to give up there.

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