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Friday, 23 July 2010

Tough as Steele

Adam Steele: The Losers
George G Gilman
Originally published as a NEL Paperback original
1976
Original cover price 40p

Author, George G. Gilman was not only responsible for the hugely popular Edge series, but several other characters were also created by his pen. Adam Steele was, next to Edge, the most successful and ran for 49 books, as well as three volumes in which the Virginian was teamed up with Edge.

The Steele books were equally violent as the Edge's series, the surreal violence was a trademark of the sub-genre, although Steele himself was not such a violent character and would avoid killing anyone if it was at all possible. Many readers actually prefer Steele to Edge for this reason, finding the character easier to empathise with. It's not my view but there is no doubt that Steele is a far more likeable character than that man alone.

This is the tenth book in the series and starts off with Steele being terrorised by a gang who leave him stranded in the middle of nowhere, and then ride off and commit a brutal rape of the daughter of an important man, her boyfriend is also mutilated and he too has a wealthy and important father. Steele is then hired by both men to go after the gang but Steele is not happy that the men want to see them men dead. He does however enjoy the irony of getting paid to go after men he would have gone after in any case. Steele is one Southern gentleman who it is foolish to cross.

The book is, as are all of Gilman's titles, a great fast, and fun read with the usual one-liners and surreal humour. The early Steele titles had a large print run and copies of this book are relatively easy to track down for a decent price, but with the first Edge book soon returning to digital print as an eBook from Solstice Publishing, it is a possibility that one day we may see Steele popping back up digitally, pistols blazing and teeth bared.

Another excellent western adventure from a time when Brit westerns were breathing new life into the genre.

5 comments:

Cullen Gallagher said...

The first Edge book just arrived yesterday in the mail. I ordered it after reading your review. Now it looks like I have to order another of Gilman's books!

ARCHAVIST said...

Cullen when you start you'll have to track them all down, or remember the new eBook editions coming soon.

Frank Loose said...

I've read several Edge books, but no Steele, though i knew the series existed. Perhaps i should give The Losers a try, or maybe just whichever books looks most interesting while perusing the used book store racks. Thanks for the review.

BTW, I haven't seen any recent Bond reviews. I imagine you're mixing it up with different reads to keep it all fresh. You still planning on reading and posting about each book?

ARCHAVIST said...

Frank - yep the Bond reviews wil continue - Dr No is next up which I will start reading again after I finish my current read, Max Brand: The White WOlf

Cullen Gallagher said...

Just placed my order for Adam Steele #1: Rebels and Assassins Die Hard. Great title!