Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Tragedy of the Korosko

The Tragedy of the Korosko - Arthur Conan Doyle

This action-adventure novel was written by the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle tackles the genre “foreigners in trouble,” a genre I relish since I spent ten years overseas teaching English. A group of tourists – English, Irish, American and French – are kidnapped in the Libyan Desert by fanatics. We post-moderns will give a nervous shudder at this tale torn from the headlines - “Taliban wipes out mountain climbing party in Pakistan.” 

The best point is that story always moves.  The white-man’s burden stuff is easy to make allowances for since the fanatics are so easy to despise, with their hatred of the other, easy to loathe for their contempt of human life. One fundamentalist says, “[N]one but a blaspheming dog and the son of a dog would say that all religions are one as good as the other.” So much for preaching individualism and pluralism to thems that ain't havin' 'em.

The negative point is sometimes the tone gets pompous. Readers who can still read John Buchan with only a few qualms will like this.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for commenting on my review of this book. I agree with you on the pompous tone but it was a different time & that was part of it. I like John Buchan so didn't have any problems with Conan Doyle!