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My used bookstore find – a vintage Penguin edition of The Gun by CS Forester


The Gun by CS Forester

During my family’s recent road-trip vacation, I picked up this beautiful vintage Penguin paperback of The Gun by CS Forester in a little used bookstore in Cranbrook, British Columbia. It’s a 1959 edition and looks as if it has not been read as the spine is not creased. Not bad for $2 used book. I cannot wait to read it.

I had been reminded about this novel after recently reading a biography of Cary Grant.

Poo-Poo and the Dragons by CS Forester

Grant starred in the movie adaptation of The Gun in 1957 along with Sophia Loren in her first English language role. The movie was titled The Pride and the Passion and also stars Frank Sinatra with Stanley Kubrick directing. I watched a lot of Cary Grant movies in my childhood and The Pride and the Passion was often shown on Sunday afternoons.

This historical novel, first published in 1933, is about an 18-pound cannon during the Peninsular War (1807-1814) where Spain and Portugal struggled to free themselves from Napoleon’s all-conquering French forces.

The 1933 Little Brown US first edition has a lovely dust jacket. I tend to think CS Forester is rather forgotten these days in the era of Game of Thrones, but he is  the man who wrote the 12-book Horatio Hornblower series,  The African Queen and, my personal favorite, Poo-Poo and the Dragons.

(Poo-Poo and the Dragons is the story of a little boy called Poo Poo (real name Harold) and how his family’s life is changed when he brings home Horatio the dragon for a pet.)

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Richard Davies

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