Thursday, March 4, 2010

FFB: Jack London in Paradise by Paul ...

FFB: Jack London in Paradise by Paul Malmont
Better to be ash than to be dust.
It's not Hawaii that I am thinking about as I type this, rather the sun setting over the big sky of Northern Idaho. I was there once, back in 2000, studying at the University of Idaho, trying to forge a new future for myself-- only to be pulled back to the world of Michigan, and family, and disillusionment and, and, and-- away from the adventure.
Jack London in Paradise is the second novel from Paul Malmont, and like his first effort, The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, it's about creative people, their lives and how they mirror or don't mirror the adventures that they write about, or make pictures about.

From Amazon:

Jack London.

The name stands for adventure.

Explorer. Social activist. Romantic. Self-educated genius. White Fang. Call of the Wild. Martin Eden. The Sea-Wolf. Generations worldwide have been thrilled by his tales, probably never realizing how true to life they really were. He did not imagine the hardships and brutality of life in the Yukon, on the high seas, or in the back alleys of Oakland. He lived them. Few men were his equal and only one woman ever fully captivated his heart. By the time he was forty, no American was more famous. And in the winter of 1915, the great writer set sail on one last adventure.

But in this story of that adventure, he is being hunted.

Hobart Bosworth -- an aging matinee idol and filmmaker -- is desperate for one more Jack London picture to save his career. Hollywood machinations have driven a wedge between him and his old friend. He has tracked Jack and his wife, Charmian, from the mysterious ruins of their once-magnificent Wolf House across the Pacific to the volcanic islands of Hawaii. The Jack London he finds here is a man half mad with visions, a man struggling with the ghosts of his past, the erotic temptations of the island paradise, and his own wolflike nature.

Now Hobart's original goal -- to save his studio -- has become a desperate struggle to save his friend and preserve the icon he has become. With or without Charmian London's help.

A romantic novel of sweeping passions and raw adventure set against an unforgettable, sultry backdrop, Jack London in Paradise vividly imagines the last year in the life of a legendary man nearly everyone knows about, but few actually know.

I have to fess up here, I've only read one Jack London book (The Iron Heel), and that was back in 1996 when I was fresh out of college, working a minimum wage security gig that had only the benefit that I had a lot of time to read. I enjoyed the book, but never got around to reading any of his other work. I have never seen a Hobart Bosworth film (that I know of), but reading this book has me interested. I like that the book deals with a time, 1915/16 that historically is on the cusp of the last era and what we think of as the modern age. Malmont skillfully handles the characters and their journeys, the prose are crisp and have a flow and rhythm that carries the story along and to it's natural conclusion. Just as The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, it left me wanting to check out the writing of Lester Dent and Walter Gibson, Jack London in Paradise has me interested in reading at least some of London's work.

Up next from Paul Malmont? He's going to be writing the new Doc Savage comic from DC comics read about that HERE, he's also finished a sequel to The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril. You can follow his blog HERE. Lastly I want to give him a big thumbs up for his Operation Warrior Library (OWL) which works with authors to send books to US troops overseas.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Haven't read any London. But my husband has if that counts.

Anonymous said...

I like London quite a lot, and have read just about everything he wrote, stories, novels. IRON HEEL is one of my least favorites, but the writing is strong, I just didn't care for the story itself. This looks interesting.