Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The definitive novels of Jack Higgins

Regular readers of this blog will know that Jack Higgins (Harry Patterson) is my favourite author. In my opinion, the bestselling British writer is one of the finest storytellers of my time. He makes writing stories, including thrillers, look so easy, just like his compatriot Jeffrey Archer. Although I have not read all his 85 fast-paced action-espionage novels, I have read many, and I look forward to reading the rest with much excitement. I started reading Higgins in early eighties, with his most significant work, The Eagle Has Landed, followed by Hell is Too Crowded, The Last Place God Made, and A Prayer for the Dying. I remember each of these well. His heroes, many of them ex-IRA, are anti-heroes and vice versa; the kind you want on your side because you know they're good men, almost saint-like, and all very likeable. Here are six of my favourite novels of Jack Higgins, though, if you ask me tomorrow I'll replace them with another six including Night of the Fox, Toll for the Brave, and The Keys of Hell. Have you read Higgins?

 











26 comments:

  1. As you know, Prashant, I think Jack Higgins is great. Your list of favorite titles is filled with his best (or so I thin). My favorite two are The Savage Day and A Prayer for the Dying.

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    1. Ben, these are some of his pre-1975 best though I'm sure there are more gems in the ones I haven't read yet.

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  2. Higgins always keeps things moving along. tight plots and action.

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    1. I agree, Charles. He has cut to the chase in nearly every novel I have read so far.

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  3. My gosh you brought back memories. Me in my mid twenties reading these. Decades ago!!!!

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    1. Mystica, I have never stopped reading Jack Higgins though in a way I "rediscovered" his novels after I took to blogging.

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  4. Hangs head in shame, I've not read him in recent years. One book maybe during my lifetime. I'll see what's in the tubs!

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    1. Col, you could start with any of the above novels though, personally, I'd launch into Higgins with THE EAGLE HAS LANDED and then see John Sturges' film adaptation starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, and Donald Pleasence as SS chief Himmler.

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  5. Prashant, I needed a reminder that I want to read some Higgins' books this year. I am definitely reading THE EAGLE HAS LANDED for my World War II reading challenge this year. And I hope I get to other books by him soon too.

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    1. Tracy, TEHL would be the perfect book for your WW2 reading challenge. Higgins brings alive all the main characters including that of Liam Devlin.

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  6. Thanks, Prashant, for your thoughts on Higgins and his work. I remember Higgins' novels from my growing up years, but I've not read any of them for a very long time. I agree with you, though, about their pace and plots. I ought to re-discover them...

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    1. You're welcome, Margot. I like Higgins' novels a lot. I, too, read most of them growing up though I'm glad I still have many left to read.

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  7. I read Jack Higgins and Frederick Forsyth at around the same time, Prashant. I loved THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, but there my memory of Higgins' books ends. (I know I read a couple more.) Maybe I'll begin again. :) Have you read DAY OF THE JACKAL by Forsyth? Or one of his lesser known books, ICON? Don't miss them if you haven't.

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    1. Yvette, I read Higgins and Forsyth (including THE LATTER'S THE DAY OF THE JACKAL) along with other bestselling authors of that era including Robert Ludlum, Jeffrey Archer, Dick Francis, Desmond Bagley, Arthur Hailey, Lawrence Sanders, Alistair MaClean, Wilbur Smith, Harold Robbins and Irving Wallace, to name some. In those days I used to read almost a novel a day.

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  8. I enjoyed many a Higgins novel in my teens and early 20's but honestly couldn't remember them well enough to rate now.

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    1. David, I read and reread Higgins every year. I find his thrillers, often associated with WW2 and the IRA, uncomplicated. He doesn't go into a lot of details.

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  9. He was on all of the newsstands and in bookstores. I think I read The Eagle has Landed, but not sure.

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    1. Oscar, TEHL was Higgins' crowning glory though he also wrote many fine thrillers.

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  10. YOU'RE BACK! YAY! So nice to see your comments on blogs I read.

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    1. That's really nice of you, Richard. Yes, it feels great to be back though I disappeared for a week again owing to personal issues. But I do want to get back into review mode.

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  11. Prashant – Like others commenting here, I read Higgins many years ago, but not recently. I liked your list of authors in reply to Yvette.

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    1. Thanks, Elgin. Higgins has written some mean thrillers without fussing over too many details and descriptions. I recommend his early novels until 1975.

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  12. Prashant – I just looked up some of Jack Higgins’ early books. On your recommendation, I will get HELL IS TOO CROWDED, which sounds like a noir story.

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    1. Elgin, you can't go wrong with most of Higgins' early novels. HELL IS TOO CROWDED is a decent crime fiction.

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  13. I love your passion and enthusiasm, Prashant! I don't know much about Higgins, but good to have some recommendations. You really must read Mike Ripley's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Higgins is one of his key authors.

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    1. Thank you, Moira. Higgins is an old favourite. His heroes are flawed and yet perfect, if that makes sense. I will definitely read Mike Ripley's book and see what he has to say about Higgins.

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