John Christopher Message Board

Sam Youd posts on 10/31/2007 6:59:46 AM Michael: The Caves of Night (and The Long Voyage) although not spec-fic line up with other JCs in being studies of a small group of people under stress conditions. Scent of White Poppies was (like Patchwork of Death) a more typical thriller, and I wasn't very good at those. Michael & Robert: gratifying to find someone enjoying the William Godfrey books ... half a century on! They were meant to be parts of a trilogy based on three aspects of cricket: Test match, village and County. The well regarded cricket commentator John Arlott was going to put me in the picture on County cricket but other things intervened and the book, like many others, never got written.
michael posts on 10/6/2007 4:03:43 AM Robert, you get a bit with Friendly Game, which follows Malleson in retirement. Sam - why did you call A Scent of White Poppies a mistake on an earlier thread? I also noticed it often isn't in any of the "Also by" lists of your works. Do you not like it? I thought it was a cracking good read, and as Caves of Night isn't Sci-fi, still fitted in with the JC pseudonym. Your thoughts on it today?
Robert posts on 10/5/2007 6:30:35 PM Palace of Strangers, Crown and Anchor? I wish. The only book I have under his real name is Messages of Love, which seems to be the most common of the Youd-credited books. I see what you mean about the ending of Malleson at Melborne. I should say that it wasn't so much the actual ending(i.e.Malleson and Clinton's last ditch offensive) that I didn't like as the way it seemed to come out of nowhere, and wasn't followed with any resolving of the unfinished threads of the book. The ending itself was pretty strong; I just feel it needed more surrounding it.

Michael Leader posts on 10/2/2007 11:39:03 PM Hey Robert, I loved Malleson as well, and its sequel Friendly Game. The ending was kind of a coda I thought - the big test was the ending and you could almost hear the music swelling for a big sport movie finale. Then a last epilogue style ending was all that was needed. I do follow cricket, and that made it even more enjoyable. I nearly didn't get these novels because I thought they'd be boring sports books - boy was I surprised. You wouldn't happen to have a Palace of Strangers or Crown and Anchor that I could borrow? Be happy to leave a deposit, or swap or whatever.
Robert posts on 9/18/2007 4:28:01 PM Wow, been far too long since I've posted here... I just finished reading Malleson at Melbourne. Since I don't know the first thing about cricket, sadly much of it was gibberish to me, but in spite of that it's a smashing good read. I would never have believed that a sports novel could be interesting, not even one by Mr.Youd, but as always his smooth writing and brilliant insight into human nature pulls off an excellent novel. Just look at this: "'I'm not a writer. I don't believe you can get people down in words.' 'I don't, either. But you can get some pictures which help to describe them. Clarkson's a cunning swine: anything wrong with that, for a thumbnail sketch? It leaves a lot out - he may be kind to animals - but it gives you a starting point.'" This in a book about cricket. I tell ya, the author's a genius. The ending was a bit rushed and lacking in resolution; it seemed as though Sam was racing to meet a deadline, or something(any story behind that Sam, or am I shooting at the wind?). Other than that, though, a very good novel indeed.
Anonymous posts on 8/30/2007 2:16:10 AM Hi Colin, Have tried that email a few times - no response. Would love to take up your offer. email me michaelleader @ , no spaces. Happy to recipricate where I can. Does anyone have Palace of Strangers or Crown and Anchor?
Colin Brockhurst posts on 7/17/2007 7:02:39 AM Sam - I hope this finds you well. You might recall my younger self, who had the pleasure of interviewing you a few years ago for a fanzine. I'd like to think I'd ask less banal questions now, and maybe even manage not to wreck any of your long-standing friendships... -- Michael Leader - I've got a much-cherished copy of The Winter Swan from Sam's own cellar and would be happy to "pay it forward" by photocopying the relevant pages. Email address is cbrockhurst @ (without the spaces, of course) if you're interested. -- Colin.
Sam Youd posts on 6/8/2007 3:44:09 AM Been having troubles posting. Testing now. Sam
Bryan from Empty-World posts on 5/30/2007 1:22:03 PM Sam, don't know if you recall but we corresponded a while back when you came across my web site. Anyway, I am in touch with someone in Aus who is involved in writing a screenplay based on one of your books and he wanted to try and contact you. Bryan
michael Leader posts on 5/27/2007 7:54:07 PM Sam, is the industrialisation theme still dear to you, or have you since moved on or changed your mind? Thanks for answering questions - rediscovering that my favourite author had other pen names (and was indeed a pen name!) has been a great joy. It's also opened up the 1950s/60s in a fresh way, given I wasn't born until 1979.
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