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The Big Book of Adventure Stories (Vintage Original) Paperback – May 31, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Original
  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030747450X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307474506
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Otto Penzler lives in New York City.

More About the Author

Otto Penzler is the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop (www.mysteriousbookshop.com) in New York City and is regarded as the world's foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction. He founded The Mysterious Press in 1975, which he later sold to Warner Books (1989). He reacquired the imprint in 2010 and it now publishes original books as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, and both original works and classic crime fiction through MysteriousPress.com (www.mysteriouspress.com), in partnership with Open Road Integrated Media.

Penzler is a prolific editor, and has won two Edgar Awards, for Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977 and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994 and the Raven--the group's highest non-writing award--in 2003.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
This book is a treasure!
Lewis McLean
This is, without doubt, the finest collection of adventure stories ever published.
City Rain
I thought that this was a great paperback book.
Brian Gardner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By City Rain on June 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is, without doubt, the finest collection of adventure stories ever published. All the stars are here, from Jack London to Cornell Woolrich, a full range of the best adventure stories money - and not all that much of it considering the breadth and quality of these stories - can buy. It was such a pleasure to be with such heroes of Bulldog Drummond and the the Cisco Kid again, a lovely stroll down memory lane that brought back that first youthful sense of peril. Here is high adventure as it once was written by the greatest of its practitioners. Frankly, nostalgia was never more fun. Thank you, Mr. Penzler, for this gift.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By NSoriano on July 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Adventure stories? I thought. Well, I'll give it a try, but I was wary.

These are the kind of stories you always knew were out there, but you just never read. If you don't live in a tree you've heard of Tarzan, Conan, King Kong, or the Cisco Kid. But except for Hollywood's interpretations of these characters, most readers today are unfamiliar with their origins in prose.

To me, Tarzan was somebody a bunch of swimmers and body builders played in a string of cheap movies (Or in the case of Graystoke, the Legend of Tarzan, not so cheap). So who knew Tarzan was as clever as James Bond and as savage as Conan the Barbarian? And who knew I would enjoy this new anthology by Otto Penzler even more than The Big Book of Pulp Stories?

Some of these classic tales are amazing, others are interesting but lacking a certain zing (sorry Talbot Mundy). But because of the stories I read in this book, I've already placed orders for more stories by Robert E Howard. I'm on the lookout for more Philip Jose Farmer. I finished Mr. Farmer's "After King Kong Fell" and decided I can never watch the Fay Wray King Kong movie the same way again.

Anyway, this book is highly recommended. You might not enjoy everything but the book is so BIG you'll find something to love!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lewis McLean on August 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At the age of 78 years, I am entering my second childhood...and the Big Book of Adventure Stories is the greatest gift I could have received. Stories by authors I enjoyed in my pre-teens and early teens: E.R.Burroughs, Saki, P.C.Wren...and a host of authors I missed as an avid young reader! This book is a treasure! I only hope that Mr. Penzler is considering compiling Volume 2 in the near future....second childhoods don't last forever.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John Middleton on December 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Here's a simple test to see if this is the book for you. Have a look at the cover (yes I know the old saying). If you are horrified by the caucasian male protagonist being attacked by a gang of scantily clad and barely SFW native girls (either to sacrifice or ravish him, or possibly both, but not in that order) while trying to rescue his friend from snarling panthers, all under the gaze of a forgotten god, as horribly intolerant, patriarchal, and colonialist...well, perhaps wander over to the sections on various "isms" and poke around there. If, on the other hand, you think all that looks kinda cool (and wonder what's keeping those necklaces in place on the native girls) then click through the table of contents and see if you like what you see.

If you don't know a name from the table of contents, check out the back cover, with a list of the "characters" you will find. Really, almost every story is either by a famous writer (ie Alastair Maclean), features a famous character (Buck Rogers) or both (Robert E Howard's Conan, Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan).

In short, its 700 pages of short stories by a whole bunch of names, some famous, some not. Then there is 150 pages of Tarzan novel. Its all good, even if some is a little dated - most of this stuff dates from the first 50 years of the last century; some is older, some is later. But it is a product of its time and writers: that means there is some casual racism in places, and there are not a lot of female protagonists here (although the book does open with one). There is a memorable female villian, and some eye candy, and in some - perhaps even most - stories no women at all.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By z-girl on August 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We bought this anthology for our 10-year-old son to take with him to overnight camp for a week. He loved reading it there, and was still poring over it for days after we picked him up. He seemed to find the way the stories were categorized very enticing, and he enjoyed encountering authors with whom he was not familiar. He is already a fan of Kipling, which we've read aloud to him at bedtime; he likes Kipling's language so much that he wanted to save the Kipling selection for bedtime reading. But in general, he found the stories utterly absorbing for reading to himself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian Gardner on October 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
I thought that this was a great paperback book. I enjoy collecting these books that are edited by Otto Penzler. I have a little difficulty holding this book. This paperback collection is almost too much of a good thing. I think it would be easier to read and more enjoyable if it was available in a lightweight Kindle format. I hope someday Amazon can make it available for a Kindle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By zoydster on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This one worked out great! I had no idea what to get my dad for Fathers Day, so I went online searching with that key phrase and found a list of books dads might enjoy. I always get my books on Amazon, it's very rare that anyone else will have a better price. But here's the clincher, as usual I wait until the last minute for gifts and Amazon always saves the day with their unbeatable shipping time and price! Since my dad is in my Amazon address contacts it couldn't have been easier, and for the guy who is extremely hard to shop for this book actually tickled his fancy. He doesn't read that much so a novel was out of the question. This is a nice collection of stories, with ample variety, it will hopefully keep him entertained enough to get through the whole book someday. (I'll get back to the review then.)
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