Best 1947 Adventures (6)

By: Joshua Glenn
June 10, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1947 adventure novels. Happy 70th anniversary!

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Nevil Shute’s Robinsonade The Chequer Board.

Several of Shute’s novels offer a particular flavor of adventure that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. They’re Robinsonades, of a sort; that is, they’re about ordinary people who display an extraordinary capacity for hard work, ingenuity, and common sense as they attempt to build a life for themselves in a hostile or unlikely environment. I’m a sucker for this sort of thing, so The Chequer Board is particularly enjoyable, since it tells several such stories. Jackie Turner, a salesman who discovers he’s dying of cancer, finds himself wondering what happened to several soldiers — a British pilot, a British Commando, and an African-American serviceman — who’d been kind to him when they all ended up in a hospital together, after a plane crash during the war. Hoping to do these men a kindness, if he can, he sets out in search of them — and we learn how each of the men established themselves and thrived once the war had ended. It’s a charming yarn — and there’s a strong anti-racist message, to boot.

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Let me know if I’ve missed any 1947 adventures that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists. The 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time. THE OUGHTS (1904–13): 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913. THE TEENS (1914–23): 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923. THE TWENTIES (1924–33): 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933. THE THIRTIES (1934–43): 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943. THE FORTIES (1944–53): 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953. THE FIFTIES (1954–63): 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963. THE SIXTIES (1964–73): 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973. THE SEVENTIES (1974–83): 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983. The goal, eventually, is to publish a Top 10 Adventures list for every year of the 20th century.

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Adventure, Lit Lists

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