Best 1962 Adventures (1)

By: Joshua Glenn
August 27, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1962 adventure novels. Happy 55th anniversary!

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Lionel Davidson’s atavistic treasure-hunt adventure The Rose of Tibet.

In 1950, Charles Houston, a directionless British art teacher, discovers that his half-brother has disappeared on the China-Tibet border while filming a mountaineering expedition — and sets off to confirm his death. Because the People’s Liberation Army is threatening to invade Tibet (as we know, this happened in October 1950), Houston and a teenage sherpa make a perilous and illegal journey across the mountains. At a monastery whose abbess is never seen without her mask, Houston is taken for a god — and entrusted with a fortune in emeralds. He then flees with the loot and the priestess, with the Red Chinese in hot pursuit. Real-life characters of the period — the young Dalai Lama, the swashbuckling explorer Heinrich Harrar, even the author Lionel Davidson — make an appearance, but this is throwback Haggard-esque fantasy at its finest. Indiana Jones, eat your heart out.

Fun fact: Graham Greene once said, “I hadn’t realised how much I had missed the genuine adventure story until I read The Rose of Tibet.”

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Let me know if I’ve missed any 1962 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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