Best 1962 Adventures (9)

By: Joshua Glenn
September 9, 2017

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

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Victor Canning’s frontier adventure Black Flamingo.

Sinclair, a pilot in East and Central Africa whose license has been revoked, takes shelter in rainforest cave — where he discovers another pilot, dying. He buries the man and takes his identity papers. What he doesn’t discover is that the dying pilot was carrying a small fortune in diamonds. En route to a remote town where he finds work flying pilgrims to Mecca, Sinclair falls in love with Nina, a British woman assisting her animal-collecting uncle… who, it transpires, was in league with the dead pilot. The diamonds were intended to finance some sort of Prester John-ish tribal uprising scheme. Sinclair must race to retrieve them before the rebels or the Congolese government gets to the cave first… but Nina has plans of her own for the diamonds. A short but rewarding yarn.

Fun fact: “There is no evidence that Canning ever visited Central Africa, but he had obviously done extensive research on witch-doctoring practices and on the geography of the region,” according to the official Victor Canning website. “This mitigates some of the racial stereotyping that is inevitable when an outsider tries to describe tribal and colonial conflicts.”

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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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