After two rather obscure titles from Poland, my today’s A to Z Challenge is going to back to the safe waters of books in English, though I steer away from the speculative fiction, and will be writing about a book from another genre.
Before I dived into the depths or fantasy and science-fiction, when I’ve already ran out of adventure books to read (my library had a great selection… but I had a great amount of time and was always a fast reader), I started poking around my parents’ library. My mom already recommended some books to me, like the Count of Monte Christo, so I felt confident I’d find another great read on her bookshelf. This is how I came across thrillers.
I’m not sure if Ken Follet’s “The Key to Rebecca” was the first one I’ve read, but it definitely sparked my interest. I’ve been already watching some great war movies, “Dirty Dozen” and “The Great Escape” among them, so I felt interested in that period of time.
The war in Africa in 1942, Egypt besieged by the Axis forces, and a mysterious spy who passes the Alliance’s secrets to the enemy, sounded more than enticing, and I jumped right into the story. Of course, some of the themes might have been a bit too mature for a ten or a twelve year old girl I’ve been back then, but I absorbed what I understood from the book and tossed the rest into a corner of my mind. All that really counted back then was following the plot and biting my nails when I accompanied the main character in his attempts to catch the spy and break the code used to send the information behind the enemy lines.
I can’t recall much of the author’s style (that might have been muddled by the translation anyway), and I can’t say much about the setting and how thorough the research was, but back then, for a Polish girl with little knowledge of history, the setting was plausible enough.
Later I’ve read a lot of other thrillers and action books, mostly by Ken Follet and Alistair McLean (for some reason, I never got into Robert Ludlum’s book, even though he was popular in Poland), and even though I’ve found my favorite genre, I still have a bit of sentiment toward the thrillers I’ve read in the past.
After all, who doesn’t like a good story in which a good guy catches an evil spy and turns the tides of World War II?
What about you? Do you often read outside your genres? Or maybe you don’t have a favorite genre and you read everything that seems good, no matter what genre it is?