Thursday, June 05, 2008

08.09 The Way To Dusty Death by Alistair MacLean

The Way To Dusty Death (1973) by Alistair MacLean
Pbk, Fontana, 190p.

The Way To Dusty Death was a total impulse pick up mainly because of the crazy cover which I can't find on the internet (the image here is from the 1995 made-for-TV movie Got it!).

Johnny Harlow is the top Formula One racer on the circuit. The novel begins with a horrific crash during a race where Harlow's car causes his friends death and injures his prospective girlfriend, the daughter of the millionaire team owner. Harlow then appears to spiral into a vortex of guilt and alcoholism alienating everyone around him. But is he really drinking on those nights after the races where he disappears for hours at a time? And why have there been so many recent accidents on the F1 circuit? Finally, as Harlow appears to hit rock bottom the answers begin to come clear...but will he be able to convince anyone?

Classic British sports mystery from the 70s. In fact, I'd say I'm almost sure that I have read this exact plot done in the world of horse racing in a Dick Francis novel. An exciting thriller.


Buzby said...

Yee haw! The Reporter is back with two interesting reads. Nice.

Olman Feelyus said...

That sounds good. Normally, I'm not that interested in mysteries that take place in a specific milieu where the milieu is a big part of the whole appeal, but 70s british racing is pretty cool and the Dick Francis reference makes me miss reading those. I could check this out on a summer day.

Jarrett said...

And the title is from Shakespeare's Macbeth:

Act 5 Scene 5:

19 Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
20 Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
21 To the last syllable of recorded time,
22 And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
23 The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
24 Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
25 That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
26 And then is heard no more: it is a tale
27 Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
28 Signifying nothing.