The Commandos : A novel by Elliott Arnold
New York : Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1942. Eight printing. Hardcover. 300 pages ; 22 cm. $2.50 dust jacket with a few tear along the edges. Lean to spine. Small label at bottom front free endpaper. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
by ELLIOTT ARNOLD
The Commandos is a love story of the war. Nicole Larsen, a Norwegian woman who is the head of the underground in a Norwegian town, and Alan Lowell, American leader of a Commando group, are the central figures.
This is a story of today's war. Its war scenes are scenes of violent attack, torture, secret underground activities, deception, suffering, incredible heroism. Its authentic background story is that of men taught to kill, adept in the use of all the lethal weapons of modern war. These Commandos are men trained to the direct onslaught and speed of the boxer, to the endurance of the cross country runner, to the silence and deception of the jungle fighter. They are all picked men —British and Americans, and men picked for hate: free French, escaped Norwegians, Poles whose families were murdered or frozen to death, men from the Balkans whose families were starved.
The Commandos is as timely as a radio bulletin. Beautifully written by an ace feature-writer of the "New York World-Telegram," it is the first full-length novel about the Commando forces in England today.
From the reviews of
The Commandos by ELLIOTT ARNOLD
"Here is a novel which . . . has everything— timeliness, excitement and suspense, and a passionate love affair. . . . Nowhere in current fiction has anyone set down more directly the reactions, the secret emotions of those men and women today who—singly and unprotected—carry warfare into the enemy's very stronghold. . . . All of it has the ring of truth and it stirs the imagination. And it is going to be read in its tens and thousands of copies, not only because it is a galloping tale of high adventure but because it sings a great cry of courage and of eventual hope." —IRIS BARRY, N.Y. Herald Tribune
"The Commandos is a swift-moving thriller with suspense and plenty of action ... a breath-taking story of intrigue, action, murder, cruelty, and courage."— —HARRY HANSEN, N.Y. World-Telegram
"The Commandos ranks among the liveliest adventure stories of the War for Survival, and in its finest passages rises to severe and purging emotion." —CHRISTOPHER MORLEY, Book-of-the-Month Club News
"Mr. Arnold's story, entailing not only interpretation of the events but sympathy that cuts across nations and classes and a knowledge of human nature—and of the human heart—that goes deep and extends widely, is distinguished both by its profoundly moving quality and its hard austerity of purpose. . . . The Commandos is white-hot history served up on a literary platter of dramatic intensity. It has, also, a philosophy that goes to the root of things." -JANE SPENCE SOUTHRON, N.Y. Times
Elliott Arnold, whose new novel The Commandos became a best-seller overnight, was for many years an ace feature writer of the New York World-Telegram. As soon as The Commandos was published he enlisted as a private in the Army. His career as a newspaperman began when he got a job, at the age of 17, on the now defunct Brooklyn Times. He left the Time in 1934 to join the staff of the World-Telegram. Mr. Arnold is also the author of a biography of Sibelius called Finlandia, of two earlier novels called Two Loves and Personal Combat.
In recent years he has done a great deal of traveling in Russia and Europe, traveling that gave him a strategic opportunity to write a novel about The Commandos. As he explains:
"When I was in London and Paris I became very friendly with newspaper and writing people and for years men and women who have been coming over here—especially since the fall of France—have called me up at the paper and told me that someone I knew on the other side had told them to get in touch with me. From them, I learned a lot of the facts of the underground movements and the Commando work which I put into the book. Every single large incident in it is entirely authentic, and the minor details have probably happened a hundred times."
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