The Hiding Place by Robert Shaw
Cleveland : The World Publishing Company, 1959. Third printing. Hardcover. 254 pages ; 22 cm. $3.50 dust jacket. Date marking on flyleaf. Otherwise, no other markings to pages. Binding is firm.
The Hiding Place
by ROBERT SHAW
This is one of those novels that is meant to be read for the sheer enjoyment of being forced by suspense and fascination to turn each page over quickly to find out what happens to the next. It would be inordinately unfair to you, the reader, to give away the unique story within this book, yet you are entitled to some hint of the extraordinary adventure you're about to engage upon.
"One of the most original novels of the year"
"The Hiding Place is the work of a real writer... Two British airmen in 1952 have been kept in a cellar in Bonn for seven years by a sweet little maniac ... The two men, Wilson, who has turned himself into a novelist, and Connolly, who feeds on a different sort of fantasy, are released unexpectedly by their mad gaoler into the living world. There then takes place a reversal of roles which makes this one of the most original novels of the year." —John Davenport, The Observer
"A remarkable achievement"
Penelope Mortimer, reviewing The Hiding Place for the Book Society, called it: "A remarkable achievement . . .* The development is brilliant, the suspense sustained until the last page ... As a novelist there is no doubt that Mr. Shaw takes his place in the highest class."
"The most impressive first novel I have read for some time. It is original in its central idea . . . and it makes compelling reading . .. There is a masterly stroke of paradox at the end." —Manchester Guardian Weekly
"Strange, maddening, and intriguing"
"One of the most intellectually exciting books that I have read for a long time ... Strange, maddening, and intriguing . . . very beautifully written." —Glasgow Herald
"Enlarges our experience of life"
"A serious, interesting and untheatrical novel ... an imaginative exercise, well conceived and completed ... It is more. It allows three human beings to come to self-discovery within the pattern of a novel, and in doing so enlarges our experience of life." — (London) Sunday Times
Robert Shaw was born on August 9,1927, in Lancashire, England, the eldest of five children. His father, a doctor, died when he was twelve. He was brought up by his widowed
mother in the Orkney Islands and later in Cornwall, and it intended that he go on to Cambridge. The necessity to earn a living and the inclination for the life of an actor sent him instead to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He has since won considerable success in the theater—beginning with the Old Vic and the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon, through playing a swashbuckling hero in a CBS television series "The Buccaneers" and several movies, and including such serious theatrical assignments as Alec Guinness's Hamlet, as well as Tiger at the Gates, one of the leads in Sir Laurence Olivier s One More River, and the starring role in the very successful The Long and the Short and the Tall.
He has stated that he enjoys acting and finds it creatively rewarding, but he would prefer to be a good novelist. More than ten years ago he began to write poems, many of which were published under various pseudonyms. He has written eight plays—all bad in his own estimation— and played the lead in one of them. The Hiding Place is his first novel: it took him eighteen months to write, for the most part in between acting engagements. Planned or in work are three further novels, the first of which is nearing completion.
Robert Shaw lives in London with his wife and three daughters.
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