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Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
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Rogue Male (original 1939; edition 1977)

by Geoffrey Household

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7203013,063 (3.96)144
Member:bigship
Title:Rogue Male
Authors:Geoffrey Household
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (1977), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:penguin crime isdn, read 2012, crime

Work details

Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (1939)

  1. 10
    The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth (ivan.frade)
    ivan.frade: About a man plenty of resources to dodge a powerful organization that tries to track him down.
  2. 00
    Holloway by Robert Macfarlane (schmindie_kid)
    schmindie_kid: Those who enjoy Household's depiction of the Dorset countryside will enjoy this little slice of nature writing, inspired by a search for the holloway in the novel.
  3. 00
    Blind Corner by Dornford Yates (Lirmac)
  4. 00
    The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (chrisharpe, Lirmac)
  5. 00
    Deliverance by James Dickey (BOB81)
  6. 01
    A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler (chrisharpe)
  7. 02
    Rogue Justice by Geoffrey Household (agmlll)
    agmlll: The sequel
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» See also 144 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This book is an acknowledged classic by an author I often enjoy, and i have owned it fr years, but i don;t think I have actually read it through. Ias many readers know better than I, it concerns a British gentleman and experienced hunter who decides to shoot a cruel dictator (by implication, Hitler an implication made explicit on the cover of a more recent Penguin edition) who was responsible for the death of the woman the hunter loved.He fails, but ends the book setting off to try again. ( )
  antiquary | Oct 2, 2016 |
Warning: this review contains spoilers.

****

This ended up being a speedy, page-turning thriller, despite the fact that the book is divided into three longish sections with no chapter breaks in any of the sections. We begin with a man on the run following torture and imprisonment. His crime was to act on a curious impulse and see if he could get close enough to a European dictator to shoot him, just for the hell of it. But for a change in wind, he might have succeeded, and that would have changed the whole story. As it is, he's had his fingers mangled, an eye smashed, and has been dropped off a cliff and left for dead. The rest of the book chronicles his efforts to evade detection by the agents of the dictator's country and to avoid getting any of his friends mixed up in his predicament.

And while he did spend most of his time living off the land, I appreciated his refraining from describing in graphic detail any animals he killed, particularly the adorable rabbits in the countryside where he hid out. I also loved Asmodeus, the cat, and was horrified by what happened to him.

Not sure whether I needed the postscript at the end of the book -- the story on its own is solid and held my interest most keenly. I'd recommend it if you like a good thriller about one man against the elements. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Mar 6, 2016 |
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household is a incredible adventure story. A professional hunter slips into an unnamed country, stalks and aims at it’s dictator leader. He is caught, tortured, and thrown off a cliff but survives and manages to make his way back to England only to find he isn’t in the clear yet as agents of this unknown country are on his trail. The book is a first class survival story, as the protagonist now goes into hiding in rural Dorset, living in an expanded rabbit’s burrow with a feral cat as company.

What makes this book different from a straight adventure story is the reflections of the main character. With a lot of time on his hands and with paper to write, he keeps a journal and records his thoughts and philosophies. It seems as if this is all that keeps him human as he is living like an animal and using animal-like skills to engage in a battle of wits with his stalker. As the story unfolds the reason he hunted the dictator is revealed to have been a private act of revenge rather than a patriotic strike for freedom.

I had some prior knowledge of this book from the 1941 movie called Man Hunt. This movie was based on Rogue Male but other than the opening sequence was very different. In the novel, it is clear that the unnamed country is Germany and the dictator is Hitler even though this is never put in black and white. The movie, filmed during the war, glorified this attempt on Hitler’s life and patriotism was front and center.

For me, Rogue Male was an excellent read. The author manages to tell a story of depth without over writing. It is simply told, concise and vivid. I thoroughly enjoyed this taunt, tense thriller. ( )
2 vote DeltaQueen50 | Mar 4, 2016 |
I started this book thinking that I already knew the basic plot from watching the film. I quickly realized that I had confused this with another story with a slightly similar premise of a man being hunted.

In this, the unnamed protagonist is both the hunter and the hunted. I was bothered for a while in the first section with this man's motivation for his "sporting stalk" of a leader of a foreign country but this is eventually explained in the final section.

Now that I have finished, I do vaguely recall seeing a film based on this (starring Fred McMurray I think). If I am remembering correctly, there were some pretty significant differences & the book is better. I will have to look for the film so I can refresh my memory. ( )
  leslie.98 | Mar 4, 2016 |
A Good old ripping yarn or thumping good read or something of that nature. The un-named game hunter stalks a dictator and then must evade his captors. It really shouldn't be that interesting but it is. Just great fun to read.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
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Epigraph
"The behavior of a rogue may fairly be described as individual, separation from its fellows appearing to increase both in cunning and ferocity. These solitary beasts, exasperated by chronic pain or widowerhood, are occasionally found among all the larger carnivores and graminivores, and are generally males, though, in the case of hippopotami, the wanton viciousness of the cows is not to be disregarded."
Dedication
To Ben
who knows what it feels like
First words
I cannot blame them.
Quotations
This confession - shall I call it? - is written to keep myself from brooding, to set down what happened in the order in which it happened. I am not content with myself. With this pencil and exercise-book I hope to find some clarity. I create a second self, a man of the past by whom the man of the present may be measured. Lest what I write should ever, by accident or intention, become public property, I will not mention who I am. My name is widely known. I have been frequently and unavoidably dishonoured by the banners and praises of the penny press.
Their tiresome conception of the State has one comforting effect; it creates so many moral lepers that no one of them, if he has a little patience, can long be lonely.
Though we were both potential murderers, we felt, I suppose, mutual embarrassment. Mutual. I wish to God he had sat opposite me, or shown himself in some way less human than I.
I have noticed that what cats most appreciate in a human being is not the ability to produce food - which they take for granted - but his or her entertainment value.
I tortured myself (for even torture may be a diversion) by thinking of the flask of whiskey in my inner-breast pocket and refusing to allow myself to touch it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Rogue Male is one of the classic thrillers of the 20th century. An Englishman plans to assassinate the dictator of a European country. But he is foiled at the last moment and falls into the hands of ruthless and inventive torturers. They devise for him an ingenious and diplomatic death but, for once, they bungle the job and he escapes. But England provides no safety from his pursuers - and the Rogue Male must strip away all the trappings of status and civilization as the hunter becomes a hunted animal.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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