The Adventurers makes a cult of killing

In the opening chapter  of The Adventurers, the main character, Dax, at age 6, sees his mother and sister raped and killed.

In chapter two, later that day, Dax pulls the trigger to execute their killers.

The Adventurers by Harold Robbins

Trident Press, 1966, 779 pp. 1966 bestseller #2. My grade: D-.

women's faces replace continents on world map on Adventurers dust jacket

From that opening, this bloated novel about a clique of mid-twentieth century paparazzi-magnets sinks to trash-level.

The sex and violence that Robbins obscured under a recognizable, if implausible, plot in The Carpetbaggers, is swollen to obscenity here.

Robbins provides Dax with a clique friends whose morality is on a par with his own.

Robbins shifts focus from one with dizzying speed, and compounds the confusion by flashbacks, foreshadowings, and scene shifts from one continent to another.

The point of the story — beyond the titillation — seems to be that good men trying to do good in the world are powerless against evil.

Robbins brings names and events that readers of his day would recognize : the Korean War, Eisenhower’s run for president, Joseph Kennedy’s search for a political foothold for his family.

Every hundred pages or so Robbins uses the word tumescence in describing a sexual encounter, but the story needs more sanitizing than that.

Don’t soil your hands or your mind with The Adventurers.

© Linda Gorton Aragoni 2016