W.B.’s Book Report: Air Monster
My next book publication has been, um, flying under the radar, and now it’s on sale starting today. Air Monster by Edwin Green entered my life seven or eight years ago when I found a beat-up copy of this 1932 “boy’s novel” at an antique shop. How does a guy like me pass up a book called Air Monster? And it’s a fun enough book to share with the rest of us.
It turns out the “air monster” is the world’s largest dirigible, the Goliath, which the Navy has under construction at a secret location in those pre-Hindenberg days. The effort is being hampered by the efforts of an agent planted by the Gerka, the secret police of the evil regime in Rubania. Here’s the blurb from the original dust jacket:
“This is a story of the world’s greatest dirigible and of the dangers in the frozen wastes of the Arctic — a combination sure to provide thrills for every reader.
“The Goliath, largest dirigible in the world, is to meet the submarine Neptune at the North Pole. The Neptune encounters one mishap after another in the drifting ice of the Arctic and Harry Curtis, its radio operator, sends an S.O.S. to Andy High, assistant commander of the Goliath. The dirigible starts north, Captain Hawkins, the commander, is stricken, and Andy takes charge of the rescue attempt.
“What befalls the Goliath on the Arctic trip is only a part of the smashing action of this great book for boys. It’s alive and up-to-the-minute in every detail.”
Hey, it’s 1932. Who knew, 90 years ago, that it was a great book for girls, too?
This feels like one of those forgotten treasures you hear about from time to time. Green wrote a sequel to Air Monster, called Secret Flight, and the response to this edition will help determine whether Book 2 is rescued as well.
If you like old stuff, if you like stories from the early days of aviation, if you like stories about old technology from when it was cutting edge, and if you like stories of high adventure and heroic camaraderie, may I suggest Air Monster?
Beware of knock-offs by other public domain publishers. Make sure you order this edition featuring the handsome cover illustration by James Group Studios Inc., with ISBN number 979-8-9863331-2-0. And keep your eye out for Gerka agents from Rubania! You know what they say: If you see something …