The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico (1941)
This very slight book -- no more than a short story, really -- was perhaps the most popular book published by this very popular author and sportswriter (1897-1976). Often decried as a sentimental tear-jerker, The Snow Goose is nonetheless a powerful and evocative story. Here's the late, great Molly Ivins' description of the book (which I have gleefully lifted from Wikipedia):
"The Snow Goose is a tale about a disabled painter living in a lonely lighthouse on the coast of the county of Essex in England. One day a girl brings to him a wounded snow goose, which he nurses back to health. The goose returns each year, as does the girl. But the artist is killed rescuing soldiers after the evacuation of Dunkirk, while the snow goose flies overhead."
(I apologize for Ms. Ivins -- she really should not have spoiled the ending of the book for you.)
You can judge the book for yourself. It's a very short read. I liked it a lot, but maybe I was in a sentimental, tear-jerking mood. Here it is:
In addition to The Snow Goose (which was an O. Henry prize winner and was later made into an Emmy-nominated TV movie), Gallico was also the author of The Poseidon Adventure, Too Many Ghosts, The Adventures of Hiram Holliday (remember that Wally Cox television series? You don't? Geez, I'm getting old!), Thomasina, Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris, and many other best-selling books.
Patti Abbott will have all of today's Forgotten Book links at her uber-fascinating blog, Pattinase.
Good choice, Jerry. I will always remember Paul Gallico for SCRUFFY, the unruly monkey who gives British troops on Gibraltar plenty of trouble, and MRS. 'ARRIS GOES TO PARIS which I read as FLOWERS FOR MRS. HARRIS. Gallico was a fine storyteller.ReplyDelete
There was a very good film of it, perhaps it was done by the BBC, several years ago. Yes, it's a real tear jerker, but sometimes I don't mind tearing up some.ReplyDelete
In 1971 Richard Harris starred in a terrific movie version of The Snow Goose. I think it was produced by the BBC for televison. I remember seeing it on my local PBS station. The next day I picked up the small novel from the library. I obtained a old copy in the late 70s that I still bring out to read again every few years. It's a great story of the heart...ReplyDelete
I remember reading the Mrs. 'Arris books. Loooooooong ago.ReplyDelete
The only Gallico book I remember reading was the excessively whimsical, but still readable, THE BOY WHO INVENTED THE BUBBLE GUN, which I read when it and I were new...I should give this story, on its own or in the O. HENRY AWARDS volume (I have only about a third of them by now, I think), a try...ReplyDelete
I'd forgotten all about Mrs Arris Goes to Paris. I remember it on my grandparents book shelves. And I remember the film of SG too.ReplyDelete