Featuring the Saint

Featuring the Saint (Saint 05) - Leslie Charteris

Featuring the Saint contains three novellas: The Logical Adventure, The Wonderful War, and The Man Who Could Not Die.


I originally picked up the book from a favourite secondhand bookshop because I wanted to give the Saint books another chance.

I read my first Saint adventure back in 2013, and even tho I was not overly impressed with the book I have been wondering if this was a series I could enjoy. It turns out, I will always love the tv series but have no intention to continue with the books.


The main reasons for this are two-fold: 


1. The writing does not work for me. Yes, the books are action-packed and the Saint is an interesting character, but it strikes me the books were written for an audience of teenage boys. We have swashbuckling, which is great, but we also have lots of damsels in distress and women characters being either dismissed, characterised mostly by their relationship to male characters, and other cringe-worthy scenes.


2. I seek out formulaic vintage crime fiction books or tv series for entertainment between more serious books, or while digesting another more complex read, or just to relax. While The Saint is a perfectly great tv series, I've been spoiled by other series when it comes to the books - most recently, Francis Durbridge's Paul Temple series. While Durbridge's plots are extremely formulaic (and quite similar to those of Charteris actually), his main characters, Paul Temple and his wife Steve, are so much more likable and so much more fleshed out. It would not occur to Steve to accept the role of damsel, nor would Paul dismiss his wife's ideas or comments on a case (or in any other matter).


Anyway, I'm done with the The Saint books.