Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Aaron's Book of the Week :: The African Queen by C.S. Forester

The African QueenLast week's Magazine of the Week uncovered a C.S. Forester fan in our midst, so in his honor the Book of the Week is the first paperback printing of The African Queen by C.S. Forester. The unlikely love story of a boozing sailor and a religious Englishwoman forced to make their way together through central Africa, The African Queen is perhaps Forester's most famous novel, certainly his most famous outside of the Hornblower series. The African Queen was filmed by John Huston in 1951 and starred Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, who won the only Oscar of his career for his performance.

In lieu of the first hardcover edition -- published in England in 1935 and currently selling in London's rare book shops for around $25,000 -- this is the original paperback edition, Bantam 712, first printed in 1949. As reflected in Ken Riley's suggestive cover art, the novel is a bit spicier than the film version. This American edition has a different ending than the original British edition, and the ending of the movie is different than either. As usual, the Hollywood ending is the happiest.

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