Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Calcutta Affair: Mini-Review

The Calcutta Affair (1967), George S. Elrick's entry in the assignments of the Man From U.N.C.L.E., finds Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in the teeming city of Calcutta hunting the evil T.H.R.U.S.H. agents behind the death by bubonic plague of Gordon Thorpe-Smith and the disappearance of Paddy O'Donnell, both fellow agents. O'Donnell had been sent to investigate strange plague death and vanished without a trace within hours of his arrival in India. Before it's all over, Solo and Kuryakin will encounter mice carrying bubonic plague; T.H.R.U.S.H. agents with the usual guns, knives, hypos, & radio-transmitting teeth plus a nuclear sub filled with enough plague to wipe out half the world; and Solo will have a brush with the disease that took out O'Donnell. But, hey, these are the men from U.N.C.L.E.--so it's no spoiler to tell you that they turn the tables on the bad guys and fly off into the sunset to fight evil another day.

This was a fun little book. Well, a Big Little book. I had several of these when I was growing up, but they were all cartoon characters--Bugs Bunny, the Roadrunner, Mickey Mouse, etc. This was the first one I'd seen based on a T.V. show and when I found it at a local flea market a couple years ago I knew I had to bring it home. It was nice to revisit my childhood through both the Big Little book medium and the familiar figures of Solo and Kuryakin. I first met the two U.N.C.L.E. agents through books based on the series and later watched episodes in syndication (I'm just a bit young for the original showing of the T.V. show). Very enjoyable in all mediums. ★★

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This fulfills the "Two People" category on the Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt card as well as the "Crime-Fighting Duo" category for the Mystery Reporter Challenge.

3 comments:

noah-stewart.com said...

Really this must have been one of the last Big Little Books ... an excellent find! This is the kind of cultural eddy in a great stream that I love so much ... a derivative work from a TV show that is a derivative work...

Bev Hankins said...

It really is quite lovely, Noah! And so much fun to read (and fast too--so I could up my February numbers ;-) ).

fredamans said...

Sounds like tons of fun. Love The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I'd love to see how this adapts!