by Geoffrey Household, introduction by Victoria Nelson
1930-something: a professional hunter is passing through an unnamed Central European country that is in the thrall of a vicious dictator. The hunter wonders whether he can penetrate undetected into the dictator’s private compound. He does. He has the potential target in his sites and is wondering whether to pull the trigger when security catches up with him. Imprisoned, tortured, doomed to a painful death, the hunter makes an extraordinary and harrowing escape, fleeing through enemy territory to the safety of his native England. But that safety is delusive: his pursuers will not be diverted from their revenge by national borders; the British government cannot protect him without seeming to endorse his deed. The hunter must flee society, and he goes literally underground, like a fox to its earth. The hunter has become the hunted.
Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male is a classic thriller and a triumph of suspense. Described by Household as a “bastard offspring of Stevenson and Conrad,” the book is no less remarkable as an exploration of the lure of violence, the psychology of survivalism, and the call of the wild.
A story that grows wilder and woollier with every passing sentence...Short, sweet, and compulsively readable, we dare you to try and put it down.
— Men's Journal, #1 on the list of The 15 Best Thrillers Ever Written
The quintessential cat-and-mouse thriller. The plot is simple and unbearably suspenseful...Household boils down his narrative to its rawest elements, and the effect is gut-wrenching.
Household...helped to develop the suspense story into an art form.
— The New York Times
To my enormous pleasure, I read it almost in one sitting and was gripped from beginning to end. The writing is incredibly clear and the action comes so quickly that it is difficult to believe how much happens in the first five pages...It quickly becomes one of the most vivid lone wolf stories I have read.
— Conn Iggulden, author of The Dangerous Book for Boys
The quintessential man-on-the-run thriller.
[A] riproaring adventure yarn about a man being chased by the agents of a cruel dictator.
— The Financial Times
Rogue Male has achieved deservedly classic status. It's an exciting story, told in a crisp, no-nonsense style reminiscent of John Buchan.
— The Mail on Sunday (UK)