An immediate success in 1906, Rex Beach’s The Spoilers seems shopworn today because of its overused romantic plot.
But however tired the romance, even today Beach holds readers’ interest with his fast paced, action-adventure plot.
The Spoilers by Rex Beach
1906 bestseller #8. Project Gutenberg ebook #5076. My grade: B.
The men help Helen aboard and escort her safely to Nome where she has important business.
On the trip, Roy decides he’s going to marry Helen.
She disagrees: He’s too uncouth for her tastes.
There are the usual plot complications: misunderstandings on both sides, the girl’s guardian who’s a scoundrel, the suitor who’s an even worse scoundrel, the hero’s old girl friend.
The novelty is the plot trigger: Unscrupulous politicians have devised a way to steal gold from the Alaskan mines with the blessings of the courts and the US government.
The plan is simple, looks legal, and seems to be aimed at protecting honest miners.
Beach trained as a lawyer before spending five years prospecting in Alaska. The romance didn’t happen, but the skullduggery did.
Fraud on such a scale is mesmerizing—and well worth a read.
© 2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni