Published: 28/10/2015
eISBN: 9781785894565
Format: eBook

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The Gobi Desert
by Pierre Benoit, Translated by Robert Wight

This is a highly unusual adventure story describing a hunting expedition in search of a legendary snow tiger in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and north-east China in 1926. Originally published in French in 1941, it has now been translated into English for the first time.

The story is full of local colour and dramatic descriptions of the bleak and desolate landscape of the Gobi Desert. An atmosphere of menace and dread is built up as the hunting party, after many days spent traversing the terrifying and pitiless wilderness, approaches its quarry. As well as seeking a vast reward from an Australian zoo for the capture of the tiger, the two principal characters - Michel Rodianko, a world-weary ex-lieutenant in the former Russian imperial army, and Jack Sanders, a rough Australian adventurer and big-game hunter – are both intent on winning the love of an exotic and beautiful night-club dancer named Alzire, who is waiting for the return of the party with its trophy.

In a highly-charged sub-plot, the fraught and triangular relationship between Alzire, Sanders and Rodianko, and the obsessive conflict between Sanders and Rodianko as to who will claim Alzire, are explored in compelling detail. The story ends in a violent and terrible conclusion.

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