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The Secret Masters

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Suspense Novel--About a few Men who Wanted the World for Themselves! Kersh's classic about unlikely investigators into the diabolical schemes of men beyond the law. ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by (first published 1953)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  24 ratings  ·  4 reviews

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K.J. Charles
The most plot-driven Kersh book I have read, which admittedly isn't saying much. It wouldn't be Kersh without much rambling, irrelevant but engaging backstory, and weird side characters being weird, all of which is present in spades, but this also has a great 'fending off conspiracy to destroy the world' SF plot with an extremely modern feel to it, and very nasty mega-rich villains, plus a lovely central friendship. A book that deserves rediscovery. (A few racial slurs though, casually used in t ...more
Dec 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Middle period Kersh, where he is beginning to branch out and explore more types of fiction. The closest genre this would fit into would probably be some type of mystery or adventure. Published in 1952 and long out of print, I can imagine it being read by Ian Fleming and used as an inspiration for a James Bond novel.

Moments of brilliance are found throughout the novel, and it was very well plotted and paced. I think it would stand up to repeated reading, and more artistry and skill would emerge.
Justin Howe
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kersh was one of those pulp outliers who dabbled in multiple genres without ever settling in one. The Great Wash is his espionage thriller about two journalist stumbling upon a conspiracy to destroy the world. Very much of it is in the "That was a very fascinating story you just told me. It reminds me of this very fascinating story I will now relate to you" style of writing.

If you ever wondered what an Arthur Machen penned James Bond thriller might have read like, then this book is your answer.
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this novel under the title "The Third Compartment", a serial in an Australian newspaper consisting of five instalments printed in January and February of 1953. It has a Vernian plot mixed with elements of a thriller, social commentary and some thin references to the international situation. ...more
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Gerald Kersh was born in Teddington-on-Thames, near London, and, like so many writers, quit school to take on a series of jobs -- salesman, baker, fish-and-chips cook, nightclub bouncer, freelance newspaper reporter and at the same time was writing his first two novels.

In 1937, his third published novel, Night and the City, hurled him into the front ranks of young British writers. Twenty novels la

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