|About the Book|
This article is about the 1903 adventure novel. For the 1984 Jimmy Buffett album, see Riddles in the Sand.The Riddle of the SandsRiddleOfTheSands.JPG1st editionAuthor Robert Erskine ChildersLanguage EnglishGenre(s) Invasion novel,Adventure novel,SpyMoreThis article is about the 1903 adventure novel. For the 1984 Jimmy Buffett album, see Riddles in the Sand.The Riddle of the SandsRiddleOfTheSands.JPG1st editionAuthor Robert Erskine ChildersLanguage EnglishGenre(s) Invasion novel,Adventure novel,Spy novelPublisher Smith, Elder & CoPublication date 1903Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)OCLC Number 3569143The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service is a 1903 novel by Erskine Childers. It is an early example of the espionage novel, with a strong underlying theme of militarism. It has been made into a film and TV film.It is a novel that owes a lot to the wonderful adventure novels of writers like Rider Haggard, that were a staple of Victorian Britain- perhaps more significantly, it was a spy novel that established a formula that included a mass of verifiable detail, which gave authenticity to the story – the same ploy that would be used so well by John Buchan, Ian Fleming, John le Carré and many others. Ken Follett called it the first modern thriller.The book enjoyed immense popularity in the years before World War I and was extremely influential. As Childerss biographer Andrew Boyle noted: For the next ten years Childerss book remained the most powerful contribution of any English writer to the debate on Britains alleged military unpreparedness. It was a notable influence on John Buchan and Ken Follett, who described it as an open-air adventure thriller about two young men who stumble upon a German armada preparing to invade England.In 1998, nautical writer Sam Llewellyn wrote a continuation of the story named The Shadow in the Sands. This is subtitled being an account of the cruise of the yacht Gloria in the Frisian Islands in April of 1903 and the Conclusion of the Events described by Erskine Children.