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The Chilian Club

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Granada, St Albans, 1972
(price: 35p; 192 pages)
(first published in Great Britain by Peter Davies, 1971)

The blurb on the back:

With a brass-hat brigade like this, never underestimate the might of the right!
Food rationed ... Communications disrupted ... Race riots ... Commerce at a standstill - the answer is ASSASSINATION!
Don't YOU, asks the Chilian Club, ever feel like shooting a Union leader?

In 1849 the 6th Hussars disgraced themselves in a minor battle at Chilianwala in India. Under the command of Viscount Cardross, they fled the front line, and never recovered their honour. Back in London, the officers of the regiment found themselves shunned by polite society and ostracized in their clubs. In despair, Cardross finally made his own London house available as a club to accommodate those who could find no berth elsewhere.

By the 1970s there were very few members left of what had become known as the Chilian Club. But the few who remained were unanimous in their conviction that Britain was fast finding its way to Hell in a handcart. And they were quite clear who was responsible - blacks, trade unionists, the usual roll-call of suspects... all funded by Moscow, of course, and all determined to destroy everything that is great about Britain. And meanwhile the Establishment was standing by, either unable or unwilling to do anything to fight the enemy within.

So the members of the Chilian Club take the law into their own hands, and start assassinating those they consider to be Britain's enemies...

It flags in places, but mostly The Chilian Club is grand entertainment. In a Blairite world, its paranoid fear of communists is sufficiently quaint to be harmless, and its sense of panic about the degeneration of Britain makes it an interesting period piece.

According to the brief biog at the front, George Shipway 'was born in 1908 and lived in Imperial India until 1919, serving until 1946 in the Indian Cavalry.' It also claims of this book that:

As in all the Shipway stories, a move is made forward to a new direction from an apparent move back to an established one. This is already one of the most talked-about books of recent times; its paperback publication can only increase an extraordinary reputation.

That alleged 'extraordinary reputation' has faded somewhat but many of Mr Shipway's other books remain popular in some quarters. His best-known works are historical novels set in Roman Britain (Imperial Governor), Medieval times (Knight In Anarchy) and the Trojan Wars (Warrior in Bronze), and I feel I ought to add a caveat here. I haven't read any of these books, so I don't know how dodgy they are, but all three of them turn up on the National Front's website on their Recommended Reading list under the section headed Aryan Fiction. This may sound worse than it actually is, however, since the same section also includes Aldous Huxley, Arthur Koestler and Jack London, none of whom would have been happy to be mentioned in such a context. I only mention it because you might want to bear it in mind should you ever read this book.

back cover
Huntin', shootin' & fishin'


bonus cover...

Imperial Governor

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