Friday, March 20, 2009

40 Years of The Executioner

In 1969 Don Pendleton (1927-1995) penned War Against The Mafia, which ushered in an era of "men's adventure" novels, that is still going today. Since that first book, which introduced the character of Mack Bolan, and 37 subsequent books penned by Pendleton himself, there have been dozens of similar series that have come and gone, some mere imitators and knock-offs, and some genuinely original.

This year celebrates 40 years, and believe it or not, the original Executioner series is still in print, with #365 hitting the shelves in April, 2009. Through the years Mack has fought the corruption and evil of the Mafia, the KGB, the Cartels, and just about every other terrorist and criminal organization, both fictional and real, and come away with his mission accomplished. But his "War everlasting" shows no signs of slowing. And Mack and his compatriots at Stony Man Farm (made up of Able Team and Phoenix Force, who also enjoyed success with their own titles for a time, before being combined into the Stony Man novels) are still in action. their ageless, timeless adventures being penned by a stable of talented writers with a passion for justice and sense of nobility that can only be found in works of fiction.

So, I implore you all, no matter your age or taste in fiction, to head to your local book store and pick up one of these great books. They're fast-paced and easy to read, and will entertain you just as much as the best of the hardcore action movies we all love (whether secretly or openly).

You're not into that sort of thing, you say? You think you won't enjoy them because you're a woman, you say? Well, Don's widow, Linda had this to say on his official webpage (

"Don also believed that the male attraction to Bolan had to do with the innate warrior essence that has basically been lost over the centuries. Men identify with Bolan's warrior essence, even at a subliminal level, and in doing so, re-identify the male essence within self.

"Approximately forty percent of Executioner fans over the years have been women. From a woman's perspective, Bolan is the romantic hero, a man of strength and a protector–a knight in shining armor. So in a society that seems to fail to give us true heroes, Bolan fills the bill."

So head to your bookstore for the latest books, or the used bookstore if you want to start at the beginning, or even somewhere in the middle. Each book is an adventure unto itself, and aside from occasional trilogies, each book can be read and enjoyed on its own.

I also recommend heading to and seeing what's there. There's a nice list right on the front page of the most-recommended books rated by fans. That's a good place to start.

In these trying times of moral corruptness, who wouldn't enjoy a little aggressive diplomacy that can only come from the end of rifle, in the hands of men whose lives are dedicated to eradicating evil?


Linda Pendleton said...

I'm glad you've enjoyed Mack Bolan. I wanted to make a minor correction to your blog on the 40th anniversary of the Executioner Series. Don Pendleton wrote 37 of the original series of 38 novels, and the original War Book. He did not write Book # 16 (due to a law suit with his publisher at that time).

Tom said...

Wow. I stand corrected and humbled by the highest authority. Thank you, ma'am, for pointing out my error. :)