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Peter O'Donnell has died. - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
Peter O'Donnell has died.
I've just seen, on ffutures LJ, that Peter O'Donnell has died. He passed away on May 3rd at the age of 90.


He was the creator of the comic strip 'Garth', which I used to read many, many, years ago, but is more famous as the creator of 'Modesty Blaise'. She first appeared in a comic strip; it was superb (approximately 4.7 billion times better than Joss Whedon's incoherent drivel, and original artist Jim Holdaway and his successor Enrique Romero were as far above Georges Jeanty as Michaelangelo was above a blind cave-dwelling neotonous gilled amphibian) but it was when he started writing the stories as novels that he reached his greatest heights.

The first novel was initially written as the script for a movie. The finished film used only one line from O'Donnell's script and it was... utterly abysmal. The novel, however, was sublime. A masterpiece of the spy caper genre - far outclassing the Bond novels. Alas the dire movie tarnished Modesty's image and, although the novels did sell millions, they failed to achieve recognition as the matchless works of genius that they were.

Towards the end of the novel series they deteriorated a little, and the villains became slightly too similar, but even the weakest of them is better than the best of any other thriller writer (except possibly Gavin Lyall at his absolute peak).

It's probably my heroine-worship of Modesty that has led me to specialise in writing stories with strong female central characters. I know none of my creations can ever match her but, if you shoot at the stars, you'll still reach a decent height even if you fall short.

Rest in piece Peter O'Donnell; if there is a Heaven I hope you are there with Modesty and Willie, Sir Gerald, Jack Fraser, Weng, Steven and Dinah Collier, Lucifer, Lady Janet, and Little Krell.

Current Location: The Treadmill
Current Music: Runrig, "News From Heaven"

3 comments or speak 2 me
ffutures From: ffutures Date: May 5th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)
He'll be missed.
cat63 From: cat63 Date: May 5th, 2010 10:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry to hear that. I really must read the Modesty books to Rob, I think he's like them too.

Did you know O'Donnell also wrote historical romance novels,under the pen name "Madeleine Brent"? They're pretty good too - I'm not a huge romance reader, but his are worth a look even if you don't much care for the genre - they generally have heroines who may need help but aren't entirely helpless and have a strong adventure element to them as well as the romance plot.
janedavitt From: janedavitt Date: May 5th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm a huge fan of his and have all his Modesty books and some of the romance thrillers he wrote under another name. This is such sad news :-(
3 comments or speak 2 me