The Nine Unknown by Talbot Mundy (Heathen Edition)

The Nine Unknown

Spine #36
Talbot Mundy
First Edition
Heathen Edition
December 9, 2022
February 12, 2024
Heathen Genera
Paperback ISBN
Hardcover ISBN

“My friend, I will tell you something,” said Ghandava. “There are hundreds of thousands of books, each one of which would come within your definition. There are libraries in crypts beneath the desert sands, that represent the knowledge of nations that disappeared before Atlantis took shape. There are books whose very alphabet fewer than nine men know, written in a language compared to which Sanskrit is a modern tongue. There are individual books among those that contain more true scientific knowledge than all the works of all the modern chemists and metallurgists put together. If you had all the books you would have no building big enough to contain a tenth of them. And if you were twenty years old you would not have time to learn the wisdom contained in one book—which book, however, it is not within your power to find.”

Talbot Mundy (born William Lancaster Gribbon, 1879-1940) was a world-traveling Englishman and, before he found writing, a scoundrel with a rap sheet virtually as long as his future literary output—fraud, impersonation, swindling, adultery, bigamy, imprisonment, even deportation from Africa!—before emigrating to the United States in 1909, where gambling with New York gangsters netted him a nearly fatal beating and a radical, life-altering opportunity: a reporter that covered the incident was so impressed with Mundy’s globe-trotting tales that he lent him a typewriter and urged him to write while nursing his wounds. Mundy seized the moment and never looked back, becoming one of the most prolific pulp writers of the 1920s, producing 19 novel-length stories between 1921 and 1923 alone! Not least among them was The Nine Unknown, wherein a priest tasks Jimgrim and his motley cohorts with discovering where the world’s supply of gold and silver is disappearing, which will lead, most assuredly, to the fabled Nine Unknown Men and, more importantly, their nine books of secret Ancient Wisdom which the priest seeks to destroy. However, what they discover is something more valuable than precious metals, and why the Nine Unknown is far more than legend.
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"The Nine Unknown is an occult thriller for fans of the Indiana Jones movies."
Michael Dirda
The Washington Post
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