Day Of The Giants-Lester del Rey (1959)

lester del rey-day of the giants

First off I have to point out that the cover is misleading. There are no flying saucers here.

The Earth is being blasted by a severe winter. Wars are breaking out across the planet including Australia versus New Zealand. In the U.S. food is getting to be a precious commodity and hoarders are dealt with quickly and permanently. The Norse Gods are ready to fulfull a prophecy that will have them battling the Frost and Fire Giants for possession of the Earth.

Farmer Leif Svensen is warned by a neighbor that area farmer’s want to kill his dog Rex. The animal is suspected of killing two pigs. The man makes mention of a hallucination he had the night before. An Amazon warrior on a large white horse riding through the sky Some think it’s just a replacement for UFO sightings.

Leif’s twin brother Lee has smashed up his motorcycle and instead of getting to the farmer’s meeting to talk about his dog’s innocence since he’s been chained up the whole time, Leif sets put for the Faulkner place where Lee is getting some TLC from Gail Faulkner. On the way he meets up with a hitchhiker. Upon arriving at the Faulkner’s Leif goes into the cabin to get Lee. Outside the hitchhiker had disappeared and there aren’t any tracks in the snow. There is what looks like a giant hawk flying above.

Lee tells Leif about his experiences in France during the war. Two of his men died saving his life and he also says he’s had the same hallucination about the rider in the sky. Lee sees one of the dead men. Turns out he and the hitchhiker are one in the same, the trickster God Loki. Back at the farm the brothers get word that angry farmers are on their way to care of Rex. A battle begins and one of the Valkyrie swoops down and grabs Leif.

Now the book goes from Earth to the land of the Norse Gods. The brothers run across Odin, Thor and others that are getting ready for the battle to come. Leif gets involved with Fulla. She’s the caretaker of the sacred apple tree. Leif decides on his own to prune the tree. Fulla is horrified to see the cut off branches and thinks he’s ruined it. Leif finds out what happens what a fifty thousand year old Goddess does when she’s mad.

He gets appointed to the shop manned by dwarfs. He shows them how to make grenades. He has a mirror that reflects back on Earth but it has its limits. If he wants to read a passage in a book that instructs him how to do something he has to wait until someone opens it.

There are betrayals and many fights among the Norse including Heroes who keep killing each other only to be resurrected. It’s all in the name of training. Also, the Heroes aren’t very bright. Eventually Fulla is kidnapped by the Giants and Leif attempts a rescue. That ends with both of them in the Giants jail. Leif’s automatic pistol will come in handy for something other than firing bullets. Leif forgot to put in a new clip but it still comes in handy.

There’s the big battle to come and it’s a fast paced, exciting account. This is pure escapism and a good way to spend time with a short novel.

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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2 Responses to Day Of The Giants-Lester del Rey (1959)

  1. Joachim Boaz says:

    I think pure escapism is Del Rey in a nutshell. Did he ever produce a “mature” work?

  2. vintage45 says:

    This and “Nerves” are considered as mature as he gets.

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