Lyall, Sir Charles James, 1845-1920, British Orientalist and civil servant in India. He held various offices in India and became chief commissioner of the Central Provs. (1895-98). In London he held (1898-1910) an important post in the India Office. Lyall was a student of Arabian poetry. His works include Translations of Ancient Arabian Poetry (1885, 1930), The Diwan of Abid ibn al-Abras (1913), The Poems of Amr Son of Qamiah (1919), and The Mufaddaliyat (1921).

The Most Dangerous Game is a first person narrative novel by English author Gavin Lyall, first published in 1964.

Plot introduction

Bill Cary is a bush pilot living in Lapland in northern Finland, making a precarious living flying aerial survey flights looking for nickel deposits, and occasional charter cargo flights of dubious legitimacy in his beat-up old de Havilland Beaver. Towards the end of the flying season, a wealthy American hunter hires him to fly into a prohibited part of Finland near the Soviet border in order to hunt bear. Subsequently, he is assaulted by thugs when he refuses a charter contract to search for a lost Tsarist treasure, comes under suspicion from the Finnish police for smuggling when Tsarist-era gold sovereigns start turning up, and from the Finnish secret police for espionage. However, things get more serious when the wealthy American's hunter's beautiful sister turns up to search for her brother, and his fellow bush pilots start getting killed off in a series of suspicious accidents. Carr suspects that the events he in increasingly involved in may stem from an incident in his wartime past.

The plot of the Gavin Lyall novel is totally different from the earlier and arguably more famous The Most Dangerous Game short story about hunting humans as a sport.

Literary significance & criticism

The Most Dangerous Game was a runner-up for the British Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award in 1964.


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