Gerald Glaskin’s first book, A World of Our Own, was published when he was 31 years old and his last, A Many-Splendoured Woman: A Memoir of Han Suyin, when he was 71. In the intervening 40 years, he had 18 more books published — novels, novellas, short stories, plays, travelogues, memoirs and a trilogy on parapsychology. He also tried his hand at screenplays and a musical. In Europe, a number of his books were translated into Danish, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Six of his titles were optioned for film rights but only one, A Waltz through the Hills, was produced, as a television drama. In addition, Glaskin left a number of unpublished works, including four novels, three plays, three collections of short stories, two memoirs, a travelogue, a musical and several essays.
Sales figures for his books are difficult to determine due to the incomplete nature of records but it is clear that some books did particularly well, others modestly so, and a few were commercial failures. His debut novel, A World of Our Own, went into three hardcover editions and reputedly sold 12,000 copies in English. A Dutch publisher printed 120,000 copies and the Norwegian edition reportedly sold 45,000 copies. With A Waltz through the Hills, Glaskin’s British publisher quickly ran through three editions of 5,000 each, before both Penguin and Heinemann picked it up. But his most successful book in terms of sales was probably Flight to Landfall, thanks in large part to Reader’s Digest, which published approximately 850,000 copies in condensed form in 14 editions worldwide.
It is one of the most interesting manuscripts that has come into my hands for a long time. His great virtue as a novelist comes from a complete imaginative abandon to his people and scenes. His characters are very much alive. He is one of those writers who, without any effort at all, breathes in, as the French neo-realists say, the odour of man.
It is a quite notable addition to Australian fiction, not only because it is written well but because it deals with a refreshing subject...his vignettes of minor characters are extremely good...[the novel is] marked by sharp observation, candour and an enviable ability to maintain suspense.
…honest, sensual, beautiful and desperately tragic.
Mr. Glaskin shows an understanding of the problems not only of Singapore but of South-East Asia, and of their relation to his own country, which promises well for the future of Australia as a power for good in that vast part of the globe.
Almost magical understanding of the process of children’s minds.
Mr. Glaskin hammers all the nails home with swift, well-directed bangs. And there is never a nail too many.
He steps right into Neville Shute’s shoes…really deserves that old cliché of ‘unputdownable’.
Mr. Glaskin has already established himself as one of the best contemporary Australian writers. His handling of character in these two gripping and very disturbing novels shows just how good he is.
In a real sense No End to the Way was the first Australian gay novel and it was available not just to the cognoscenti or to prowlers in the library stacks, but to fathers of three stopping off at a railway kiosk on the way home from work, to men in the suburbs curious about their own sexual inclinations — in other words, to ordinary Australian readers.
The ace of Australian story-tellers has produced another…it is as close a shave as you can comfortably endure.
He possesses a vivid and original imagination. but the reality of his backgrounds give the ring of authority...Glaskin is a first-class story-teller.
Gerald Marcus Glaskin