Re: RARA-AVIS: Trevanian

From: Steve Novak (
Date: 22 Feb 2005

> found this:
> written under the Trevanian pen name
> [2000] Hot Night in the City (short story collection)
> [1998] Incident at Twenty-Mile
> [1983] The Summer of Katya
> [1979] Shibumi
> [1976] The Main
> [1973] Loo Sanction
> [1972] The Eiger Sanction
> Books written under the Nicholas Seare pen name
> 1339Š Or So: An Apology for a Pedlar
> Rude Tales and Glorious
> Trevanian (Rodney Whitaker; vel Nicholas Seare)
> imdb gives the following info
> Biography for
> Rod Whitaker
> Birth name
> J B Savage
> born in 1925
> Spouse
> Diane
> (? - ?)
> Where are they now
> Living in the Pyrenees with Diane; last novel was "Incident at Twenty-Mile",
> 1998. Edited "Death Dance", 2002.
> from this site:
> I've been reading Trevanian's work on and off since 1977, when I first
> discovered THE EIGER SANCTION on a visit to Switzerland. To those in this
> forum for whom Trevanian is a relatively new discovery, I offer these
> thoughts.
> 1. WHO IS HE ... REALLY?
> In the wake of the release of INCIDENT AT TWENTY MILE, there's been much
> speculation about Trevanian's true identity. Some have claimed he's Rod
> Whittaker, a film professor from the University of Texas. Others are sure he's
> a retired CIA operative living in exile in the remote Basque mountains of
> France. Still others have worked frantically to piece together certain
> recurring autobiographical "tidbits" from his novels in the hope that these
> might allow a fuller portrait to emerge.
> I've lately come to the (humble) opinion that Trevanian's "real" identity
> doesn't actually matter. You don't have to know who someone is in order to
> appreciate his/her writing. This is especially true of Trevanian: he's a
> writer's writer.
> Apparently, Trevanian has released books under at least one other pseudonym I
> know of: that of Nicholas Seare. The one I've read (RUDE TALES AND GLORIOUS)
> is a hilarious send-up of the Arthurian story cycle. (One story, "Sir Gervais
> and the Enchanted Forest" appears in HOT NIGHT--more or less an admission that
> Trevanian and Nick Seare are one in the same.)
> RUDE TAILS is available on, and I'd highly recommend it. It's more
> of a comic novel than (say) SHIBUMI, but if you appreciate the flecks of humor
> that sparkle in Trevanian's more dramatic works, you'll love RUDE TALES.
> The other Seare book is entitled 1339 ... OR SO. I haven't read it. It's out
> of print and it costs a mint--the lowest used price I've found so far is $90.
> Fortunately, I'm perverse enough to lavish that kind of money on a beloved
> author's work. When I finally do purcase it, I'll log on and let you know if
> it's worth the price of the ticket.
> Trevanian did an online interview when TWENTY MILE came out, claiming he's
> working on a four book cycle that takes place in 19th century France. (I seem
> to recall a working title: STREET OF FOUR WINDS ... or something like that.)
> He didn't mention a release date. But it's nice knowing it's out there,
> somewhere, rising in the oven.
> In the three decades since discovering Trevanian's work, I've been through
> many changes. But a love of this gentleman's work has remained with me.
> Nowadays, I'm a writer working on my fourth book. And as I've pulled myself
> through the drudgery of final edits and reviewing galleys while summoning
> energy for the next foray, I've found myself rediscovering and rereading
> Trevanian's works. To say they're great fodder for inspiration is an
> understatement.
> I'm three quarters of the way through SHIBUMI (--my first reading in many
> years--) and I'm even more impressed than I was when I first read it in 1979.
> It ages well--and is surprisingly prescient, given recent events.
> I wish you all ... happy reading.
> Kind regards,
> __
> Joe Mason
> and finally:
> Trevanian
> From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
> Dr. Rodney Whitaker (1925) better known by his most notorious pen name
> Trevanian is an American spy novelist. He has also published as Nicholas Seare
> and Benat Le Cagat.
> After serving in the Korean War, Whitaker completed his MA and PhD in
> Communications. Formerly a film professor at the University of Texas at
> Austin, he now resides in the Basque lands of Spain, the setting of his novels
> "Shibumi" and "The Summer of Katya."
> He has written many best-sellers, one of which The Eiger Sanction was made
> into a 1975 movie staring Clint Eastwood. Trevanian described the movie as
> "vapid" in a footnote in Shibumi. Interestingly, he requested (and received) a
> screenwriting credit as Rod Whitaker. The balance of the script was written by
> Warren Murphy, the mystery author perhaps best known for co-writing the
> Destroyer series of men's action novels, also about a different sarcastic
> assassin.
> Trevanian kept his true identity unknown for many years, and refused to grant
> interviews. It was often rumored that he was actually Robert Ludlum using a
> pen name. However, he wrote at length about his fiction career and writing
> methods in an article for Publisher's Weekly, while promoting his comeback
> novel, "Incident At Twenty-Mile." This is the one of only two substantial
> sources of biographical information for the reclusive author, the other being
> his entry in Contemporary Authors.
> [edit]
> Nonfiction
> (As Rod Whitaker) "The Language of Film"
> [edit]
> Novels
> ? The Eiger Sanction (1972)
> ? The Loo Sanction (1973)
> ? The Main (1976)
> ? Shibumi (1979)
> ? The Summer of Katya (1983)
> ? Incident at Twenty-Mile (1998)
> ? Hot Night in the City (2000)
> As Nicholas Seare:
> 1339; Being An Apology for A Pedlar (also a play)
> Rude Tales And Glorious

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Feb 2005 EST