Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 

“The treasure which you think not worth taking trouble and pains to
find, this alone is the real treasure you are longing for all your
life. The glittering treasure you are hunting for day and night lies
buried on the other side of that hill yonder.” (p 1)

The author of this book, B. Traven, is a mystery man but his novels are some of the best moral adventure tales that I have ever read. Treasure of the Sierra Madre is his best known novel, probably due to the film version directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart. 
 In the novel three Americans down on their luck prospect for gold in the Mexican Sierra Madre. It is a psychological adventure tale as it takes us through the disintegration of one of the three, Dobbs, as the gold they find corrupts his soul. The results provide for suspense and Traven's fine delineation of character makes the story both believable and interesting. The men in the novel are particular individuals but they are recognizable as universal types. The tone of the novel is serious but not without humor. with an ironic style Traven develops a well-rounded plot. But most of all it is a story of outsiders, anarchic in its spirit. I've enjoyed both reading the novel and viewing the film and highly recommend them.

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