Some books are disparagingly described as “escapist”, so easy to read that they will provide an escape from present troubles or boring routine. There is an implication that “good” books must demand a more committed response from readers than merely letting themselves be distracted. Can an escapist piece of writing also be good writing? The thrillers and gothic romances of Peter O’Donnell (1920 - 2010) provide interesting matter for such a discussion.

Peter O’Donnell was born in London on 11 April 1920, and went into journalism as a teenager. He joined the Royal Corps of Signals when war broke out and served as a radio operator with the 8th Army in the Middle East. A desert encounter with a refugee girl in Persia in 1942, related in several articles and interviews, later

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Citation: Higgins, John Joseph. "Peter O'Donnell". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 September 2014 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

13388 Peter O'Donnell 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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