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Hard-boiled W. R. Burnett appears to be going soft. This, supposedly a rough-and-tumble romance of the Alaskan 1890's, proves little more than an affable adventure for adolescents, generally those of any age. To be sure, the dialogue's folksy, the prose tight and action bumpy, the scenery wide-as-all-out-doors, the characters brawling and bawdy by turns, but the old social savagery, the stark and sardonic trade marks have been buried in them thar hills and mines. We gather Traven's minor masterpiece The Treasure of Sierra Madre probably inspired this, yet if Goldseekers resembles anything, it's Rex Beach's nickelodeon free-for-all The Spoilers. The participants, in any case, run the gamut: stalwart Jim, lecherous schoolboyish Lloyd, and Nollys, the crafty Old Man, saddled up with maps, routes and the lure of . From Seattle to Ft. Yukon, from there to Circle City and 40 Mile; along the way, Lloyd falls for a luscious little half-breed, Hoxle fusses and fumes, finally opts for civilized , the Old Man dies. Only Jim sees it through, winding up both really rugged and really rich. Neither a bust nor a boom, it is a somewhat engaging, somewhere in-the-middle entertainment.

Publisher: Doubleday