I have been updating my main Victor Canning site (http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/wordscape/canning/index.html) by putting in data about months as they pass. For November I inserted this:

November 2016: the word November occurs 36 times in Canning’s works, including this from the short story “The Man who Hated Time”.

“He had got the all-clear signal and had his hand on the car door, about to get in and drive off, when all over [Dover Harbour], which had been the usual pandemonium of customs clearing, there was a mad wail of sirens for a few seconds, and then everything stopped. Chris Selby didn’t have to be told what it was. In those days the war wasn’t long past, and when the sirens went at eleven o’clock on the morning of November the eleventh everybody stopped and there was silence for two minutes. There really was silence. Even the seagulls stopped bawling their heads off. Chris Selby and the officer stood by the car like a couple of wax figures, and you could have heard a pin drop. No one did drop a pin, but Chris and the officer heard something else. From the car, not loud enough for anyone else to hear, it’s true, but loud enough to do the damage, came the gentle sound of five thousand watches ticking, all carefully wound by the half-witted Audiat brothers who wanted to please the anglais by making sure that he had watches that worked as well as looked good.”

Having the whole of Victor Canning’s output as text files (legally acquired) makes it easy to do this kind of search using AntConc.


I have been mounting a Victor Canning web site since about 1999, but with little interaction. This is me trying to find out who is reading Canning’s books and what they think of them.

First of all, which one book is his best, the one that should be saved from a conflagration?