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by George Barr Mccutcheon
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The fiction of George Barr McCutcheon (1866-1928) proved so popular in his day that he, along with Anthony Hope, the author of "The Prisoner of Zenda," invented a whole new genre, now called the "Graustarkian novel," a charming product of a more innocent time when the Balkans could be the scene of adventurous romances set in imaginary countries. McCutcheon's Graustark no doubt borders Hope's Ruritania and Avram Davidson's more recent Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania. It was a place where an American adventurer could find himself or herself adrift, but rapidly caught up in intrigues, captures and escapes, and the perilously-hinged destiny of (at the very least) a royal throne or two. "Graustark" is one entry in this best-selling series, which also includes "The Prince of Graustark," "Truxton King," and "Beverly of Graustark."
Mr. Grenfall Lorry boarded the east-bound express at Denver with all the air of a martyr. He had traveled pretty much all over the world, and he was not without resources, but the prospect of a twenty-five hundred mile journey alone filled him with dismay. The country he knew; the scenery had long since lost its attractions for him; countless newsboys bad failed to tempt him with the literature they thrust in his face, and as for his fellow-passengers - well, he preferred to be alone
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