John Gardner Books

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John Gardner was an American writer, literary critic, essayist and a university professor. His prolific writings include the 1971 novel Grendel which narrates the Beowulf myth from the monster point of view. He was born and raised in New York to a dairy farmer and a lay preacher father. His mother was an English teacher at a local school. Gardener parents were fond of Shakespeare and mostly recited Shakespeare literature together. As a child, the author attended public schools and most times worked at his father farm where his younger brother was accidentally killed y a cult packer which Gardener was driving. He carried the blame for his brother’s death which resulted in him experiencing flashbacks, nightmares his entire life. This incident formed a foundation of Gardner’s criticism and fiction.

Order of Boysie Oakes Series

1The Liquidator 1964Description / Buy
2Understrike 1965Description / Buy
3Amber Nine 1966Description / Buy
4Madrigal 1967Description / Buy
5Hideaway (Short Story) 1968Description / Buy
6Founder Member 1969Description / Buy
7Traitor's Exit 1970Description / Buy
8The Airline Pirates 1973Description / Buy
9Air Apparent 1973Description / Buy
10The Assassination File 1974Description / Buy
11A Killer for a Song 1975Description / Buy

Order of Derek Torry Series

1A Complete State of Death 1970Description / Buy
2The Corner Men 1976Description / Buy

Order of Detective Sergeant Suzie Mountford Series

1Bottled Spider 2002Description / Buy
2Streets of Town 2003Description / Buy
3Angels Dining at the Ritz 2004Description / Buy
4Troubled Midnight 2005Description / Buy
5No Human Enemy 2007Description / Buy

Order of Herbie Kruger Series

1The Nostradamus Traitor 1979Description / Buy
2The Garden of Weapons 1981Description / Buy
3The Quiet Dogs 1988Description / Buy
4Maestro 1993Description / Buy
5Confessor 1995Description / Buy

Order of Professor Moriarty Series

1The Return of Moriarty 1974Description / Buy
2The Revenge of Moriarty 1975Description / Buy
3Moriarty 2008Description / Buy

Order of Railton Family Series

1The Secret Generations 1985Description / Buy
2The Secret Houses 1987Description / Buy
3The Secret Families 1989Description / Buy

Order of James Bond (Extended) Series

1Colonel Sun ( By: Kingsley Amis) 1968Description / Buy
2License Renewed 1981Description / Buy
3For Special Services 1982Description / Buy
4Icebreaker 1983Description / Buy
5Role of Honor 1984Description / Buy
6Nobody Lives Forever 1986Description / Buy
7No Deals, Mr. Bond 1987Description / Buy
8Scorpius 1988Description / Buy
9Licence to Kill 1989Description / Buy
10Win, Lose or Die 1989Description / Buy
11Brokenclaw 1990Description / Buy
12The Man from Barbarossa 1991Description / Buy
13Death Is Forever 1992Description / Buy
14Never Send Flowers 1993Description / Buy
15SeaFire 1994Description / Buy
16GoldenEye 1995Description / Buy
17Cold Fall 1996Description / Buy
18Zero Minus Ten ( By: Raymond Benson) 1997Description / Buy
19Tomorrow Never Dies ( By: Raymond Benson) 1997Description / Buy
20The Facts of Death ( By: Raymond Benson) 1998Description / Buy
21The World is Not Enough ( By: Raymond Benson) 1999Description / Buy
22High Time to Kill ( By: Raymond Benson) 1999Description / Buy
23Doubleshot ( By: Raymond Benson) 2000Description / Buy
24Never Dream of Dying ( By: Raymond Benson) 2001Description / Buy
25The Man With the Red Tattoo ( By: Raymond Benson) 2002Description / Buy
26Die Another Day ( By: Raymond Benson) 2002Description / Buy
27Devil May Care ( By: Sebastian Faulks) 2008Description / Buy
28Carte Blanche ( By: Jeffery Deaver) 2011Description / Buy
29Solo ( By: William Boyd) 2013Description / Buy
30Trigger Mortis ( By: Anthony Horowitz) 2015Description / Buy
31Forever and a Day ( By: Anthony Horowitz) 2018Description / Buy

Order of John Gardner Standalone Novels

1The Censor 1972Description / Buy
2Every Night's a Bullfight 1973Description / Buy
3The Director 1973Description / Buy
4To Run a Little Faster 1976Description / Buy
5The Werewolf Trace 1977Description / Buy
6The Dancing Dodo 1979Description / Buy
7Golgotha 1980Description / Buy
8The Last Trump 1980Description / Buy
9Blood of the Fathers 1992Description / Buy
10Day of Absolution 2001Description / Buy

Order of Best American Short Stories Series

1The Best Short Stories of 1915 1916Description / Buy
2The Best Short Stories of 1916 1916Description / Buy
3The Best Short Stories of 1917 1917Description / Buy
4The Best Short Stories of 1918 1918Description / Buy
5The Best Short Stories of 1919 1919Description / Buy
6The Best Short Stories of 1921 1921Description / Buy
7The Best Short Stories of 1922 1922Description / Buy
8The Best Short Stories of 1923 1923Description / Buy
9The Best Short Stories 1924 1924Description / Buy
10The Best Short Stories of 1925 1925Description / Buy
11The Best Short Stories 1926 1926Description / Buy
12The Best Short Stories 1927 1927Description / Buy
13The Best Short Stories of 1928 1928Description / Buy
14The Best Short Stories of 1929 1929Description / Buy
15The Best Short Stories 1930 1930Description / Buy
16The Best Short Stories 1931 1931Description / Buy
17The Best Short Stories of 1932 1932Description / Buy
18The Best Short Stories 1933 1933Description / Buy
19The Best Short Stories 1934 1934Description / Buy
20The Best Short Stories 1935 1935Description / Buy
21The Best Short Stories 1936 1936Description / Buy
22The Best Short Stories 1937 1937Description / Buy
23The Best Short Stories of 1938 1938Description / Buy
2450 Best American Short Stories, 1915-1939 1939Description / Buy
25The Best Short Stories 1939 1939Description / Buy
26The Best Short Stories of 1940 1940Description / Buy
27The Best Short Stories 1941 1941Description / Buy
28The Best American Short Stories 1942 1942Description / Buy
29The Best American Short Stories 1943 1943Description / Buy
30The Best American Short Stories 1944 1944Description / Buy
31The Best American Short Stories 1945 1945Description / Buy
32The Best American Short Stories 1946 1946Description / Buy
33The Best American Short Stories 1947 1947Description / Buy
34The Best American Short Stories 1948 1948Description / Buy
35The Best American Short Stories 1949 1949Description / Buy
36The Best American Short Stories 1950 1950Description / Buy
37The Best American Short Stories 1951 1951Description / Buy
38The Best American Short Stories 1952 1952Description / Buy
39The Best American Short Stories 1953 1953Description / Buy
40The Best American Short Stories 1955 1955Description / Buy
41The Best American Short Stories 1956 1956Description / Buy
42The Best American Short Stories 1957 1957Description / Buy
43The Best American Short Stories 1958 1958Description / Buy
44The Best American Short Stories 1959 1959Description / Buy
45The Best American Short Stories 1960 1960Description / Buy
46The Best American Short Stories 1961 1961Description / Buy
47The Best American Short Stories 1962 1962Description / Buy
48The Best American Short Stories 1963 1963Description / Buy
49The Best American Short Stories 1964 1964Description / Buy
50The Best American Short Stories 1965 1965Description / Buy
51The Best American Short Stories 1966 1966Description / Buy
52The Best American Short Stories 1967 1967Description / Buy
53The Best American Short Stories 1968 1967Description / Buy
54The Best American Short Stories of 1969 1969Description / Buy
55The Best American Short Stories 1970 1970Description / Buy
56The Best American Short Stories 1971 1971Description / Buy
57The Best American Short Stories 1972 1972Description / Buy
58The Best American Short Stories 1973 1973Description / Buy
59The Best American Short Stories 1974 1974Description / Buy
60The Best of Best American Short Stories 1915-1950 1975Description / Buy
61The Best American Short Stories 1975 1975Description / Buy
62The Best American Short Stories 1976 1976Description / Buy
63The Best American Short Stories 1977 1977Description / Buy
64The Best American Short Stories 1978 1978Description / Buy
65The Best American Short Stories 1979 1979Description / Buy
66The Best American Short Stories 1980 1980Description / Buy
67The Best American Short Stories 1981 1981Description / Buy
68The Best American Short Stories 1982 1982Description / Buy
69The Best American Short Stories 1983 1983Description / Buy
70The Best American Short Stories 1984 1984Description / Buy
71The Best American Short Stories 1985 1985Description / Buy
72The Best American Short Stories 1986 1986Description / Buy
73The Best American Short Stories 1987 1987Description / Buy
74The Best American Short Stories 1988 1988Description / Buy
75The Best American Short Stories 1989 1989Description / Buy
76The Best American Short Stories of the Eighties 1990Description / Buy
77The Best American Short Stories 1990 1990Description / Buy
78The Best American Short Stories 1991 1991Description / Buy
79The Best American Short Stories 1992 1992Description / Buy
80The Best American Short Stories 1993 1993Description / Buy
81The Best American Short Stories 1994 1994Description / Buy
82The Best American Short Stories 1995 1995Description / Buy
83The Best American Short Stories 1996 1996Description / Buy
84The Best American Short Stories 1997 1997Description / Buy
85The Best American Short Stories 1998 1998Description / Buy
86The Best American Short Stories 1999 1999Description / Buy
87The Best American Short Stories 2000 2000Description / Buy
88The Best American Short Stories of the Century 2000Description / Buy
89The Best American Short Stories 2001 2001Description / Buy
90The Best American Short Stories 2002 2002Description / Buy
91The Best American Short Stories 2003 2003Description / Buy
92The Best American Short Stories 2004 2004Description / Buy
93The Best American Short Stories 2005 2005Description / Buy
94The Best American Short Stories 2006 2006Description / Buy
95The Best American Short Stories 2007 2007Description / Buy
96The Best Short Stories of 1921, and the Yearbook of the American Short Story 2007Description / Buy
97The Best American Short Stories 1921 2007Description / Buy
98The Best American Short Stories 2008 2008Description / Buy
99The Best American Short Stories 2009 2009Description / Buy
100The Best American Short Stories 2010 2010Description / Buy
101The Best American Short Stories 2011 2011Description / Buy
102The Best American Short Stories 2012 2012Description / Buy
103The Best American Short Stories 2013 2013Description / Buy
104The Best American Short Stories 2014 2014Description / Buy
105The Best American Short Stories 2015 2015Description / Buy
106100 Years of The Best American Short Stories 2015Description / Buy
107The Best American Short Stories 2016 2016Description / Buy
108The Best American Short Stories 2017 2017Description / Buy
109The Best American Short Stories 2018 2018Description / Buy
110The Best American Short Stories 2019 2019Description / Buy
111The Best American Short Stories 2020 2020Description / Buy

Order of John Gardner Non-Fiction Books

1On Writers and Writing 1994Description / Buy
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Gardner started his university studies at DePauw University, but he received his degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1995. He got his Ph.D. from the University of Lowa and later became a distinguished professor.

John Gardner best-known books include The Sunlight Dialogues which narrates the story of a disaffected cop who is asked to confront a madman who is fluent in classical mythology. October Light tells the story of an embittered sister and brother living and clashing with each other in Vermont. Gardner died in a motorcycle accident two miles from his home in Susquehanna County on 14th September 1982.


October Light was the winner of the 1976 National Book Critics Circle Award.


These are three best books written by John Gardner, Mickelsson’s Ghosts, Nickel Mountain and Grendel.

Mickelson’s Ghost: The last novel that John Gardner wrote before his tragic death. The book narrates the sad tale of Peter Mickelsson, a once an upcoming philosopher, now a lecturer at Binghamton University divorced and almost broke, drunk, hounded by I.R.S and probably going mad. As the book opens up, Peter is seeking refuge from the heat of his apartment that his money had forced him to take, from the 3rd floor of an old house on Binghamton West Side- the beautiful part of the town.

With that move, Peter Mickelson finds himself in a strange territory, in the midst of water diviners, occasional religious cults and rumored haunting and soon discovers that the house he is living in is said to be haunted. Peter, the proud philosopher, starts a romantic affair with a young prostitute, a former colleague from the University. He starts contemplating robbing a man his money and begins seeing the rumored ghosts. His life is crashing down, and not his philosophy can save him.

John Gardner weaves one beautiful tale of a tortured soul. The novel is beautifully written, the story is sad, suspenseful, funny and philosophical as well.

Nickel Mountain: This is a remarkable love story. At the age of 42, the obese and anxious Henry marries Callie Wells, a 17 year old girl expecting a child of another man. It is more than the age difference that defines the distance between them. However, the beauty of this book is the revelation of the bond that forms as the two incredible couple experiences courtship and marriage, the birth of a son, forgiveness, isolation, and work. The plot eventually turns out tragic, possibly due to the acts of will or accidents involving a cast of character that includes a religious hysteric, an amputee veteran, and a roving goat lady. Questions of innocence, guilt, redemption, and humility begin to arise which results in the discovery of grace by Henry Soames.

Grendel: This is the retelling of an epic poem “Beowulf” told from the Grendel point of view. The poem was written between 8th and 11th century. In this novel, the narrator, a monster has been residing in a cave with his mother. He listens to Shapers; a blind harpist narrates a beautiful tale about ancient warriors. Upon reaching adulthood, he asks the philosophical question of a dragon that has a fatalistic point of view of life. This makes Grendel confused as he has heard Shapers heroic view in his narration. The dragon rewards Grendel with a magical gift such that no weapons could penetrate his skin.

Sharper narrates the tale of the sons of Adam, Cain, and Abel. Humans are the descendants of Abel, while Grendel is the descendant of Cain and even though the look different, Grendel and the humans shared a common language, heritage and ways of thinking. Grendel always felt lonely and isolated and found life boring since he had no companions to share with. Grendel would keep an eye on the Scyldings and attacked them for 12 years, until the day when Beowulf and Geats arrive to help Scyldings bring an end to the monster.

When Does The Next John Gardner book come out?

John Gardner doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Liquidator and was released on November, 25th 2010. It is the newest book in the Boysie Oakes Series.

1 thought on “John Gardner”

  1. I give Gardner credit for his foray into the Bond series, but unfortunately his efforts fell flat. I will admit I only read the first book in the series so far, but it didn’t blow me away. I have yet to decide if I’ll continue reading the series, but perhaps I’ll take a break and venture into some of Gardner’s other books. Any suggestions as to where to being are appreciated.

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