MIKE BENASQUE

 
Full Name: Michael Benasque
Nationality: British
Organization: Outspeak Magazine
Occupation Reporter

Creator: Alan Caillou
Time Span: 1960 - 1979
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Mike Benasque is a journalist.
       He has the press credentials to prove it and he has worked as one many times over the years. He has also been out of work as one for what seems almost as long. He is quite good at writing and extremely good at digging deep where no one wants him and finding the facts that he would write about later. This makes him very popular with publishers. He also loves to tell his bosses what he thinks of them, no matter who they are, and what he thinks is not very much. This makes him very unpopular with publishers. Hence his frequent unemployment.
       An good example of why he occasionally/frequently is in need of new employment comes from just before the beginning of the series when he talks a magazine into sending him to Caracas to write a series of tourist pieces, only to pick as a must-see locale a dive owned by a friend, a dive where the magazine's editor had been cheated and robbed a year before. The editor had no sense of humor and Benasque was stuck in Venezuela with little money and no job.
       Benasque is in his late 30s to early 40s when the series starts. He felt he had paid his dues almost two decades before when he worked undercover with the O.S.S. during the war where he had gotten shot at enough times to last him, thank you very much. He had no desire to repeat that excitement but it sometimes is not up to him to decide. He is British by birth though with a French mother making him citizen of both countries. He says in one book that he has been to so many countries and lived in so many places he really cannot remember what nation he started in.
       Without a doubt, Benasque loves to drink. Being routinely broke, he is always looking for a free meal and a comfortable place to sleep but mostly he is looking for a free drink. And ladies. He loves ladies and they love him. He is happiest when he finds an interested lady who has something to drink.
       Benasque has great timing on things. He also has a tremendous knack for getting in the middle of international affairs without meaning to. Whether it was intentional or not, though, the trouble is definitely after him. So are the ladies. And the pink slips.

BOOKS

Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1960
Last Appearance:1979

1 The Plotters The Plotters
Written by Alan Caillou
Copyright: 1960

Being out of work and hungry, Benasque was open to the idea of earning a quick buck and besides, revolutions are a dime a dozen. This one, though, sees him in far deeper than he expected as he is pushed to help overthrow a dictator.

2 Marseilles Marseilles
Written by Alan Caillou
Copyright: 1964

Broke and out of work again, this time Benasque is in London trying to find work when he is offered a good paying position working for an anti-Communist magazine called The Outspeak. The publisher wants information about a terrorist group in Marseilles called the Companions.

3 Who'll Buy My Evil Who'll Buy My Evil
Written by Alan Caillou
Copyright: 1966

In Rome living with his girlfriend, Karen, and her sister, Benasque is out of work as usual and so are the sisters. Trying to earn some cash taking pictures, Karen accidentally snaps an attempted murder. Now someone wants that picture and Benasque and Karen are in the middle of another Arab-Israeli battle.

4 Diamonds Wild Diamonds Wild
Written by Alan Caillou
Copyright: 1979

The editor of Outspeak approaches Benasque wanting an article about the smuggling of rare gems. Investigating it, he becomes a partner to the beautiful Christine and ends up on a wild ride from Paris to Athens with millions of dollars in diamonds strapped to his crotch.

MY COMMENTS

       I have liked Mr. Caillou's writing for four decades and re-reading the Benasque adventures was a lot of fun. The times have changed but people don't and it is possible to see much of the same things happening now. I am just glad I am not Benasque. I am especially glad that I do not have Benasque's liver. Or his lungs.
       The books about Benasque contained a great deal of wry humor. He doesn't take any that seriously, including himself. He never believes anybody, especially himself. He likes all women and, with a couple of drinks in him, most men. He is a fun character to follow and Mr. Caillou did a great job of writing him.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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