The Thriller, afterwards The Thriller Library, was a large-format weekly paper magazine, published by the Amalgamated Press, including fictional stories of espionage, and crime and detective fiction. In its day, it featured many celebrated writers of the genre, including Leslie Charteris, Victor Gunn, Edgar Wallace, Hugh Clevely, Francis Gerard and Sydney Horler.
The magazine ran from 1929 until 1940. The early issues are noticeable for the higher quality of the printing stock compared to the wartime issues. The extent of the magazine was also reduced from the start of the War onwards, shortening from 24 pages down to 20, until worsening paper shortages resulted in the magazine’s eventual demise.
As well as the excellent stories, one of the great things I love about The Thriller Library, is its advertisements. There is a simplicity and naivety about them that is missing from a modern-day advertising industry, which has become too knowing.
The images below are from issues of The Thriller Library from 1940 and feature a campaign to promote the Milky Way chocolate bar through a series of Catchphrase-style combinations of pictures and letters.
Personally, I’ve always found these kind of word puzzles rather tricky. Best Big Bar. Okay, I’ve got that. But what are these other ones? Gwind Candy Bar?
© Fergus Longfellow
Book expert, Fergus Longfellow, struggles to make sense of his letters.