Okay. I’m going to do it. I’m going to start reading/playing Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf adventure game books. It may have taken over three decades, but I’m going to do it.
Assuming my memory is correct, I first came across them back when I was young (pre-teen young). The odd copy would be hidden amongst all of the adventure game books I was trawling through looking for the latest Fighting Fantasy release. For some reason, I never bought one. I suspect it was part out of loyalty to Fighting Fantasy (forced by limited pocket money funds meaning I could only ever get one book at a time) and part never finding the first book of what ended up being a series of 29 interconnected books.
Then, back during my university years in the late ‘90s, on a trip to Aberaeron, I stumbled across books 18 and 20 in a second-hand bookshop. I bought them and put them on a shelf with the idea that I might be able to slowly piece together the full collection.
And there they sat.
It was some years later before I would stumble across more of them in a bookshop in Cardiff. Never more than one or two would appear at a time and never two in a row of the sequence. But over time I managed to fill some gaps. I managed to get Book One and Book Three, but was only able to bridge the gap when I came across an omnibus of Books One and Two.
The vein ran dry though, and, although I had the full run between Books One to Twelve, I had nothing from Thirteen to Seventeen, no Eighteen and nothing beyond Book Twenty.
In recent years my search has turned online, and I’ve managed to fill a few more gaps (Books Thirteen to Sixteen).
That’s not to say that Books Seventeen, Nineteen and Twenty-one onwards are unavailable. I’ve just checked on Amazon, there are copies there. The issue now is that I can’t really justify to myself spending what we’d normally spend on a weekly shop to get two books in ‘acceptable’ condition (Books Seventeen and Nineteen) and certainly can’t put down hundreds of pounds per book for Books Twenty-one onwards. If I’d known this when I was younger, I would have spent my pocket money differently – it would have been far cheaper to get the Lone Wolf books then and the Fighting Fantasy books now.
I know there are online versions of the books available. For the sake of completeness, I could play the missing books on a website. But, after all this time, it seems a little wrong, a little defeatist not to have the hardcopy.
So, I think I’m going to settle with what I have for the time being and, sometime in April, I’ll sit down and, after over thirty years of waiting to play them, start Lone Wolf Book One: Flight From the Dark. Maybe, just maybe, by the time I finish Book Sixteen, the missing books may have come down in price and I’ll be able to continue straight on with the rest of the series. If not, I’ll just have to keep on waiting.