News: Reader’s Digest publishes ‘Outlaws Inc’ in 26 languages as its Autumn adventure read

International literary selection Reader’s Digest has published a condensed version of Outlaws Inc. in its Autumn edition… and brought its international detective story home.


The condensed extract is published in Norwegian, Swedish, Slovenian (a taster for the translation is here), Russian, French, Dutch, Hungarian, Finnish, Czech, Slovak, Polish, German, Italian, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, and a host of other languages. In the New Year, it will see publication in Thai, Mandarin, Cantonese and other Far Eastern languages, as well as for parts of Africa.


The extracts come with some incredible, atmospheric new illustrations inspired by the action, supplied by Bryan Christie Design of New York – that’s one of Bryan’s illustrations at the head of this post, and more of his work is here.


It’s a big moment for me. While Outlaws Inc. has been translated into several languages as a full book, having it read by people in some of the countries central to its investigative trail through the secret world of international arms smuggling – from the Far East to Russia itself – is an honour. I guess I hope some of its findings hit home in the heartland of the operations I followed, as they have elsewhere. It’s undeniably thrilling, even a little strange, seeing the story printed in Cyrillic. I sort of feel like I need to wish it luck in there.


But it’s more personal than that too. My grandma was a lifetime subscriber to Reader’s Digest‘s condensed selection of books, and it loomed large throughout my childhood. She was its biggest fan. I remember cutting my reading teeth on some of the non-fiction adventure stories in the copies she always had at her house. Jaws was one extract I read, back when it was new. There was another called The Sea Shall Not Have Them, too. I don’t remember much about it, but I remember the story had the same kind of outer darkness that hung over Mickey and the pilots I tracked. that In a way, I think that more than my writing the book – and perhaps more than any good it has (or hasn’t) done in the battle against global weapons smuggling – I think this would have been the seal of approval that made her proud.


So thanks, Reader’s Digest. And thanks, Grandma.



2 thoughts on “News: Reader’s Digest publishes ‘Outlaws Inc’ in 26 languages as its Autumn adventure read

  1. Tomorrow I’ll take my newly purchased cc of Outlaws Inc. to lunch at Williamstown on Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay. Two of the diners will be old school friends who both became pilots, one with Lufthansa, one with Australia’s old Bureau of Air Safety Investigation. Your book covers much of their working life-time. The Lufthansa guy had to re-train East German pilots (who apparently flew five crew to a cockpit, inc Commissar for politically correct flying), in order for these jokers to join the West German pilots, who flew 2 per cockpit and who could scarcely stand to speak to the ‘Stalinist’ fellows. Tomorrow my pleasure will be in listening to the flood of anecdotes released by the mere sight of your book. Now I’ll go read it. best wishes. fgh

  2. Dear Frank,
    I just wanted to write a few lines here to thank you for your interesting comment on the site. Your friends’ experiences with the old East German aircrews sound pretty amazing, and the conversation must have been quite something. Well, I do hope you find some interesting stuff in the book, and in any case, if you should find yourself in London it’ll be my pleasure to stand you a beer. Very best regards, and cheers. Matt

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