Today I learned that, following a lengthy illness, gamebook author Joe Dever passed away earlier this week.
The gamebook I have owned for longest is one that he wrote - Fire on the Water, the second instalment of his epic Lone Wolf saga. I had other gamebooks before that one, but they all went when I got rid of much of my collection in early adulthood. The Lone Wolf series was one of the few that I retained back then: I never even considered disposing of that set.
Lone Wolf has given me a lot of enjoyment (plus, inevitably for a gamebook series, some frustration) over the years, not to mention a good number of memories. On more than one occasion I've mentioned that time back in the 1990s when I played the original series (books 1-12) through to the end, going back to the start of the first book every time I failed, no matter how far I'd got. It's the only series I've ever tackled with such dogged commitment, and the fact that it kept me coming back, even after I lost that tricky fight in book 11, or after the umpteenth time I fell foul of that unavoidable one-in-ten chance of an arrow through the head in book 4, says something about Mr. Dever's ability to grip the imagination.
My condolences to his friends and family.