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The novel is about colonists on Venus. The main characters are two young boys. The boys make friends with a comical, monkey-like primitive native, and also meet a crazy human hermit character. The characters are captured by a hostile native tribe, and offered to the tribe's giant snake monster god. As I recall, the hero kills the monster with a grenade.

I read this novel when I was in the fifth grade (in the early 1970s), as part of an advanced reading program, but the book's style seems earlier, from the 1940s or 50s perhaps. This was a hardcover novel, and as far as I can remember the jacket illustration was a simple sketch, almost a line drawing, with green and beige, showing the snake monster. I recall no interior illustrations. Trappers of Venus does not ring any bell for me. The writing style, as I remember it, seems reminiscent of Lester Del Rey.

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This is 'Ark of Venus' by Clyde B. Clason (1955). It's all there - Venus, the monkey-people, the hermit, the giant snake, the grenades. 'He reached into his pocket for the one grenade he had left. He pulled out the ring and hurled the bomb straight into cavernous mouth. There was a muffled explosion and then, miraculously, the snake had no head.' One of my favorite '50s YA novels.

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    There are two editions of this book. The first features the monkey-people and a space ship while the second is a line drawing of the giant snake. Mar 24, 2023 at 5:55
  • Thanks, this is the one! I've been trying to identify this title for fifty years. Mar 24, 2023 at 15:26

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