Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Revisit the Pulps with Doc Savage

I have a collection of books that I reserve for those times when I am feeling somewhat down. Winter. Cold. Snowy. Blehh. The Doc Savage Series by Kenneth Robeson have a place on hthis shelf.

For me the Doc Savage books always takes me back to being 12 years old, sitting around the house in the summer and reading comic books and adventure novels with my best friend Tom. We took turns buying the Doc Savage books, which were avaiable at a local used bookstore for a quarter, and shared most of the series.

As the years went by I lost most of these books in various moves, but last year one of our customers asked if I knew anyone who would be interested in a set of books that he no longer wanted, which turned out to be an almost complete set (over 160 books) of Doc Savage. I jumped at the chance to acquire them.

For those of you who didn't read these, either in the 30s and 40s when they rivaled Superman and the Shadow as heroes for the american teenager or in the 70s and 80s when Bantam re-released them, Doc Savage and his 5 companions travelled the world, using their brains and skills to right wrongs.

The books definitely hark back to a more innocent time. Doc Savage is not a superman with special powers, but a highly trained man who spends time training his mind and body to fight crime. Trained from a young age to build his mental and physical powers, he also has mysterious sources of wealth and a host of cool gagets. His 5 companions are masters of Chemistry, Law, Engineering, Archeology and Electricity.

I just finished #28, The Deadly Dwarf. An evil criminal mastermind lures Doc and his men to a tropical island where a new, undiscovered element that counteracts the force of gravity is uncovered. After losing out on the initial race to posses this element, Doc has to devise a way to protect the world from the distruction that awaits. High adventure, toppling buildings, beautiful women and of course, good triumphing in the end are all part of the story.

We always try to have at least a few Doc Savage books in the store, and at around 120 pages they are a quick and fun read.



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