011 09/34 Fear Cay

Chuck Welch
September 30, 1994 - 1934 / bama / Bantam 001-012 / baumhofer / nanovic / novel

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It was all a great mystery. Who was this man called Dan Thunden who claimed he was one hundred and thirty years old? Did he really have the secret of the fountain of youth? What was this island called Fear Cay that spelled horror and death? What was the strange thing that turned men to bone? These were the mysteries that Doc Savage and his fearless crew had to solve at peril of their very lives.

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Comment Archive

  1. Barry Ellis says:

    Who would have thought that a nearly cenutry old man would prove to be one of Doc’s most difficult physical opponents? Old Dan Thunden wasn’t too shabby in the brains department either! Notable story for the return of Pat as well.

  2. Andrew Salmon says:

    I have to admit I love the Bantam cover of this one. Doc locked in a fight to the death with Thunden. I know one should not judge a book by its cover but one look at this one and I couldn’t wait to start reading. And it’s a Pat novel for those keeping score. And it’s good to see Doc up against someone who can challenge him at his best, brains and brawn. And did I forget to mention the flesh-eating ants? A great Doc!

  3. Scott R. Kimball says:

    A Doc classic, for sure. After reading a few chapters, at about page 40, I realized there had been more action in just 40 pages than in many complete Doc stories. And it did not stop at page 40, either, it continued right to the end of the book!
    Some Doc books I read quickly in just a few hours. But I read this book over a week period, a little each night, savoring each chapter. Doc is held prisoner for much of the last half, so the rest of the gang get lots of “screen” time, before Doc, of course, saves it all in the end. My “top ten” now has about TWENTY books in it, but I will have to find room for Fear Cay.

  4. Paurl Cook says:

    This is one of the very best Doc Savage novels. The action is non-stop throughout and Dan Thunden is wonderfully realized. And the fights on Fear Cay itself (and the fate of the villains) can’t be beat. I’d put this easily in the top ten. You could do worse than start someone who is new to Doc with this book.

  5. Mark Carpenter says:

    “Fear Cay” never really did it for me. I admit that it’s an engaging, action-packed Doc adventure, but I guess the whole premise was a little low-tech for my tastes. The Dan Thunden character is fun, but hardly a John Sunlight-level menace, and the Santini gang is just another of Dent’s patented groups of faceless thugs. However, I will admit that Dent’s description of the cay is wonderfully crafted

  6. A Cat says:

    This is a pretty good one. It has some good moments with Pat and Dan Thunden is great. The villain could be a little stronger in this one but the story is good. This book picks up when they get to Fear Cay. This is a Doc Savage book that is good to read.

  7. Lee Dorrance says:

    A good, solid, action-packed adventure that is very fun to read. Adding Pat in to the mix really added to the story as well. When Doc is nearly eaten alive by the then unknown ants creates a sense of dread that keeps you wondering throughout the rest of the story, exactly what the hell is it that would make Doc seemingly fear for his own life. The story is wrapped up very neatly as well. A must read for every Doc fan!

  8. Occasionally, a good year for Doc/Dent can still produce a clunker. FEAR CAY, for me, was possibly the low point of 1934’s output. I read it – or, more accurately, attempted to read it – at a time when Doc was new to me. Normally, any Docs I found, and they were few and far between in those days, I read avidly, enjoying every one. FEAR CAY, however, was the first Doc I never finished. It dragged… promising plot developments faltered… I put the book away. No disrespect to all you other readers, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

  9. Rich M says:

    I thought Fear Cay was a bit bland at the beginning – but turned out to be well worth hanging around till the end.  The last 7 chapters were tight and superbly crafted. There was plenty of action in the first quarter of the book – but I found it so routine that I was getting bored with it. The botched kidnapping of Doc, numerous fights, car chases and gun battles – just were not doing it for me…BUT by about Chapter 12 with the fight on the Long Island Beach involving Johnny, Pat, Dan Thunden and the Santini gang – things finally started percolating. In fact, I thought Johnny really shined in this adventure. He took several bullets to the chest (!)– and is hurt pretty good for the remainder of the story – but he hangs in and remains a key player through to the end….Also besides Doc – it was cool that Johnny was able to figure things out with the Fountain of Youth herb and got to do part of the big reveal towards the close of the book…The last half dozen or so chapters which take place in the Fear Cay tunnels are tremendous… Here Doc and the crew are dealing with no less than 3 different antagonists: Santini & his gang, the unpredictable and sort of psycho Dan Thunden – and the weird flesh eating menace that also inhabits the tunnels….As obvious as it was in retrospect,  I did not figure out the true nature of the flesh-eating menace until Doc told everybody else . Dent actually had me believing this was some sort of Star Trekian Horta/blob-like amoeba creature – lunching on everybody that fell into its path.  So in summation:  I found Fear Cay to have a somewhat cliché opening – but it paid off in dividends toward the end once Doc and Company finally got to the island. Lester rocked this conclusion…A great early Doc adventure (1934.)…. Got to find another Doc Savage book now! Maybe I’ll pick up a couple of good-reading copy Bantams from one of the Amazon vendors on line.  I’m enjoying all the Doc synopsis’ and fine Doc Savage info on this superb site. Thank you – best to all!

  10. rgdmalaysia says:

    Definitely one of my favorite Doc stories – Dan Thunden is a great villain, good use of the five plus Pat, neat device for villainy (ants) – Always a strong point in the best Docs plus the whole fountain of youth/Silphium thing. Pacing is great, moves really well and an awesome climax.

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