054 07/37 He Could Stop The World

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The world was imperiled by a terrifying, malevolent force that had the power to change men’s minds. Even Doc Savage’s own men willingly deserted him when struck by the waves of the Mind Changing Monster. High in the Sierras, he lived in an incredible fortress — ruthless, omnipotent, preparing to rule the world. But he hadn’t reckoned on the superhuman powers of the Man of Bronze.


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  1. Barry Ellis

    Another GREAT “ghosted” story. Doc against a TRULY world-threatening menace! Wonderful “psuedo-science” abounds! Doc at his scientific/heroic best! Read this story and see if you don’t think it would make a visually stunning movie! Flash Gordon had NOTHING on this one…

  2. Thomas Fortenberry

    Well, Barry, I hate to disagree, but this is the book I wrote about several years ago on the newsgroup and at Flearun. I think I called it He Could Stop the Reader or He Could Stop the Whole Series. Something like that. It is, perhaps — though you have to really, really struggle hard to figure out which Donovan-ghosted novel is worse — the very worst novel in the entire Doc Savage series. It is so poorly written, so cheesy, and so over the top that it is simply astounding.

    The one interesting point I will make about this book is that I noticed immediately it was a precursor or impetus for the Doc-knockoff novel of Prince Zarkon, titled The Nemesis of Evil. That book has as its baddy the evil Dr. Sinestro (who used the alias Lucifer — one wonders why with a great evil name like that) and was based on the villian in this book, even down to having his headquarters on the same Mount Shasta with some of the same dastardly effects. Why this horrific book should be the basis of a book that supposedly honors the Doc Savage series is in itself a great mystery. I was fascinated enough (as in by a car wreck) that I investigated and actually discovered the source of both of these novels. I wrote about that in the past too and want reiterate the whole thing here, other than to say it was from a 1932 Los Angeles Star Times article by Edward Lanser (the book I read that contained this article was The Atlas of Mysterious Places, ed. by Jennifer Westwood, for those interested). At any rate I found the continual source of evil Mount Shasta tales. I just wonder why such a lively subject continually inspires such poor writing? Maybe the next time it is revisited this problem will be rectified.

    Thomas Fortenberry

  3. Scott Kimball

    I am currently reading this book, and am only half way through, but it is so absolutely schizoid that I have to comment on it. It is like each sentence is written almost completely independent of all the others, with no regard for fluidity, or coherence for that matter. Time and time again, Donovan states one thing, then in the very next paragraph completely contradicts it. I am actually really enjoying this book, it is hilarious. You just have to forget it is supposed to be a Doc Savage adventure novel, and enjoy it for what it seems to be; a drug-induced 1960’s psychedelic Doc “eXpEriEnCe.”
    Giant corn and tomatoes growing on the sides of Mt. Shasta, a foot-long cornborer caterpillar falling “on Monk’s ear” complete with giant pincers. Ten foot-tall hillbillies weighing 700 pounds, attacking Doc on the 86th floor with a huge steel ball that just seems to be lying around with no explanation why. This is great stuff! I hope the second half is this good. Another thought is that maybe this story was supposed to take place in an unconcious dream-dimension where nothing needs to make any sense, where bizarre and awkward words and sentences are jumbled up with weird images and stranger scenarions that may or may not be associated with one another. This book, or atleast the first half, can be best summed up by saying, “Things that make you go hmmmmm?”

  4. Scott R. Kimball

    I am now about 2/3 of the way through this masterpiece.
    I just have one QUESTION: What do ten-foot tall hillbillies eat for breakfast?
    ANSWER: why, they eat ten-foot long Rainbow Trout, of course!
    (for those of you who have not read the book, I am not making this stuff up.)

  5. Scott Kimball

    Whooooo-wheeeee!!!
    I just finished it.
    Now, I know in my previous 2 posts, that I basically lambasted the hell out of this story…and while it does deserve all the negative criticism it gets, and then some, I will have to admit that this is actually one of MY FAVORITE DOC STORIES. Even though is not just twice as bad or even ten times as bad as other docs, it somehow manages to be exponentially worse and more twisted than any other Doc story I have ever read. And for this I give Donovan credit; to write a book like this is one amazing feat on it’s own, but to then go on and actually get it published is yet quite another. All I can say is “wow, what a trip.” I think no matter who might have taken up the pen to write this story, it would have ended up being a way-over-the top story, but I think Donovan actually had a really good outline for a story, I just wish that rather than finishing it himself, he had handed the outline to someone who could actually write. It still would have been somewhat cheesy as all megalomanic villian stories seem to be, but I really think this could have been a cool story. On the other hand, if someone else had written it, I doubt it would have been so ultimately entertaining. I highly recommend this story for the bizarre factor alone. And the cover-one of the best. Obviously, I have too much free time on my hands… okay, I am done posting about HE COULD STOP THE WORLD.

  6. This story seems to have been an amalgam (or tossed salad) of every Doc Savage menace there was, all rolled into one adventure. And, as given the posts above, some either like it or hate it. I’m in the hate it category. This was the second Doc pulp I ever bought (the first was THE SOUTH POLE TERROR) and I read it in its original form. I didn’t like it all that much; it reminded me of science fiction out of Thrilling Wonder Stories or some bad sf movie of the 1950s. Still, it got a gread pulp cover and a great Bantam cover.

  7. Mark Carpenter

    Ok, ok, I agree with most of the postings about this book

  8. Michael Bloom

    This one is so over the top… I couldn’t put it down because I had to know where it was going!

    I just love giant hillbillies.

    Anyway it can’t be the worst Doc ever because MAD EYES and THE MEN WHO SMILED NO MORE were published.

    I would love to have heard/read Lester Dent’s reaction to this novel when Donovan turned it in.

    Will? Got anything? Perhaps some choice notes Dent scribbled in the margin of the manuscript?

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