028 10/37 Repel

Chuck Welch
October 10, 1997 - 1937 / bama / Bantam 025-036 / harris / nanovic / novel / pulp

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Cadwiller Olden was only three feet tall, but he was the most dangerous man on Earth. With his legion of brutal giants, and control of REPEL — a massive, devastating energy force — the murderous midget began an all-out assault against the defenseless bastions of the free nations. As the entire world huddles in fear, Doc Savage battles against the bizarre doll criminal, and the unleashed fury of his deadly tool of destruction, REPEL! (Bantam retitled this novel The Deadly Dwarf).

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Comment Archive

  1. Chuck Welch says:

    Now this was a villan I want to see again. The McGuffin was silly, but the rest of the novel read well and kept me wanting to read the next chapter. The “Bad Baldwins” and their brothers in crime made for memorable “Second Tier Bad Guys”.

  2. Nice action throughout. I liked that the villains were known throughout the story — a nice change of pace from the default formula shtick of the villain posing as an innocent and hanging out with Doc and crew. And the villain — Cadwiller Olden — posed a true threat to Doc and gang, instead of being an eccentric-appearing bad guy with no bite to back up his bark, as sometimes happens with Dent villains. That Doc was aware of Olden’s background from the start lends credence to the claims that Doc keeps an eye out on bad guys globally thanks to his network of agents — since readers rarely see these agents, the whole network of Doc’s influence often seems sort of nebulous. Excellent saga!

  3. Andrew Salmon says:

    This one was like a breath of fresh air after the disappointing Escape From Loki. Great villain! Great action! One of the best Docs I’ve read so far. I’d like to see more of this deadly dwarf. Don’t let the Bantam title of this one fool you. The dward IS deadly. Great stuff!

  4. Dennis Kesler says:

    I recently bought this pulp. I did because I think this is one of the finest that was done for the pulps.
    Doc looks like a spaceman in his futuristic diving suit. There are so many wonderful pulp covers, but this is my favorite.

  5. Paul Cook says:

    This has the best pulp cover of any Doc Savage, as far as I’m concerned. It captures the essence of Doc’s daring and his scientific accumen. As for the story, I think it was partially ghosted because of the rapidity with which it starts. I think it starts at chapter 2 or 3 of an earlier manuscript, or that the first chapters are squeezed into the new opening chapter. But this is a good Doc Savage novel with a unique conceit. I only wish Bantam had had the courage to keep its title at “Repel” (the same way they should have kept the title for “Ost”). Otherwise, a fairly good read with a very memorable villain.

  6. Mark Carpenter says:

    Yes, “The Deadly Dwarf” is rip-roaring fun. But what knocked me over was Dent’s not-so-subtle description of Cadwiller Olden’s
    … um… personal proclivities. Surrounding himself with shirtless musclemen? Painting his toenails? Hmmm. I bet this was tough to get through an editor in 1937. But all that aside, the story is a barnburner and shows that even the most brilliant and organized criminals are no match for Doc.

  7. Heather O'Neill says:

    My all time fav. I loved the villian, the Bad Baldwins,eapecially the part were they reveal that Doc sent him to his crime collage and got them to spy on the bad guy. The plot was great and the part were Jonny almost reveals that they are on the island when he almost gets hit by a lava rock, especially the way he convinces the reporter that he is not a man of much learning. All in all a book I could, and have many times, read in one hour I just can’t put this one down.

  8. Steve Hartle says:

    Yet another one that I wonder why that Bantam changed the title…”Repel”.
    If I was looking at 2 paperbacks, one titled Repel and the other titled The Deadly Dwarf…I would pick up Repel first…bad move on Bantam’s part as far as I am concerned!!!

  9. Scott Kimball says:

    I had high hopes for this one, but for me, it didn’t really deliver. It was a decent Doc book, but not a classic by a long stretch. It seemed rushed, with scenes not really fleshed out enough. And all the loose ends were tied up just a little too neatly and succinctly at the end to seem natural or plausible. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the tale, but just didn’t think it was that great.

  10. Richard Cording says:

    I agree with you, Steve, “Repel” was the far better title. However, whatever title was used, it didn’t take away from the fun read this story was. Cadwiller Olden has to be one of the most menacing villians Dent ever gave us. I have to say, though, that Dent seemed to have a thing about obviously gay bad men. Lizzie, in THE ANNHIILIST, was the first example of this, Actually, Dent was anticipating the later trend in thriller fiction of the deviate baddy, a trend employed very successfully by writers such as Ian Fleming in his James Bond novels, and Peter O’Donnell in Modesty Blaise. And the fact that Olden was a three-foot dwarf made this guy even more remarkable. 4 stars for this one.

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