041 07/39 Merchants of Disaster

Chuck Welch
July 12, 1999 - 1939 / bama / Bantam 037-048 / clark / davis / nanovic / novel / pulp

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The deadliest weapon ever devised is unleashed upon the world. A twisted message, scrawled by a blind man, is the only clue to the flashing lights of shuddering death. Doc Savage calls upon every known secret of science in his fierce battle with The Oxygen Destroyer!

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  1. Andrew Salmon says:

    You’d be hardpressed to find a better Doc than this one! This one has it all. From the chilling opening scene to slapstick comedy, and a pace that never lets up. There’s also a great mystery with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. And, if that’s not all, you even get to witness the actual death of the Fabulous Five. A superior Doc and highly recommended.

  2. Todd Pence says:

    On page 27 of the Bantam edition, Monk tells ham “You’re not interested in fighting . . . You just think that girl Doc saw at the station and in the taxi may be involved in this, and want to find her.”
    How the heck do Monk and Ham know about the girl? They weren’t with Doc when he encountered her, and he hasn’t had time to tell any of his aides about her!

  3. Paul Cook says:

    This may be a ghosted Doc. The weapon that sucks oxygen from the air is a great menace for Doc to fight, but the story seems lame in the end. Great Bama cover!

  4. Mark Carpenter says:

    Another stink bomb by ghostwriter Harold Davis, “Merchants of Disaster” is dumb, sloppy and boring. The book has ZERO suspense because of Davis’ habit of giving Doc an absurd gadget to escape from any situation. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good gizmo as much as the next guy, but Davis can’t get through a paragraph without one. Consequently, neither can Doc. And half the fun of a Doc novel is seeing him use his brains to avoid a deathtrap, not his utility vest.

    My advice

  5. I can’t agree more, Mark … this one WAS a disaster! Somehow, I just couldn’t get into it – maybe it was the rather slow development of the plot, maybe the fact that the villians seemed somehow … not menacing. A great concept but not very well-handled. ’39, funnily enough, is one of my favourite Doc years – but not this baby!

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