133d 01/42 The Rustling Death

Chuck Welch
January 5, 2002 - 1942 / Bantam 133-144 / clark / hathway / larkin / nanovic / novel / pulp

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A powerful weapon of destruction has been unleashed — a device which can disintegrate the defenseless population. Can Doc and his crew save their country — or will this tool of doom become a madman’s terrifying toy?

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  1. Scott Kimball says:

    While many readers would chose Laurence Donovan as the worst ghost writer, for me, Alan Hathway takes top honors in that category. As I have mentioned in another post, I agree that Donovan deserves all the criticism he gets..but he is also incredibly entertaining to read. Sure, his ramblings seem to have no relation whatsoever to any physical reality or any sort of existential paradigm that usually, in some way, governs the experience and perceptions of any so-called “normal” person, but his stories are absolutely fascinating and hilarious. Alan Hathway, on the other hand is so flat, lifeless, and boring that I barely made it through THE MINDLESS MONSTERS, and I actually could not even finish THE RUSTLING DEATH. I tried, but I could only make it about 3/4 of the way through… reading this book was like a grueling 20 mile bicycle ride up a mountain pass, I got about 15 miles into it before realizing that it just wasn’t fun anymore. It is strange, because there are moments, paragraphs, where Hathway really shines. The problem is that those paragraphs are about 20 or 30 pages apart. While reading his books, I had the sensation of staring at a flat grey concrete wall from about 12 inches away, hoping it might somehow get interesting after a while… well, it never really does, at least not enough to overcome my short attention span. Thumbs way down on this one. When you know in the first chapter that the Mystery is just some machine, you can tell it is going to suck… and this one is no exception. I could go on, but I won’t bore you any longer… the RUSTLING DEATH does a better job of it anyway.

  2. Benny Drinnon says:

    Like many readers of these books, I don’t know much about their authors ( they were all published under the pen name “Kenneth Robeson” ) but I would not have expected to have seen abuse heaped on them. I guess there were some noticable differences between some of the stories, but they were all similar, too, and they could all be said to have been successful as both the original magazine and the later paperback reprints sold for years.

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