134d 10/45 The Thing That Pursued

Chuck Welch
October 7, 2005 - 1945 / Bantam 133-144 / clark / degrouchy / larkin / needs / novel / pulp

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It’s bizarre, horrifying, unstoppable — a fiery unknown menace is consuming planes in the sky. And now the thing is plunging for Doc! But the biggest danger lies dead ahead, from a small man with a huge heart of pure evil.

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  1. scott kimball says:

    I actually liked this story, but I am not quite sure why. It had most of the lame characteristics of many of the later Docs, but I still found it exciting and suspenseful. Doc is on his own in this one, the gang is no where to be found, except for a flashing mention of Renny having been involved with the design of a new plane that Doc is flying toward the beginning. Doc has some wild mood swings in this one, pissed off one moment, gripped with fear in another, cheerful and joking at other times. Like a lot of the later Doc’s, it really ISN’T a doc story, it is a suspense/mystery starring some fairly strong and fairly smart guy who happens to also be named Doc Savage. Doc uses a lot of guns in this one, doesn’t kill anybody, but the “gadgets” are almost absent except for some “poison ivy” goo that sends a few crooks to the hospital with a really bad rash. The “thing that pursued” is almost a sideline, kind of interesting, but not developed all that much. But still, this story kept my interest enough that I read it straight through in a few hours. Doc gets shot in the leg, and through most of the book it is really awkward and unrealistic how doc is utterly paralysed with pain one moment, then in the next scene is running like the wind with no notice of his wound. This happens over and over again throughout the last half of the book. He never seems to treat it properly, even though he is “Doctor” savage. Doc thinks a lot in this one, both out loud, to himself, and to others. Definitely a different Doc, older, more realistic in many ways, and likeable in many ways… but for me, he really isn’t Doc Savage any more. Many of these later Docs are totally unbeleivable to me for one reason… above all else, Doc is intelligent, and able to make decisions. I think he would know when it was time to hang up his torn shirts, put on a suit, and open a school for training a new generation of crime fighters. And in his spare time could do lecture tours–covering any and all of the subjects he is a genius of–and charging $500.00 a head and donating all the proceeds to charitable causes. If his job of crimefighting is too much for him to handle, I thight Doc would be wise enough to hang it up. There are a million other things he could do with his “protean genius.”

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