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column 001 03/33 The Man of Bronze column
 

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High above the skyscrapers of New York, Doc Savage engages in deadly combat with the red-fingered survivors of an ancient, lost civilization. Then, with his amazing crew, he journeys to the mysterious "lost valley" to search for a fabulous treasure and to destroy the mysterious Red Death.




Categories:

1933 - 1933
b001 - b001
bama - bama
baumhofer - baumhofer
nanovic - nanovic
novel - novel
pulp - pulp
   
   
column Comments  column
 

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Note: Comments may contain spoilers.

Andrew Salmon

Fittingly enough this was the first Doc I ever read. After growing up with Doc all through the late 60s and through the 70s, I finally decided in '99 to give him a try and #1 was the place to start. What's funny is I didn't like the book at all! Of course I didn't "get" Doc at the time I read it. It'll be fun to reread this one now that I'm a huge Doc fan. Strange way to start I know but that's the way it happened.

- | - September 30, 2002 02:28 PM

Thomas Fortenberry

The first in the series! Even though the earliest Doc novels sometime now seem a little rough, with all those exclamation points and even Doc constantly yelling instead of speaking, they are still the foundation and irreplaceable. All the flavor is there: the gang up to their necks in danger and fighting against the odds, the strange creeping suspense, the scarlet-fingered death always lurking just outside the door, the unknown cultures and distant lands to explore, the breathless, globe-spanning and earthshaking adventures to be had, and startling mysteries waiting to be solved. Of course, who could ever forget the first time Doc flexed his arm and split his shirt. It was the first hint, and still classic image, of his immense strength.

This stuff is immortal!

Cheers,

Thomas Fortenberry

- | - December 13, 2002 10:23 AM

Barry Ellis

GREAT origin story for ANY genre! SO much groundwork laid for SO many years of storytelling! Ironic & interesting how so many years & stories later Dent postulated on Doc's "exploitation"of the Mayans in 'They Died Twice' (the third story in the so-called "Mayan Triology"). Political correctness AND cultural awareness in the 40s? Dent was way ahead of his time in MANY ways.

- | - July 21, 2003 07:54 PM

Howard Hopkins

What's strange is I actually put off reading this tale when I got the book because I had already read the Marvel version and knew the backstory, so I thought there would be nothing exciting about it. It went to the bottom of my Doc paperback pile. When I finally got around to it I wondered why I had put it off because it really is a fine prototype tale and great fun. Rough in many ways, but it still glows.

- | - July 30, 2003 02:01 AM

F. Rubert

Years ago I was able to buy a Doc Savage cover poster. Are they still available. My brother is a big fan I would like to get one for his birthday. Thanks.

- | - October 13, 2003 08:39 AM

Todd Pence

What Doc fan wouldn't list this first novel among their favorites? It serves as a well-conceived introduction to the series as a whole, as well as standing on its own as a great adventure novel. The Man of Bronze is not only the first but the quintisenntial Doc Savage adventure, containing all of the elements that mark the series as a whole. Dent pulls out all the stops in this one, quickly introducing us to the main characters and then without much delay sweeping them into the non-stop action with one cliffhanger after another, written at machine-gun pace. Lester Dent, even at this early stage, certainly knew how to write pulp fiction, even if he hasn't quite developed his own style yet and his writing in this book clearly shows in both style and concepts a heavy influence of Edgar Rice Burroughs, for one. The Man of Bronze sets a firm foundation for the rest of the series.

Rating: five stars (out of five)

- | - December 15, 2003 03:40 PM

jack zahl

the whole package: action, weapons, super villians, captures, escapes, comebacks from death, character development, and a tight plot.

classic action novel unto itself and enough to fuel a whole series. one of my favorites ! 5 of 5 stars.

ps - just reading around this site. did not know there were so many ghost authors. thought dent wrote all but a few.

- | - December 16, 2003 02:18 PM

tammy

Okay, i have teh Doc Savage book, in my hands and it says August 1933 same ccover The Man of Bronze and inside it says Vol 1 no. 1.
So what it it March and a remake in August of 33?

- | - January 26, 2004 10:43 PM

Tim Lucas

I think this debut novel holds up extremely well: vivid writing, tense situations, warm humor and an underlying message about the importance of assembling armies with honor and care. The Valley of the Vanished nearly destroys centuries of isolated perfection by the misconceived practice of consigning its undesirables to the service of its defense. It's takes a dozen or so battles, but Doc's good few men ultimately prevail against the corrupt warriors by stockpiling lots of wit and heart. It's also fairly well-written for a book that I would imagine was penned in great haste, but Mr. Dent does get his Mayan culture confused: Quetzalcoatl, not Kukulcan, is the feathered serpent god of the Maya. What more can I say? It's better than the movie, which starts out well but decides to tell a different story... with mostly indifferent results.

- | - October 5, 2004 04:31 AM

Tim Lucas

Since this site doesn't offer an editing capability for comments, I'd like to amend my earlier posting now that I have rescreened George Pal's movie DOC SAVAGE THE MAN OF BRONZE. On reacquaintence, I think the film succeeds at least as much as it fails. Apart from the weakly written and even more weakly cast "Captain Seas" material, the story is not terribly changed from the book, but it does rush through the Hidalgo chapters, which also look underproduced. Ron Ely is excellent as a living median between the pulp and the Bantam covers, and I like the Fabulous Five, too. It's a campy take on the material, and the book could surely be more definitively adapted to film, but it is enjoyable in its quirky way, and I wish the promised sequel had been made.

- | - October 11, 2004 04:44 AM

Tim Lucas

Since this site doesn't offer an editing capability for comments, I'd like to amend my earlier posting now that I have rescreened George Pal's movie DOC SAVAGE THE MAN OF BRONZE. On reacquaintence, I think the film succeeds at least as much as it fails. Apart from the weakly written and even more weakly cast "Captain Seas" material, the story is not terribly changed from the book, but it does rush through the Hidalgo chapters, which also look underproduced. Ron Ely is excellent as a living median between the pulp and the Bantam covers, and I like the Fabulous Five, too. It's a campy take on the material, and the book could surely be more definitively adapted to film, but it is enjoyable in its quirky way, and I wish the promised sequel had been made.

- | - October 11, 2004 04:48 AM

Jeff Spain

Just reread this one again. It shines in comparison to the 1940's novels. Lots of action from the get go and Doc using his super human abilities. IT still holds up after all these years.

- | - March 4, 2005 07:32 AM

Walter Carlisle

Reading Doc Savage at age 51 isn't all that different from reading him at age 12. Even then, I found some of the old fashioned "lingo" quaint and sometimes amusing, and Dent's writing style labored. But none of that ultimately matters. For all his flaws, Dent could whip up a good yarn, and he does so here, with the classic Doc pattern of 1, run around New York for a while, and 2, dash off to an exotic land for more adventures. This was probably the fourth or fifth Doc I read as a kid, and while it isn't one of the very best, it's an excellent start.

Dent does a good job of introducing the characters, although he keeps reminding us that Ham is a lawyer, Monk a chemist, etc. In the final chapter we are reminded again that Long Tom is a "wizard of the juice." Likewise, we are told repeatedly that Princess Monja is pretty (like we couldn't remember that).

But we get the Mayans, the Red Death, and the compelling motif of Doc avenging the death of his father. Great fun.

- | - April 19, 2005 09:40 PM

Paul Cook

Of all the "important" Doc Savage novels, this is the only one I've only read once. Of course it's an important book, but I thought the adventure a little straight-forward; you can almost feel Lester Dent getting adjusted to the character. Still, Doc comes across as incredibly strong and dynamic--a far cry from the Doc Savage of the 1940s where he's almost reduced to being a private eye. Still and all, a good read with most of the familiar Doc elements in place (excepting Pat, Habeas, and Chemistry who will come later).

- | - May 26, 2005 03:14 AM

Lee Dorrance

Having recently rediscovered my collection of Bantam edition novels, I decided to experience them again, only this time in the order that they were originally intended to be read. I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised at how well they have held up.


I was first introduced to Doc and the gang in the early 80's when, I believe it was Gold Key, published 6 hardback editions of selected adventures for younger readers. Needless to say, after reading my first one I was hooked and grabbed the other 5 releases and subsequently every Bantam edition I could find. I'm 36 now and Doc remains the greatest superhero of my childhood.


For me, The Man of Bronze was an excellent introduction to Doc and the boys, jumping quickly into the action and not letting up until the final showdown. Now I can see how rough around the edges it was at times when compared to some of the later adventures, but this is easily forgiven. Dent's ability to create and bring to life an ancient civilization is incredible. I would often find myself wondering about what life was like there before Doc and his crew arrived on the scene. This is a classic, from the chase scenes high above the streets of New York to the jungles of Central America, this one definitely leaves you wanting more.

- | - June 11, 2005 12:14 PM

TERESA FREEBREY

how can i get the books in uk to coment on

- | - August 1, 2005 12:54 PM

Heather O.

This was the fourth Doc Savage book I have read and although it is not my favorite it is still one of the top five. Strangely enough I had not intended to read this one having already seen the movie version which I decided is a cross between "The Man of Bronze" and "The Mystic Mullah". I think if they were to make a series of movies that follow the Doc Savage novels book by book as closley as possible they would be a hit. Definatly a book to read over and over again.

- | - March 23, 2006 10:32 PM

Bruce

I think the Baumhofer version of Doc Savage is the best version. The Bama version is okay, but I prefer the old school style.

- | - August 7, 2006 03:06 PM


   
   

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