I have to tell you, if Se-Pah-Poo-Poo had been my first Doc Savage novel...it would have been my last. Three of us decided to read the 1946 novels in order and together. We made a pact -- anyone who couldn't finish a novel...had to lose a toe.
It's ok. It added character to my gait. - | - June 12, 2002 11:39 PM
While I agree with Chuck (should this be titled "Watch-Dad-Doo"?), I have an obligation to Doc to point out a few meager highlights.
One of the joys of the Doc books is the amazing amount of knowledge that is passed between author and reader. Even on poor, boring, or lackluster tales, the settings, backgrounds, and characters usually contribute a lot to your world knowledge, just in general and even through the cliches (like Indians who have to say "heap trouble"). Here the desert is explained in ways of soil, wind, heat, etc which really explore a region, along with its history when the nature of indigenous peoples and their culture is examined, in this case Indian ruins, architecture, dates, etc. Doc books have always been good about this.
Monk, in this book described as a hammered down Cardiff giant, is now poor and living in a bad hotel on credit. So much for that lavish penthouse with marble mud bath for the pig in "Rock Sinister." Monk is said to be perpetually broke because he is too busy adventuring with Doc to make money himself. I guess Doc's ethics allow him to spent hundreds of millions building free hospitals for the poor, but not give any of that Mayan gold to his friends. Also, Monk is accosted by a waitress who got an earful from Ham, demanding to know about his wife and 13 kids. You know the drill. But here is a great line, she says, "What are you, a rabbit?" Ha!
This book also features a ripoff group that is a poor imitation of Doc and crew, but is also the first in almost a century full of blatant copies. They are called Wanderers, Inc, an explorers club, and sound very similar to every TV Doc-esque show ever.
Finally, as I have often aid before, even in the weakest of Doc tales, the danger is real and very extreme. Here Doc is shot in the arm and back, whoich breaks his rib. He's usually just a hair's breadth away from death, every step of these adventures. If he weren't such a superman, he'd have been cold and dead decades ago. - | - January 20, 2006 04:23 PM