The world thought aviator Tom Franklin was dead. Years before, he had set out on a pioneering transpacific flight alone — and vanished. When he returned, as if from the dead, he and a mysterious woman flew a battered plane that had been repaired with plates of pure gold. Desperately seeking the help of Doc Savage, the mighty Man of Bronze, Franklin and his curvaceous charge fall into the clutches of the diamond smuggler Blackbird Hinton and his cutthroat crew — but not before the bronze adventurer hears of their difficulty. There ensues a quest as dangerous as any in recorded history. One that will embroil the compassionate yet hard-fisted Doc Savage and his men in a raging battle for control of one of history’s most closely guarded mysteries. The lost secret of Python Isle!
From an interview with Will Murray:
How detailed are the outlines Lester Dent left behind?
They varied. The first one, “Python Isle,” was the only complete outline that was completely rejected and never used. It was I think 10, 12 pages long, in chapters, so that was a joy to work with. In fact, that was the first novel I ever wrote. Sometimes the premises are as short as a page or even a paragraph. I think I have one that’s just a paragraph long, but it’s a good paragraph. It’s an interesting paragraph. It’s a provocative thing, and then I’d have to build from that.
2 thoughts on “Python Isle”
This one was the closest to the original feel of the pulps. Lots of great action and hair-raising escapes. It is longer though which I find detracts from my enjoyment for some reason and the more clear-cut characterizations throws me as well. All in all a very good Doc Savage adventure. Hopefully Will Murray will one day be able to write more Docs.
I give it a B+… pretty good job for a new version of a Doc Savage adventure, but it just can’t compare to the originals. I read this book because I heard it was pretty good, but even though I give it a B+, I still think they should have just stuck with the original series… and left it at that. Sometimes MORE is not necessarily better. Actually, what bugs me the most about these new books is the artwork on the back cover… Doc looks more or less o.k. but his 5 associates look virtually the same as each other. Even monk is not at all “homely” or “apish” looking. On the old bantams, each character had a unique look which made it impossible to confuse them. In the new renderings, it took me ten minutes to distinguish Ham from Long Tom, or LOng Tom from Renny for that matter. I know this is a minor complaint… but it just reinforces my point that they should have left well enough alone and ended it all with the original Doc Series.