The tale of a skeletal sharpshooter who used a strange squeaking weapon was told around backwoods campfires. To most it was just a legend, but for some it became a terrifying reality — especially those whose skulls were shattered by the deadly “disappearing bullets.” Doc Savage dodges flying death as he tracks the spectral killer who defies every law of nature!
9 thoughts on “The Squeaking Goblin”
The Hatfields and the McCoys strike again! Feuds, a ghostly sniper, backwoods chaos and Doc and the boys caught in the middle. There’s some somewhat silly “chemistry” in this one, but all in all, an enjoyable adventure, with the crew out of their depths amongst close-knit country folk.
Ah! All of us Doc fans have a special place in their hearts for the first Doc they ever read. This was mine. My grandmother bought it for me when she was visiting us when I was about 12 years old. We were stationed in Colorado Springs as my dad was one of the Air Force Computer Techs working at NORAD. She came to see us all the way from North Carolina and it was one of those magical childhood Summer memories. We were at a drugstore and there was a whole rack of Docs shining like beacons in the night. I was already a voracious reader of comic books and mythology books from the school library and was ripe for new horizons and those Bama covers hypnotized me like I was a snake encountering a mongoose! To this day I still think the cover to ‘The Squeaking Goblin’ is one of the best!
My first “sighting” of Doc was his muscled bronze arm reaching out of his plane. I was instantly captivated by the mystery and might of this adventurer and still am some 30 years later.
We all have magical moments in our lives and sometimes they reoccur in ways you never dreamed of. I spent a good portion of my “adulthood” thinking I was too smart & “literate” to be wasting my time on a “trivial” character like Doc Savage. I’m 45 now and spent the years 20-38 pretty much ignoring one of my great childhood loves. I picked up a couple of omnibuses in the 80’s and was not really impressed. I now know that was because I didn’t understand the context of the chronology (!). Well, about seven years ago I saw some Docs for sale at a flea market and grabbed some for the heck of it. BOOM! The magic and love were back! Why did I EVER turn my back on this GREAT & FUN storyteling? Needless to say, I was hooked again. On one of my collection building trips to the used bookstore my then 6 year old son accompanied me. I bought at least 20 books that day and they were all in a large grocery bag. The bag was sitting on the back seat with my strapped-in son and he reached into the bag to take a look at what I had bought. The first Doc Savage book HE ever touched? You guessed it, he pulled ‘The Squeaking Goblin’ right out the bag first! The kicker? My grandmother had died just a few weeks before then. Magic and love can go in circles if you believe! THANKS, Grandma “Boodie”!!!
This book started out great, and was a lot of fun, but that whole “hillbilly” angle really wore out it’s welcome about halfway through the book.
While the Bama cover to this novel is pretty good (you can see why Bama is considered a master of “cowboy” art in the figure and face of the Goblin), I thought the feuding hillbillies a bit tame . . . even though plenty enough action takes place in this book. This is an average Doc for the time, but as time goes by, this story will seem much superior to the stories from about 1939 onward (with just a couple of exceptions). Dent hadn’t tired of the series yet and his writing in this book still retains all of Dent’s mannerisms which keep those of us who love Doc coming back again and again.
This one doesn’t get a lot of press from Doc fans, but it’s really quite good. Since none of the action happens in New York, Dent was forced to break out of his habit of having Doc and company run around the city for 10 chapters before something significant occurs. In “The Squeaking Goblin,” Dent builds the mystery from the very first pages and sustains it until the end. What’s more, the mystery is actually an interesting one and the identity of the Goblin is a true surprise.
If you’ve always overlooked this book, give it a whirl. You won’t be sorry.
While agreeably the hillbilly banter does get rather old quickly, this is an excellent adventure. Lots of action and very well paced throughout. Although I did think it was pretty obvious 1/2 way into the book who the villain was. I was not surprised at the unmasking in the least, but the wrap up to the story was well played.
My copy of this is dated January 1935, not August. Is it possible that there are two editions, one in the US and another in Canada?
Yes, the Canadian editions were in a different order and not every original issue was printed in Canada.
My first 'Doc'; read it and loved it when I was 12 years old in 1968. There was a whole rack full of Doc paperbacks at Left Bank Books at Randhurst Shopping Center in Mt. Prospect, Ill., but that skeletal figure in the background intrigued me. I had no idea at the time that there had been a 'Doc Savage Magazine' many years before; I've since bought the original pulp of 'Squeaking Goblin', which, sadly, is not one of Baumhofer's best efforts.
But this Doc adventure was just the beginning
of a great personal adventure into the exciting world of Doc and his 'Amazing Five'.