Friday, June 20, 2008

08.10 Doc Savage-The Secret in the Sky by Lester Dent

Doc Savage-The Secret in the Sky (1935) by Lester Dent
Pbk., Bantam, 118pp.

I really am embarrassed to say that this is the first Doc Savage story that I have ever read. I know that I have heard a few on OTR but given the fact that there are over 180 of these books (!) it's pretty unbelievable. Nevertheless, now that they are on my radar I am picking the books up when and where I can.

"Doc Savage, whose real name is Clark Savage, Jr., is a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and musician — a renaissance man. A team of scientists assembled by his father trained his mind and body to near-superhuman abilities almost from birth, giving him great strength and endurance, a photographic memory, mastery of the martial arts, and vast knowledge of the sciences. Doc is also a master of disguise and an excellent imitator of voices."

In The Secret In The Sky, strange lights are being seen in towns across America as terrible robberies are being committed. Doc Savage and two of his team, the Fabulous Five*, must investigate how these brazen robberies are being committed.

These are fun stories although not without some pretty vast plot holes and leaps of logic. It is important to remember that these books are from the 30's and 40's and were being cranked out, mainly by one author, Lester Dent. I look forward to finding more of these and reading them, especially the early ones.

*"Doc's companions in his adventures (the "Fabulous Five") are:

1. Industrial chemist Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair and his pet pig, Habeas Corpus. Monk got his name from his simian appearance, notably his long arms, and was covered with red hair.
2. Lawyer Brigadier General Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks and his pet monkey, Chemistry. Ham (the shyster, as Monk referred to him) got his name after teaching Monk some French swear words to innocently use on a French general. Shortly afterwards, a large joint of ham went missing and turned up among Brooks' things, so he was blamed and got that nickname.
3. Construction engineer Colonel John "Renny" Renwick. Renny had fists like buckets of gristle and bone and no wooden door could withstand them.
4. Electrical engineer Major Thomas J. "Long Tom" Roberts. "Long Tom" got his nickname from an incident with a World War I cannon of that nick-name. Long Tom was a sickly-looking character, but fought like a wildcat.
5. Archaeologist and geologist William Harper "Johnny" Littlejohn. Johnny used long words ("I'll be superamalgamated!" was a favourite saying). Johnny wore a monocle in early adventures (one eye having been blinded in World War I). Doc later performed corrective surgery."

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