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The Man of Bronze

(Doc Savage (Original) #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,470 ratings  ·  154 reviews
(back cover notes)
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.
Published February 28th 1979 by Bantam Books (first published March 1933)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  2,470 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Five nostalgic stars. My brother bequeathed 12 of the paperbacks to me when he left home for college. I was 9 or 10. I read them all and started collecting, in part because Doc was cooler than cool, and in part because I could score them for 50 cents a piece at Bonanza Books and Comics in my hometown. I have over a hundred on the book case now, and have probably read 40 of them (they are formulaic, so if you read too many in a row, they start running together.). I still take down one each year ...more
3.5 to 4 stars

Sort of vacillating here between 3.5 and 4 because there were many parts that were really fun and cool in a "I feel like a 10-year old boy in 1933!" way, but there were other parts that made me roll my eyes at the bad, slapdash writing. Then I had to bitch slap my brain and remind myself that literary perfection was not the goal of the pulps. Still, that stylistic nitpick within couldn't be permanently smothered by Doc's brawny, bronzy, ripply muscles.

I'd only ever seen the Ron Ely
J.G. Keely
Sep 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to J.G. Keely by: Ama's Father
While not quite a superhero, Doc Savage is as heroic and capable as a man could be. Savage was meant to combine the physical prowess of an athlete with the mind of Holmes and the conscience of Lincoln. He was the antithesis of The Shadow, bright instead of dark, merciful instead of brutal, and world-famous instead of mythical.

If The Shadow's masked alleyway justice was the prototype for Batman, then Savage is the righteous boy scout is the inspiration for Superman. Savage even has an antarctic
Doc Savage, supreme adventurer, and his five science bros have their first of many exploits. Beginning with an attempt on Doc's life, the gang flies from New York City to an ancient hidden city in Central America as Doc traces his legacy left to him by his father.

My first Doc Savage pulp was a quick read and definitely worth the short time it took to tear through it. Savage is given his mission and his resources in this first story, effectively making it an origin story while still focusing on

He's as strong as Superman, as resourceful as Batman, as clever as Brainiac-5. He is physically as impressive as Hercules and as mesmerizingly beautiful as Apollo. He swims faster than Michael Phelps and runs quicker than Usain Bolt. He's a brilliant surgeon/physician. He is Clark 'Doc' Savage Jr.
And he's completely ridiculous, larger-than-life, over-the-top alpha male. But this is grade-A pulp, and it's just too entertaining to be put off by the it's-just-too-much-of-a-good-thing greatness that
Mary JL
Nov 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes adventure stories or pulps
Recommended to Mary JL by: no one
Shelves: action-adventure
I discovered Doc Savage when I was 14 years of age and read him avidly for about three or four years. They are replints of the Doc Savage pulp magazine--The Man of Bronze was originally printed in 1933.

If you have ever read any pulp magazines you know what to expect--slam bang adventure, hack writing and little character development.

However, the orignal Doc Savage Magazine ran from 1933 to 1949--16 years. It captured it readers by being exciting adventure and nothing more.

Super-scientist 'Doc "
Timothy Boyd
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Of all the pulp era heroes few stand out above the crowd, Doc Savage is one of these. With his 5 aides and cousin he adventures across the world. Fighting weird menaces, master criminals and evil scientists Doc and the Fab 5 never let you down for a great read. These stories have all you need; fast paced action, weird mystery, and some humor as the aides spat with each other. My highest recommendation.
Tim Schneider
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books that just can't be rated or reviewed objectively. At least not by me. So feel free to take this one with a grain of salt.

On any given Saturday when I was in late grade school and junior high you could at some point find me at the Paperback Bookworm. I'd be looking for SF books. Bradbury. Asimov. Heinlein. Ace doubles. Oh...and Bantam paperbacks of Doc Savage. For fifty cents you got a world of adventure. When all was said and done I had probably half the Bantam reprints.

Philip Athans
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can be hard to ignore the clunky writing often meant to simply pad the word count, but under that is a fun, wild ride through the broadest Depression era wish fulfillment imaginable. Doc and his manly team of manly men display their unstoppable manliness in fight after fight. It reads now like high camp, and I loved it—laughing out loud more than once.
Steve Goble
I love the idea of Doc Savage.

A man trained from birth to build his mind and body to perfection, in order to pursue a life of adventure and righting wrongs.

A man surrounded by top minds in numerous fields, each an expert in one or more areas of science or engineering or some other useful skill.

A team of adventurers, dodging bullets, thwarting schemes, battling monsters, wielding and facing all the bizarre scientific devices a 1930's pulp fiction author can devise.

But the author, Lester Dent
Russell Grant
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I wish I had the hard cover, I got a stinky paperback version from a used book store.

I'm not going to lie, this book was in many ways completely retarded. I mean, I can buy into a guy being super smart and super strong due to 2 hours of strenuous mental and physical exercises undertaken every day since he was a child. To be so perfect that rain glides off his skin and hair, not unlike off the feathers of a duck? Come on! There's no way!

So I should of hated this... but it was still really quite
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the great pulp heroes that influenced the first generation of comic heroes. Doc Savage being a nearly perfect specimen of humanity, lacking in a tragic or traumatic past yet like Batman later, he molds himself through study and training in his Fortress of Solitude (later lifted wholesale for Superman). This is a fast paced pulp story paced well, with some clever bits, the only complaint being Doc and his men are too perfect, too powerful. Very much a product of the time, there are ...more
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one started it all. I read about 20 of the series as a kid and even had a family dog named Doc in honor of Doc Savage. Pulp and brainless, but the perfect antidote when the need to read is there and not in the mood for 1000 page complexity.
Larry Moniz
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-long-ago
I read virtually all the Doc Savage series when they were reprinted in the 1970. Masterpieces of the pulp fiction genre.
Jay Barnson
I had higher expectations re-reading this one, based on vague recollections of loving it as a kid. The plot is a wild ride and a lot of fun, full of twists and bends. It's just that Clark Savage -- the prototype for Superman -- is just a little too perfect to be an interesting character.
Norm Davis
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 30s-40s era adventure pulp fiction lovers
Recommended to Norm by: My older brother
Doc Savage- Man of Bronze
How delightful. Spoiler alerts near the end…
The Doc Savage (dozens and dozens of) adventures were published in the 30’s and 40’s in pulp fiction magazines. I had the great privilege to devour them when they were re-issued in the 70s as short novels. How my single mother of 4 boys, working double shifts as a waitress, kept me supplied with these novels is a mystery to me, but there’s a “Love of a Mother” story in there somewhere as new issues endlessly came out every
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first Doc Savage story appeared in 1933 and the series ran in pulp and later digest format into 1949. Bantam reprinted the entire series in paperback with wonderful, iconic covers starting in the 1960's. Doc was arguably the first great modern superhero with a rich background, continuity, and mythos. The characterizations were far richer than was common for the pulps; his five associates and their sometimes-auxiliary, Doc's cousin Pat, and the pets Chemistry and Habeas Corpus, all had very ...more
David Bonesteel
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An attempt on the life of Doc Savage—genius, crime-fighter, supreme physical specimen—takes him and his crew of loyal specialists to South America, where they will uncover the secret that Doc’s father has left in the care of the people of a lost civilization.

All criticisms of this book concerning its clunky prose and mechanical construction are entirely beside the point. No one should read a pulp adventure novel expecting anything more than a quick, fun read—and Lester Dent (writing as Kenneth
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp
I have to pick up a Doc Savage every now and then to remind myself how substandard the writing really is and how mechanically each story clings to a formula. The series tries to have it both ways: have a supercompetent hero figure and put that hero into extreme danger. It never quite works out--the reader never really buys that Doc Savage is actually in danger. And because each episode is strictly self-contained, there's no feeling of development or advancement. The situation self-resets every ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emmy by: Bob Hawley
Shelves: pulp-novels
Wow! What a wild ride! This was my first introduction to The Man of Bronze, Doc Savage, and I'm so glad that I chose to start with this volume instead of jumping into the middle of the series! This was actually loaned to me by a friend who had commented that if I enjoyed The Shadow, I should really give Doc Savage a try. I like different things about the different series, but I really enjoyed the sense of high adventure in this book. And Doc's cast of cohorts makes the story even more fun. I ...more
With this book, i revisited a bit of my childhood. The danger, of course, is that you can't go home again and in the case of Doc Savage, it is partially true. The writing style here is juvenile and at times, hard to read for it's pure awkwardness. But the plot is highly imaginative which was the reason, even as a kid, I kept coming back to this well time after time to drink in more of Doc's adventures. I'm not sorry that I re-read this book after so many years, and I will probably partake of ...more
Tobin Elliott
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, fiction, fantasy, ebooks
Ah, good ol' Dr. Clark Savage Jr. Imbued with stunning good looks, incredible gold flake eyes, perfect physique, and quite possibly the most perfect brain in the most perfect body ever imagined.

He sees all, knows all, and is endlessly inventive. He is the expert on every major discipline, whether it's medicine, chemistry, name it, he's the best at it.

I mean, as near as I can figure, his only flaw (judging from the covers) is that he's incapable of keeping a shirt intact.

And in
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Straight up: This book is bonkers. I mean, Doc is the best at everything. He has a team of five friends who accompany him on his adventures, all of whom are the best in their fields, but they're not as good as Doc. Whenever they make a discovery during the course of their adventures, he's already figured it out, but he doesn't say anything, because he doesn't want to deprive them of it. He's the strongest, the bravest, the smartest, the most cunning, along with being the bronziest and the ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So the way I happened across this book is quite strange . I thought I had down loaded Aldous Huxley Brave New World from Amazon prime into my kindle . The book arrived cover and all and I began reading it.

About 40% of the way in I started to ponder why the main character was described as a bronze man named Doc Savage and he and his chumps were off to Belize in search of some land her was owned . What? I thought. Where last the dystopian 1984-sequel novel I was promised .

A quick google search
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doc Savage, for those who don't know, is a brilliant physician/surgeon, scientist, adventurer and all-around superman. He is so perfect that he could be a parody of himself, except that these stories are written straight, with no hint of irony. In this, his first adventure (which I read decades ago but decided to read again), his father has just been murdered, leading Doc and his gang of scientist/adventurers to Central America, to find the killer as well as claim Doc's inheritance of gold, ...more
Chuck White
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, adventure, pulps
Doc Savage is a childhood favourite and I've just recently hauled out the 5 volumes of reprints put out by Golden Press in the mid-70s. There are actually six in the set, but I must have misplaced one of them.

Like many reviewers, I vacillated between giving this one 4 or 5 stars. I went with 4 stars mainly because the author uses the same descriptive words over and over again.

Example: one of the main bad guys is "swarthy", which he uses to describe that character every single time he is
Doc Savage is one of those heroes who's a little too big for his adventures. This is the only one I've actually read, but from what I understand he has this same level of invincible-ness in every one of his exploits. It's not subtle and it's not accidental, the story reminds the reader time and again that Doc is the greatest, the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, and the most likeable. Clark Savage Jr. is the kind of hero who will get out of a jam by bending steel, changing his pulse rate, ...more
Sep 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of pulp fiction...
I've been wanting to read this for a very long time. Right back from when i discovered and loved the the 1975 movie Doc Savage:The Man of Bronze starring Ron Ely, the star of the Tarzan TV series from the late 60's, which i also loved. I guess because of that and because i was only 7 years old its unsurprising i loved the Doc Savage film. I guess it's a little more surprising to say i still love the film even recognising it's many faults.

I'm also a fan of Pulp fiction so this was probably going
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp
Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze! How did he get so perfect? Why, he works out two hours every day! By flexing his muscles, doing math problems, and carefully listening and smelling for a couple hours every morning, he has perfected his body, mind, and senses to superhuman levels! Sorry ladies, he's celibate!

The amount of enjoyment you are going to get out of this book is greatly determined by your expectations going in. Make no mistake, this book is so pulpy you could make orange juice with it.
Willow Redd
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze. A more perfect physical specimen does not exist. He's a Greek god come to life. Not only does he possess a perfect physical form, he is also the most keen mind of his generation, being an expert in every field he has taken the time to study.

Doc is one of the greatest pulp heroes ever, because he has a superior moral code. He is a man of action, but also a thinking man's hero. And he ain't got time for dames, not when there's a world to make better.

The dialogue is
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Doc Savage to the Rescue! 12 38 Nov 01, 2013 03:10PM  

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Kenneth Robeson was the house name used by Street and Smith Publications as the author of their popular character Doc Savage and later The Avenger. Though most Doc Savage stories were written by the author Lester Dent, there were many others who contributed to the series, including:

William G. Bogart
Evelyn Coulson
Harold A. Davis
Lawrence Donovan
Alan Hathway
W. Ryerson Johnson

Lester Dent is

Other books in the series

Doc Savage (Original) (1 - 10 of 152 books)
  • The Land of Terror (Doc Savage, #8)
  • Quest of the Spider (Doc Savage, #68)
  • The Polar Treasure (Doc Savage, #4)
  • Pirate of the Pacific (Doc Savage, #19)
  • The Red Skull (Doc Savage, #17)
  • The Lost Oasis (Doc Savage, #6)
  • The Sargasso Ogre (Doc Savage, #18)
  • The Czar Of Fear (Doc Savage, #22)
  • The Phantom City (Doc Savage, #10)
  • Brand of the Werewolf (Doc Savage, #5)
“Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.”
More quotes…