MB Taylor's Reviews > Doc Savage Omnibus #1

Doc Savage Omnibus #1 by Kenneth Robeson
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's review
Dec 26, 2011

liked it
Read from July 02 to 18, 2014

This was the first of the original Doc Savages I've read in a long time and it was pretty fun. I only have 14 of the original Docs to go before I finish them all. It's been a long mostly fun ride since I started reading them almost 50 years ago. I still remember buying my first one (The Phantom City) off the spin rack at a drug store.

I always enjoyed the earlier ones more than the later ones; in the early ones Doc was much more like a superhero (although since he predated them, I guess they were like him).

But I'm older now and these were mostly pretty good (in the sense that I enjoyed them, not that they were well written). Never great from a plot consistency perspective, the stories are fun quick reads (although there seemed to be even bigger holes than normal in The Running Skeletons).

The four novels here were originally published in 1941 (The All-White Elf), 1943 (The Running Skeletons), and 1948 (The Angry Canary and The Swooning Lady). As I read the last one I noticed that it seemed awfully short (and it even ended rather abruptly). So after I finished I checked the page counts and each one was shorter than the one before it: The first, The All-White Elf, was 114 pages but the last, The Swooning Lady, was only 73. They make the Will Murray Docs seem positively gargantuan: his most recent, DOC SAVAGE: THE WAR MAKERS was over 300 pages!

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Bermea Okay, here's my question to you and I realize it might be tough to answer: I never read Doc Savage as a kid -- but always meant to. Now, as an adult, is it too late? If it doesn't have that sheen of kid romance around it, is it just not going to reach me? I'm not even looking for a definitive answer, just what you think. A little context, I'm a HUGE Marvel Comics fan and loved Conan the Barbarian as a kid. Sinbad movies, etc. But see, all of those have that going for them. Just let me know what you think.

message 2: by MB (new) - rated it 3 stars

MB Taylor I'd give them a try. I've been a Marvel fan for most of my life (I started reading them in '64, 2 years before I started Doc), although I read fewer and fewer comics every year. I'd start with a couple of the early Docs (by original publication date). I think they're the best in terms of outlandish adventure stories, which I think is the main point. Murray's Skull Island might also be a good place to start; it's not a typical Doc Savage adventure, but it's a fun read. I'd skip Farmer's Escape from Loki; it's neither a typical Doc nor a typical Farmer novel...

message 3: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Bermea I'll do that!

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