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Pulp heroes/villains > The Shadow

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message 1: by Silver (new)

Silver (silvercade) | 20 comments I'm in the midst of working my way chronologically through the original series of The Shadow pulp novels. Any other fans out there like to discuss The Shadow?

message 2: by Jim, Co-moderator (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 234 comments Mod
Sorry, but I don't know enough about Mr. Cranston. I've got a few of the old time radio programs about him, but I think they're on cassette. I thought I had some in digital format, but I recently swapped out drives & realized a lot of my old OTR stuff isn't there. Drat!

message 3: by Silver (new)

Silver (silvercade) | 20 comments Well, Jim, the radio programs weren't really all that much like the books, anyway. By the way, there were two Cranstons - the real one knew and went along with The Shadow pretending to be him so often. It worked because he was rarely in the US, being a world traveler and explorer. The Shadow's real name was Kent Allard - he was a world famous aviator who worked extensively behind German lines in WW I.

message 4: by Jim, Co-moderator (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 234 comments Mod
See? I told you I didn't know much about it.

On the dark side, I checked my old drives & still couldn't find all the OTR programs. I had almost all the Lux & Mercury Theaters, just to name a few. I can probably get some back from CD's, but that really, really bugs me. NoNags.com might have a lot, but that's a lot of time to download them.

message 5: by Silver (new)

Silver (silvercade) | 20 comments Hey, many a person who thinks that they know The Shadow doesn't know Kent Allard.

That's a total bummer, losing so many OTR programs. It's such a hoot to listen to the commercials, on top of the fun of the programs themselves.

message 6: by Adam (new)

Adam | 70 comments Jim, nearly all of the Lux Theatre and all of the Mercury Theatre shows are available as free downloads on archive.org. (For example: http://www.archive.org/details/OrsonWelles-MercuryTheater-1938Recordings) It's a lot of downloading time, but at least it's still out there ... somewhere.

message 7: by Jim, Co-moderator (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 234 comments Mod
Thanks, Adam. I love Archive.org. I just turned one of my vendors on to it yesterday. We got into a conversation about books & his wife read I Am Legend & hated the recent movie. He doesn't like to read (yeah, there are people like that) so I told him to get Vincent Price in "The Last Man on Earth" which follows the book a lot more closely. It still goofs it up some, but after watching it, he'll know why his wife objects to the latest one so vehemently.

I probably won't download any of them until I'm in the mood again. Right now I have a lot of audio books to listen to on my commute.

message 8: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 31 comments I really liked The Shadow books because he worked behind the scenes. There was a hint of mystery and some good writing.

At least in the early books, for example, Doc Savage was a celebrity to the press and had a honorary police commision.

The Shadow had none of this; he had Harry Vincent and a few more trusted operatives. The underworld whispered rumors about him; the police were not his allies; the general public said "What Shadow?". He had an uphill battle.

Also, ALL the Shadow novels were written by Walter Gibson, under the pen name Maxwell Grant; thus their continuity is better than in some pulps. The books offer a richer and deeper experience than the radio show.

But I DO like the radio show's tagline: Who knows what evil lukrs in the hearts of men? The Shadow Knows!

message 9: by Silver (last edited Mar 03, 2011 07:21AM) (new)

Silver (silvercade) | 20 comments Well, the police did develop the sense to ally with The Shadow after a while. Especially Joe Cardona, who actually saved The Shadow's life a time or two (small pay back for the number of times it went the other way), and who definitely acknowledged the mysterious one's superior ability and willingly followed his orders.

Indeed, a very rich and pleasurable experience.

Poor old Harry Vincent definitely repaid the iron grip that pulled him back from the abyss after he deliberately stepped off of that high bridge in New York one foggy night. He went through a lot in dedicated service to his acknowledged master. My mom and I have a long standing joke about bored crooks trying to decide what to do for fun, and always coming back around to "Let's'a go torcher Harry!" (spoken in one's very best Chico Marx fake Italian accent)

message 10: by Adam (new)

Adam | 70 comments Mary JL wrote: "ALL the Shadow novels were written by Walter Gibson, under the pen name Maxwell Grant"

While Walter Gibson wrote the vast majority of the Shadow pulp stories, Bruce Elliot and Theodore Tinsley both filled in a few times.

message 11: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 31 comments Silver: I forgot Joe Cardona. It has been awhile since I read some of the Shadow's adventures--I just remember enjoying them!

Adam: Sorry, I had read a source saying Walter Gibson did them all--but I suspect strongly your are right. For that long of a series, there was probably more than one writer.

message 12: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 31 comments Adam, you were correct. Just checked Wikipedia and Gibson wrote 282 of 325 stories. (That sound exhausting, doesn't it?)

message 13: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) Mary JL wrote: "Adam, you were correct. Just checked Wikipedia and Gibson wrote 282 of 325 stories. (That sound exhausting, doesn't it?)"

I read that for a while, he was writing over 120,000 words per month.

message 14: by Adam (new)

Adam | 70 comments Right, I wasn't knocking Gibson at all for not writing every single last Shadow story, but just pointing out that a few other writers subbed every now and then.

Gibson's work on the Shadow is a little like Norvell Page's work on the Spider. I think Gibson still has a higher percentage of stories written than Page, but Page's contribution to the totality of the Spider canon is enormous.

message 15: by Silver (new)

Silver (silvercade) | 20 comments Scientists at MIT have reportedly announced that they have discovered a new species of weevil that feeds solely on the cotton fibers in men's shorts. The researchers have no idea where the species originated, and are appealing to the general public, as well as the rest of the scientific community for any information that would help identify the insect. They are anxious to identify what weevil lurks in the shorts of men. [Stan Kegel - "Groaners" ]

message 16: by Michael (last edited Jun 08, 2019 08:44AM) (new)

Michael Hill | 3 comments I too am working my way chronologically through The Shadow and other pulps. So far I have only got upto number 15, so only 310 more to go. The books are actually very good reading.
A few decades ago I had five years of the original Shadow pulps from 1933 to 1938, but like so many other things, i sold them.
I am presently reading a Spider pulp. As to Norvell Page on the Spider, it became too much for him so he was forced to take a rest.
So much to read and so little time.

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