March 22, 2013


(Be sure to check out this week's episode of Zone 4, especially towards the end, where I give this book a brief shout-out.)

It was the best birthday present I purchased for myself, using some of the credit I earned from proofing reprints for Radio Archives. Part of Altus' Press' Wild Adventures of Doc Savage series of novels, their latest release - Doc Savage: Skull Island - is a pulp-filled, fun read, with the first-ever team-up of Doc Savage and King Kong.

Yes, you read that correctly - thankfully, this book written by Will Murray doesn't have even the slightest whiff of fan fiction. It's a great tale that focuses on the early years of Doc Savage, with a brief prologue and analogue happening in 1933, shortly after the events of The Man of Bronze and the end of the classic movie King Kong. (Yes, there's a rationale - both Doc and Kong made their debut in March 1933). Consisting of an extended flashback, the tale focuses on Doc and his father, Clark Sr., as they head out on the schooner Orion to Skull Island to find Stormalong Savage, the patriarch of the clan....and Doc's grandfather.

Combining a variety of genres (only in this book will you find tall tales mixed with references to Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes), Doc Savage: Skull Island is a great exploration of the early years of Doc Savages that manages to explain much about the character....and yet still allow Doc to remain an air of mystery about him. (Unlike Phillip Jose Farmer's Escape from Loki, there isn't a false note about this). It's a great, rip-roaring adventure that manages to provide both Doc Savage - and Kong - a more strongly developed background, and the final third of the book is a relentless read - you won't be able to put the book down.

Soon, many of you reading this blog will be purchasing books for the beach, or for travel, or just for the sake of reading. In short, Doc Savage: Skull Island is a must-read, not just for fans of pulp literature....but for fans of just plain great reading.

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