Friday, June 03, 2016

Glare of the Gorgon -- Will Murray

Will Murray is back with another Wild Adventure of Doc Savage.  With the announcement that Shane Black will be writing the screenplay for Doc Savage movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, we might be seeing a resurgence of interest in the character that Murray's been doing so much to keep alive in this new series.  

This time around Doc, Monk, Ham, and Long Tom are involved with a modern Medusa, one who communicates in a disembodied voice, kills, and leaves behind a mysterious symbol much like the one on the book's cover.  The killing doesn't result of people being turned to stone.  Well, not entirely.  Their brains are turned to stone almost instantly, though, and that's a pretty effective way to kill someone.

There are plenty of mysteries in the story.  How can a brain be turned to stone?  Who's behind the deaths?  How can a man whose brain is turned to stone be brought back to life?  And of course the big one:  Who is the gorgon?  Even Doc seems baffled.

The narrative this time is about four times the length of an old Lester Dent tale.  There's action galore, with gunfights, kidnappings, car chases, and general mayhem.  Long Tom alone is tied up, beaten up, and whacked in the head enough times to give even the toughest hardboiled private-eye pause.  If you're a Doc Savage fan or a fan of fiction in the style of the old pulps in general, Glare of the Gorgon will give you a lot of reading satisfaction.


Richard Robinson said...

I'm way behind on these, and have even stopped buying them until I catch up. One of the reasons I'm not getting through them faster is I tire of the silly interplay between Ham and Monk. Lighten up, for heaven's sake, Will! Or maybe don't "lighten up" so much. I know it's intended to be comic relief, but in these long ones, there's just too much of it.

/steps off soap box

As for the film, I sure hope they don't play it for laughs the way the Deadpool movie was. Make it in the mold of Indy Jones.

S.W.B. said...

I think some of these new books (like in 1991 and then the newer series) are good, and I feel that the artist is talented, but the cover artwork really puts me off even getting a collection of these or trying to find the costlier hardbacks; I just don't 'get' the style of the paintings for these covers and the novels are on my radar for a much later date.

That said, I read a Doc Savage book over 30 years ago this very month, and feel I have been fan from childhood to today.

Of course we always mention there are other character and later creations,
Indiana Jones and James Bond and also creations as Golgo 13 (Duke Togo), in many many ways they owe their roots to Doc Savage and some of the very early pulp characters.

S.W.B. said...

In a completely ideal situation, I hoped they would contact Murray and at least give him a look at the story, or a pass at the storyline they decide on.

There are hopes that the movie succeeds, on some levels, but it must be one that they consider filming as a period piece! Doc Savage may not be ideal to be in a modern setting (internet, cellphones and tablets, modern machines and such).

Murray is certainly the expert in this field and he knows as much about the right stories and Dent plots as anyone out there, and he has stated in a few interviews he was involved with the Dent estate in getting manuscripts published and Doc Savage old stories/novels expanded and published anew. They could never ask for a better consultant.

George said...

I have GLARE OF THE GORGON on order. But, I'm with you on the length of these books: less is more.

Charles Gramlich said...

Love that title. Sounds right in line with the old ones.