Sunday, May 20, 2012

Biography of Doc Savage

I have wanted to read Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life  by Philip Jose Farmer for a long time. The book was out of print for a long time., but now is in the kindle store.

Doc Savage was the hero of large number of pulp adventure books written in the 30s and 40s.  There was also a not very good film in the 70s.

Farmer read over 100 of the adventures of Doc Savage and the created this biography.  Doc Savage was both a man of action and a good scientist - so very similar to me, except that I am not really rich. Like a proper biography he counts the number of times that the various characters get knocked out. In the later stories he wonders whether all the fighting gave them brain damage. All the characters started rich, but all ended in relative poverty.

Farmer spends a lot of time trying to work out where Savage's base is. In the end he thought it was in the Empire State Building. Then there is a long discussion about secret elevators and if they were allowed  under the safety rules.

Doc Savage has a college of crime where he cures criminals. As Farmer notes this was probably illegal, as it involved kidnapping and holding people illegally.