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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for fans of pulp magazines or Doc Savage!
Fans of Doc Savage will love this book, which is about the author of the Doc Savage pulp magazine stories. It was fun to read about Lester Dent -- his Doc tales have been my favorites for years, and I felt like I got to know him a bit from reading this book
Published on October 8, 1996

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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty skimpy
This booklet --- almost a pamphlet, really --- is so brief as to be almost useless. There is far more detailed information about the pulp markets and Dent's career in Philip Jose Farmer's "Doc Savage an Apocalyptic Life". Much of the text quotes from two sources: Ron Goulart's "Cheap Thrills" and Will Murray's "The Secret Kenneth Robeson". Ron Goulart is a pulp...
Published on May 28, 2005 by Kindle Customer


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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for fans of pulp magazines or Doc Savage!, October 8, 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Lester Dent: The Man, His Craft and His Market (Paperback)
Fans of Doc Savage will love this book, which is about the author of the Doc Savage pulp magazine stories. It was fun to read about Lester Dent -- his Doc tales have been my favorites for years, and I felt like I got to know him a bit from reading this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was not skimpy, by Gar!, February 21, 2011
This review is from: Lester Dent: The Man, His Craft and His Market (Paperback)
It ain't pretty skimpy, "by gar!" (Dent's expression). This was the first biography of Lester Dent, and my first attempt at writing something over a 10 page report. Before it went to press, a second book came out whose primary source was my then master's thesis collecting dust at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. The only acknowledgment I received from that author was a small footnote proving she had access to my work. All of my information came from Norma Dent, Dent's widow. Murray was still a kid, and well-loved by Mrs. Dent. but the stories I got from her were woman-to-woman and straight from her heart. I interviewed other people in LaPlatta, Mo, who remembered Dent but not fondly. I could have exploited that angle big time, but my thesis/book became a story about Norma and her never told story of life with her husband, the millionaire who made it big during the depression writing formula novels.

I was a graduate student at Truman State University when I chose Dent because his widow lived ten miles away from me and because no one had ever heard of him. Dent had a lot of competition--Faulkner, Shakespeare, Whitman, Jane Austin--in academia. If you think your review was harsh, you should try to imagine my defending Den't stories, written by his own words, as a way to make a lot a dough, to scholars who survive on feeling superior to God. I defended things about him in my "useless, large spaced book" that others have only repeated since. How brilliant Dent was as an inventor and science fiction writer and how many of his fictionalized inventions made it into 3-D came from MRS. Dent's memory of conversations she had with Dent in their house he called the House of inventions. It was a fun house, for sure, and one I would have loved to describe to my audience in detail because I honored Norma's request for privacy. I wrote this book with the living presence in mind.

The contribution I made to pulp fiction with my little book was the first academic defense of Dent's writing and pulp fiction as a genre. My book was not a history; it was a justification of Dent as an author who contributed more to literature than being the most prolific hacker in American history . I used the writings of Jacques Barzun, a historian of ideas and culture, to argue (to an entire body of professors in America) that pulp fiction is not crap for the illiterate masses. Barzun wrote the definitive article on "what makes writing good literature." I used his argument point-by-point to defend Dent's books, and it worked. Pulp literature meets the criteria of good literature as defined by Barzun.

So, Buster Brown, its been over thirty years since I defended Dent to the ivory tower keepers. I have a few more books under my belt, including one that is 230 pages of small print you might like if that remains your criteria for good literature. Or, better yet. Read Vanity Fair. That has lots of pages. Like you, I see this book's faults and I agree with you, but I hope most readers will see its strengths as well: it was a gutsy Doc Savage-able attempt to keep my 4.0 by writing on a subject that no one on my committee could claim expertise. This little book is the embodiment of Dent's true gift: seeing the obvious and cashing in on it while others only dream of achieving their goals within paradigms of chance.

Its worth having in your library. When the book was covered in northeast Missouri at a university tea in Dent's honor, I received a note from Mrs. Dent. "Thank you, thank you, thank you. People are calling and sending me cards who forgot I was alive after my husband died." That note tucked inside my copy makes worth keeping it in my library. In the many years since I studied literature, Dent remains for me the perfect author in one sense. He got up every morning, he produced, and then he sold his product. He proved over and over again that good literature 1) moves its reader to a higher level of awareness; 2) and is timeless. He also proved that while the "American masterpiece" lays stillborn in the minds of many brilliant writers, the simple "good triumphs over evil message, repeated over and over, is all that many of us need to lift us out of the mire of everyday existence.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty skimpy, May 28, 2005
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This review is from: Lester Dent: The Man, His Craft and His Market (Paperback)
This booklet --- almost a pamphlet, really --- is so brief as to be almost useless. There is far more detailed information about the pulp markets and Dent's career in Philip Jose Farmer's "Doc Savage an Apocalyptic Life". Much of the text quotes from two sources: Ron Goulart's "Cheap Thrills" and Will Murray's "The Secret Kenneth Robeson". Ron Goulart is a pulp historian and award-winning SF author; Murray is a long time Doc Savage scholar and author of several Doc Savage books.

Since so much of the information in this booklet is drawn from these two sources, I think my money would have been better spent hunting down copies of the Goulart and Murray books, rather than spending my money on this one.

In any case, what you get is very skimpy --- 89 pages of very large print and very wide margins, plus a brief bibliography and index. Hardly worth the price.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked this book!, August 20, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Lester Dent: The Man, His Craft and His Market (Paperback)
Great book about Lester Dent. I started reading the Doc Savage stories when I was a kid, and I still read them 30 years later. Fun to learn about my favorite author
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Lester Dent: The Man, His Craft and His Market
Lester Dent: The Man, His Craft and His Market by M. Martin McCarey-Laird (Paperback - Jan. 1995)
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