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Super-Detective Flip Book: Two Complete Novels Paperback – March 10, 2008
Garth Brooks: The Anthology Part 1 | Limited Edition
A great gift for country music fans, The Anthology Part 1 includes CDs containing the music of Garth's first five years, and behind-the-scenes photographs and stories never before made public. Learn more
About the Author
John Wooley has written novels, nonfiction, screenplays, journalism, and documentaries. His other books include the seminal horror classics "Old Fears" and "Death's Door", written with Ron Wolfe, and "How to Make It in the Music Business", written with music impresario Jim Halsey. Wooley lives in Oklahoma, where he is working on his next novel.
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The hero of our two stories is Jim Anthony, who bears a striking resemblance to Doc Savage, an even more popular hero of the pulp age. Anthony is wealthy, brilliant and extremely physically fit, with physical capabilities verging on superhuman, though not quite. There are assorted and sundry other characters, i.e. sidekicks, helping Jim in his endeavors.
The first story is "Legion of Robots" that is from the era when Jim Anthony's stories had science fiction elements in them. This story was the second Jim Anthony story, published around 01 November 1940. Anthony's principal foe in the first three magazines was Rado Ruric, a villain with capabilities near Anthony's, which made Ruric just short of a super-villain.
In "Legion of Robots," Ruric has escaped from prison after Anthony had captured Ruric in the first story in the Anthony series. Ruric had two goals. His first goal was to sabotage America, remembering that this story published when the United States was supporting Great Britain even though the United States had not declared war against any of the Axis powers. Ruric's second goal was to get revenge on his nemesis Jim Anthony.
Ruric obtained certain chemicals from a fictional Central American nation that enables him to control men and to give them great strength, thus the name "Legion of Robots." Ruric has also built a serpent-like submarine that can travel on land, spouting chemicals to attack aircraft and people.
Jim Anthony has his hands full as he learns of secrets that threaten his organization and ability to thwart the enemy's of America. Yet, as true American heroes must, we know that Jim Anthony will ultimately prevail, even if it takes a while to figure out how he will prevail.
The second story is "Murder's Migrants" from Anthony's era as a "hard-boiled" detective. This story published 01 March 1943 as the Second World War raged. Once again, Anthony is fighting people intent on sabotaging the American war effort.
Anthony learns of a plot to damage the war effort as he is having dinner. A man who thought Anthony's organization duped him into spending all his money on a bogus trip to California for a non-existent job is preparing to shoot Anthony when someone shoots him.
Anthony begins to investigate and learns that someone has been using his name illegally. Anthony's investigation incurs the wrath of a local police detective who is often annoyed at Anthony's superior investigative abilities. Anthony must overcome all these obstacles to determine who and why people are paying all the money they have to men in the belief they are going to work war jobs in the Southwest, only to be dumped in the desert. What purpose could these men have? How could these actions harm Anthony and his companies? Read on to the exciting conclusion!
These two stories are amazingly entertaining. Given that both stories are from long ago, the style is somewhat archaic and sometimes amusing. The science is often suspect, particularly in "Legion of Robots." Many of the devices described in this story are impossible, which throws many of the elements into either fantastic fiction or science fiction. If you ignore the impossible or implausible aspects, the story is interesting and exciting. I remember enjoying "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," which is a pulp fiction film and it is the closest contemporary example I am able to provide to this book. If you enjoyed "Sky Captain" or just enjoy any story where you need to look past what you know to be able to enjoy the story, then these two stories are a lot of fun.
One thing I noticed in both stories is occasional references to bosoms and creamy thighs - and sometimes - other creamy things. I assume that these references are the "lurid" parts of these stories. By today's standards, these references sometimes verge on hilarious and cliché.
I also thought the writing in "Legion of Robots" seemed more archaic than the writing in "Murder's Migrants." I noticed that the author tended to phrase things in a way that seemed to pre-date the 1940's. The author also seemed to rely heavily on the use of exclamation marks. Though I was more amused in "Legion of Robots," I thought "Murder's Migrants" was more interesting and better written.
I enjoyed both these stories from another era and I hope to be able to read more stories like these in the future. Fans of books, pulp detective stories, pulp science fiction, or Doc Savage will likely find these stories as entertaining and amusing as I did.
My thanks to the author's representative for providing me with a review copy.