3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Introduction to Siodmak,
This review is from: Donovan's Brain/Hauser's Memory/2 Complete Novels in 1: & Hauser's Memory (Mass Market Paperback)
What a terrific idea to introduce people to the works of Curt Siodmak--two books in one! I certainly appreciated the ability to read the first two books in the Patrick Cory trilogy (also including Gabriel's Body) by buying just one book.
Donovan's Brain is a terrific SF/horror novel combining medical experimentation with horrific consequences. Cory saves the brain of a millionaire (this is where all the "brain that lived" storylines originated) and keeps it alive in a jar with electricity and tubes containing oxygenated fluid. But the brain begins to control him. Yeah, I know, it sounds silly, but Siodmak writes in such a way to pull you into the story.
Hauser's Memory is along the same lines, except that in this one Cory and his colleague Hillel Mondoro try to save just the memory of a dead Nazi--Karl Hauser--by extracting the RNA from the brain using mortar, pestle, and centrifuge. Cory offers himself as the subject but Mondoro injects himself behind Cory's back. Mondoro almost immediately begins to feel the effects--having dreams and memories--and begins to follow the dead man's wishes. Similar story as before, but still well-told.
Siodmak is obviously the master of this kind of story. He is probably more well-known for writing Universal horror films from the '40's like The Wolf Man. I am an old-time radio fan and I knew him from the Suspense adaptation of Donovan's Brain starring Orson Welles.
I am looking forward to reading the third book in this series and certainly will look for more works by Curt Siodmak in the future.