Monday, August 18, 2008

Reading Report

Didn't get a lot of reading done over the weekend, since for most of Sunday even the reflected light off the page made my headache worse. Still I got in one more of Manly Wade Wellman's John the Balladeer stories. Having read a ton of Wellman's stories in the last couple of months, I believe now that the John tales represent his best work. Every one is a little gem of plot, characterization, and storytelling. Just amazing. I'm about two thirds of the way through the collection, and though I'm drawing the stories out as long as I can, I don't have that many left.
I read another chapter of E. Hoffman Price's Book of the Dead, this one detailing his visits and correspondence with H.P. Lovecraft. The thing that stood out for me, especially after reading Lovecraft at Last a few weeks ago, was just how nice a guy Lovecraft was. Price goes on at length at just how much fun Lovecraft was and how many people who never met him don't really get the humor and sense of play in his letters. Wish I could have met him. Next chapter is about Price's visit to Robert E. Howard. I've read a shorter version elsewhere, but this one was expanded especially for this volume, adding back stuff Price had cut for the previously published version. Looking forward to that.
Then I switched to the Doc Savage novel The Whiskers of Hercules. Got about halfway through that and will finish it up tonight or tomorrow. In this one the Man of Bronze and his assistants are up against a criminal group who have found a way to briefly give a person superhuman speed an strength, but the process apparently ages that person rapidly. Since I'm not to the end I don't know how the process works. This is a fun story though and it has all five of Doc's aides in action, Renny, Johnny, Long Tom, Monk and Ham. As the Doc Savage stories were reduced in length in the later years, most stories only featured two or three of the fabulous five, and many only Ham and Monk. Nice to have all the gang together.


Lanny said...

I hope you're back to 100% real soon!

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thanks man. Aside from a little residual congestion, I'm back in action.