Shirtless Dave ain't no book worm! He doesn't have time for all that sitting and looking. He's a man of action! His brother, though - Shirtless Dave with Hat - does like to read and sometimes he does. And when he does he likes to share what he did. So he is! The Daves' other brother, Shirtless Dave with Hat with Shirt, also will not read. He's more into radio. So, with out any further ado, scroll down to read Shirtless Dave with Hat's book reviews!
The Classic Illustrated
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This book is awesome! It has 636 pages and 38 mysteries. That's an average of 16.7 pages per mystery which is a good length for a mystery story. The book is heavy because it is so big so sometimes it makes my hands tired. Also sometimes I read while I am laying down and so it is on my chest and when I wake up there is a red mark on my chest. The book has very small type so it is a good value and an efficient use of tree skin.
Plus there are pictures on almost every page by Sidney Paget who is an awesome drawer! I like it because everytime you turn a page there is a new picture to look at with the words and if you get tired of looking at the words you can look at the picture for a little while before you are ready to proceed once again. I went ahead and added some of my favorite Sidney Paget illustrations to this page so you can see how cool his pictures are. This may be illegal. I'm just so enthused!
Of the 38 mystery stories in the book my favorite are, in order of being radical from one to five:
- The Adventure of the Yellow Face
- The Adventure of Black Peter
- The Adventure of the Speckled Band
- The Adventure of the Dancing Men
- The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist
Most of these are of kind of near the end of the book so maybe I am saying they are my favorite just because I remember them most. But they are all good! There is not a stinker in the entire book. I thought I would get sick of the book before I finished it but I did not ever. That's is really saying something too because it took me maybe 5 months to read it all. I am a deliberate reader or maybe just sort of slow.
The Adventure of the Yellow Face is really scary. There is this guy who has a wife and they live in the country and are English. The wife has some secrets and the husband does not like that. There are people living in a house nearby and he does not like that either. There's a scary person in that house who has a yellowy face that looks like wax who watches the man when he walks by. Wouldn't that scare you? Sherlock Holmes and his friend John Watson look into it and take care of business. John Watson is a doctor but he always has time for his friend Sherlock. I give this story 700 thousand.
The Adventure of Black Peter is another very scary one and it is also sort of gory which is why I would not recommend it to children or adults who scare easily. I scare easily and I would not recommend it to a former version of myself who had not already read it. But, I am glad I read it even though for a while afterwards I was scared to look out my windows after it got dark out. This story is about a mean old sailor who builds a crummy shack behind his house where he likes to hang out. That's fine with his wife and daughter because they do not like him. Something very macabre happens and Sherlock Holmes and his friend John Watson look into the matter. This is a corker and deserves 400 million.
The Adventure of The Speckled Band is totally intense but I do not remember it very well because it is pretty early in the book. I think this is the one where a young lady is being terrorized in her bedroom. There is a man who owns the house who is either her father or uncle or something and he's bad maybe. I just looked at the pictures and there is one drawing of a guy throwing a blacksmith into a creek. I don't remember that at all. I showed it to Brad Oexeman and he thinks that looks awesome but he has ancestors who were blacksmiths and so he is torn a bit. There's some other scary pictures too but I don't want to ruin anything. I give this story a thousand thousand.
The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist is another great one. This is about a girl who has a relation who passes away in Africa. Two men come back and say they were this relation's friends and they are to look out for her. One of them is real nice but the other is a scoundrel. Then whenever this girl rides her bike on this one road there is another bicyclist who follows her. It's pretty scary and made me throw away my bike even though it was awesome. I give this story a million.
All in All this is one of the greatest books I've read forever. It really is cool to read and fun. I enjoyed it ten million and recommend it to all children.
Postscript: Brad Helm recommends the Jeremy Brett era Sherlock Holmes tv stories.
Next Time I will review Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination which I am going to start tonight. I am super excited. See you then!
Tales of Mystery and
Edgar (Allan) Poe
I'm not bats about this! It has 304 pages and 18 stories. Some of these stories are ones I did not like and it made me mad to read them. I think I hate things that are lyrical and want to punch them in the mouth!
I bought this because I thought the stories would be arabesque, but also mainly because there are pictures. There are pictures but there are not enough of them. They are by Harry Clarke. They are pretty good, but I am not going to show any here because I am not that enthused by them. I think maybe I would like them more if I liked the stories more.
Plus I am so angry! One of the best stories, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is ruined because the very first picture shows the culprit killing the ladies. I didn't know a ****** killed those ladies! But the story was bad because suddenly I did know that it was a ****** all along. That ruined the whole book for me. It's stupid and I think it is baloney. I'm going to show one picture anyway. Harry Clarke is a pretty cool drawer now that I got all that anger out of me. He should not be punished because the people who made the book did not plan ahead. I think Harry Clarke draws with spider webs if that is possible. The more I look at his pictures the more I make up my mind that he is totally awesome and a great drawer. I will show a few of his gory, chilling works here.
Upon reviewing this book I realize I did not read most of it. I got angry and then excited about a different book and then I kind of forgot about it. Some of the unread stories look pretty good so I will read them at some point. There were good stories, including:
- The Pit and the Pendulum
- The Gold-Bug
- The Purloined Letter
- King Pest
The ones above all have a lot of action and good violence. Ones that sound good but I did not read include:
- A Descent into the Maelstrom
- The Black Cat
- The Masque of the Red Death
The ones above all sound like they probably have good violence and stories.
I shouldn't even be telling you about this book because I think I am still very angry about the lyricism and also I did not read it all. If I had remembered I did not finish it I would have not written this but it is too late. The more I think about it, I really did like a lot of what I read. I think I was in a bad mood when I first started writing this but I just had a snack and now I remember that some of these stories were very awesome and super scary and Edgar Allan Poe's detective, Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, displays many notable feats of cunning. It's just that they ruined the one story because the picture gave away the ending, and then one or two of the stories were lyrical so I got very upset. I give this book a five hundred thousand.
Next Time I will review four Bulldog Drummond stories by a guy who calls himself "Sapper". They are awesome and I am almost done. See you then!
The Shadow: A Quarter
of Eight and the
Freak show Murders
I'm still reading Bulldog Drummond! What happened was I got this Shadow book from the library. I had requested it from inter library exchange but figured it would be months before I got it cause there would probably be like a thousand people in front of me to read it. But no! I got it right away. So then I only had a month to read it which is not a long time for me. So, I had to put Bulldog Drummond aside and get reading on the Shadow so as to make sure I finished it. That's sort of the dark side of the library system.
For people who waste their time reading books for jerks, The Shadow is a crime buster who has a bunch of powers. He can confuse people with the help of a sapphire ring and make them do what he wants. He can also sort of disappear and sneak up on you. He has a gang of people which is devoted to him and does what he wants. Criminals are frightened of him and when he has them where he wants them he starts laughing at them and that really gets them going! He carries around two .45's and just shoots heck out of people who have it coming. He's a good shot and has no qualms about dishing it out.
Walter Gibson (aka Maxwell Grant) wrote most of the Shadow stories. He wrote over 280 Shadow books! Is that incredible? He would sometimes write 2 books a month. He was really a hard worker and should be an inspiration to kids everywhere. He is a hero to all.
There are two stories in this book and no pictures discounting the one on the cover. That's kind of a hassle cause you have to keep closing the book to see the picture. Because of this I have deducted forty-thousand points from the books review. To help you I tried to make some other drawings into Shadow drawings but it was hard. It's hard to draw the Shadow because he is vaporous.
The first story is called A Quarter of Eight. It's pretty good! Basically a bunch of guys in France are all looking for a treasure. They decide whoever finds it has to share it. So everybody knows who gets to share the dough, they break up a coin and each get a piece. They'll meet whenever the loot is found and then if you have a piece of the coin you are set. Because of the large amount of money and hazy planning, intrigue happens to the people. A couple people get shot and one lady gets caught in he middle of it all but she doesn't know what's going on. The Shadow whales the bad guys and justice is served. The entire experience of reading this was awesome! Although I had difficulty remembering what was going on and who people were, I do not blame the book but instead I blame myself because I was kind of ill when I was reading it. I'm pretty sure it was some sort of fungus or mold.
The second story is called The Freak Show Murders and it is even better than the other one. Some title! This story is particularly good because there is a ton of action. The story is that a guy invents a metal that is as strong as steel, but super super light. There is only so much of this material around, and the people who have it want to sell it. The trouble is there's a blood thirsty guy - The Harlequin - who's going around killing those people and taking their stuff that's made out of the material in question. One guy gets framed for the whole mess so he sneaks off with the carnival while he tries to sort it all out.
What's particularly great about this story other than all the action is that Walter Gibson really did his research and puts in a lot of carny talk so you feel like you are learning things while you read. Carnies, like hobos, use their own words.
The Shadow soon gets on the case and with the help of his friends he sorts it all out. Or does he??? I do not want to give away the ending. I give The Freak Show Murders 4 million because it is a tremendous achievement. I loved it and wish I could read it again but not know what was going to happen.
All in all I give this book, minus the demerits for not being illustrated, 4 billion. If you are a kid you should be a fan of The Shadow because he is better than everything that has ever happened in the 21st century.
Due to the awesomeness of the internet, it is super easy to become a Shadow fan! You can go here to hear free radio plays starring The Shadow. These are great! You can turn down the lights and snack and listen to them!
Next Time I will be talking about a Doc Savage book I read and then after that I will talk about a different Doc Savage book I read. They are terrific! After that, maybe Bulldog Drummond?
The Man of Bronze and
The Land of Terror
Woah Buddy! Doc Savage is the best! Did you know that?
Doc Savage is everything a man can be. He is an adventurous, altruistic surgeon with a keenly honed mind and a rugged, powerful and lithe body. He is the best part of everybody put into one gentleman. Also, he is bronze-colored and makes a bird-like twittering sound when he thinks hard. Doc Savage is a master pilot and though it has not come up yet I am confident he does boats too.
Doc also has a team of a bunch of like-minded fellows who are each top-rated achievers in their fields. Fields include geology and other things. All the men in the team are also strong, cunning and packed to the ears with grit, moxie and bustafazoo. Even so, Doc is stronger then them all and also knows more than they do - he is top rated in all fields!
The book I read has two novel-length stories in it; The Man of Bronze, which I think is the first Doc Savage story ever, and The Land of Terror, which may be the second ever.
The Man of Bronze involves Doc inheriting a big hunk of land in South America from his mysteriously murdered father. Doc flies the team down to the land in order to check it all out and see what's what. Upon arrival it is made very clear that some people do not want them there at all. Huge amounts of riches are involved, and the team has to fight a slew of angry native-types. The writing in this story is very exciting. There was one part where I was sure a bunch of the team was dead. I thought there was no way they could not be. I don't want to ruin anything for you, but what happened next was a shocker!
The story comes to a very satisfying resolution. It really made me a fan of Doc Savage. I feel this story earns 400 million. What a yarn!
I forgot to mention that Doc is not a super hero or anything, even though he achieves amazing feats. He is just a very hard worker who spends two hours every morning training his mind, body and senses. He is a hard worker who deserves admiration. A wonderful person has compiled what is known of Doc's exercise regime so that we all can get it together, health-wise. Take a look. I also did not mention that these stories were originally published in magazines - so that means that way back when if you bought this magazine you got a whole book! That's some deal! The depression days were sad, hard times, but you truly got a good value for your dollar. People worked hard back then and knew a thing or two about being entertained.
The second story in the book, The Land of Terror, is also a terrific adventure. There is a gang of villains who are led by Kar, who is an evil mastermind. He has developed stuff called "The Smoke of Eternity" which, if it gets on you, will make that part of you disappear into smoke. Pretty spooky. One of Doc's friends gets it on him and so Doc and the team give chase. They finally end up in the Land of Terror which I can't really talk about because I don't want to ruin anything. I can say that for the team to survive the Land of Terror it involves a very big amount of action, peril and thrills. This is a tremendous story and one that deserves 50 trillion. The only drawback is that it is pretty obvious who the bad guy is, even though he thinks he is being crafty. There are dinosaurs too!
All in all this book is super-terific and should find a home on any kid's bookshelf. There are not enough drawings, but the ones that are there are great. They are by Walter Baumhofer, who does the awesome covers, and Paul Orban, who does the inside-the-book drawings. Both men are tops in their field!
I give this book a 100 million.
The internet continues to pay off! Go here to listen to some brain-wringing Doc Savage radio adventures!
Next Time I will be talking about another Doc Savage two-fer I just got from the library! It has a story about a spider and one about a treasure and a submarine maybe. I am so excited I can't wait to crawl into bed to start reading! Talk to you soon!
Quest of The Spider
and The Polar Treasure
This book was very, very good but I cannot remember anything about it at all. My advice to young book reviewers would be to take notes and also possibly remember things in their minds.
The first novel, The Quest of the Spider, involves a fiend who goes by the name of the Gray Spider. He is an enemy of all people except the weird swamp people who help him out. They all live in the swamp in the deep south and are plotting to take over the lumber industry down there. It's a big task and the Gray Spider is a very ambitious villain. He is also secretive.
Doc and his team infiltrate the Gray Spider's lair and may or may not vanquish him and his weird followers. The Gray Spider and his followers are known collectively as The Cult of the Moccasin. I advise ambitious young evildoers to label their organizations 'cults' as this will alert your enemies to the serious-mindedness and devotion you afford your endeavor.
I wish I could remember this story better because what I do remember is very intriguing. At some point there are a bunch of poisonous flies that are used as weapons. That is uncommon in the South. That is all I can remember and because of that I feel like a fraud and a lout. I am what is wrong with the internet. I give this book 1,000,010.
The second novel in this book, The Polar Treasure, is also comprised of details and action which have been discarded by my mind. This is stupid because I have not learned anything of interest since I read this book so I do not know what my brain made room for.
This story is about Doc helping a musician (classical) who people are trying to get. They are pirates who are after him! That's kind of scary right there because everybody is in New York. People in New York mostly feel safe from pirate violence, but nope.
Doc and his guys step in to help the musician. The musician is also blind, but maybe not for long! He also has a surprise on his back he did not know was there!
In the course of helping the blind musician Doc and his fellows all get on a submarine and go to either the Arctic or Antarctic circle. There, actions ensues at a furious pace and Doc must use his muscle, intelligence and imagination to usher the situation to a safe and positive conclusion. Does he?
This book features the aforementioned pirates as villains as well as a group of proud but violently misguided Eskimos. It seems so rare to have people fighting Eskimos anymore. I give this novel 25 million.
In total, this book is good. There are a couple good pictures but I returned the book to the library without copying them. I give myself a minus four hundred thousand. The book, in total, gets a billion. I tried to draw some pictures of Doc in repose and in action. They are not very good because I am a poor penman. I am sorry.
The next book I will review is the Bulldog Drummond book with four full length novels in it. It was a great deal because I bought it for just $4.98! It is 768 pages which is just about 1.5 cents a page. That is some type of deal. I also cannot remember this book so I am sorry in advance. See you then!
The Carl Peterson
H.C. (Sapper) McNeile
These are some of my all-time favorite books ever! Reading these thrilling adventures reminded me of being a boy and first being presented with fondue. Bulldog Drummond is what I had been sitting around and waiting for all this time!
It should be noted straight off that these books might not be all that great for kids. They are violent and many of the heroes take a dim view of multi-culturalism. The latter is unfortunate, but also very old-timey. I just wanted to note this so parents would be armed with knowledge and could maintain their right to determine exactly when it is their children learn that people are weird and, often, freaky.
Bulldog Drummond is a guy who fought valiantly in the first Big One, WWI. He's British, daring, and unflappable. After the war he lends his services to those in need. Like Doc Savage, he has a bunch of friends who help him help others. They are a bunch of rowdies, really, but are totally awesome. They have a good team spirit and should act as an inspiration to all young readers.
Bulldog's arch nemesis is a shadowy figure who goes by many aliases. He is an international menace, but is very smart and maintains an appealing sense of decorum. Bulldog knows this man as Carl Peterson, but even this is not his given name. The man is a frustrating mystery.
These books are great because they are very, very exciting and there is a lot of cagey dialogue and alarming plot twists. I was so happy reading all these stories. Bulldog always stays optimistic even when the chips are down. He is an inspiration to all English.
The four novels in this generous volume are:
- Bulldog Drummond
- The Black Gang
- The Third Round
- The Final Count
The novels involve numerous instances of murder, torture, extortion and international intrigue. I usually don't like books with international happenings, but this is not like those other books. The action always hits close to home and there are not a bunch of characters you do not care about doing jobs you don't understand. There also are not a bunch of boring scenes. Everything is always happening.
I am scared to detail these books too closely because I will ruin them or make them seem poopy. I do not want to do that because I love them very much and I miss them now that I read them all. Thinking of them now I feel a bittersweet wistfulness as if I am reminiscing about a lady love.
Since the internet is awesome, it houses a bunch of free, awesome Bulldog Drummond material. You can go here to check out a bunch of freewheeling Bulldog Drummond movies. Then, while you're interneting, consider turning down the lights and listening to the Bulldog radio thrillers available here.
All in all I give this book a hundred million with an extra thirty thousand powdered and punched into the sides of its torso. I love these books even though they did not have a single picture which is totally ridiculous. I drew some pictures with my hands but they do not do justice to this man. I should be kicked off the internet.
As a side note, many proud Chicagoans will recognize the name Bulldog Drummond because one of our own very finest of investigative reporters, John Drummond, uses the nickname 'Bulldog'. He is an inspiration to KitKit and upstanding children everywhere. Learn more about Mr. Drummond here. He doesn't seem as active now as when I was a boy, but he was hot on the case during the recent Family Secrets trial. It was a comfort to see his hard-bitten, pork-pie-hat charms. He is Chicago walking in a belted raincoat.
I don't have the faintest idea what I'll review Next Time. I am currently reading Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day as well as Bob Ham's Overload #12: Vegas Gamble.
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