Friday, September 27, 2013

Radio Archives


 
 
September 27, 2013
 
It's the 80th Anniversary of G-8, The Spider and Dime Mystery magazines!
Over the next four newsletters, Radio Archives will roll out an uninterrupted stream of exciting products spotlighting the works of pulp superstars Robert J. Hogan, R. T. M. Scott and Norvell W. Page. Here’s Will Murray to tell you more:
“In the Autumn of 1933, Popular Publications took the pulp universe by storm when they released in rapid succession, G-8 and His Battle Aces, The Spider, and the first of the weird menace pulps, Dime Mystery magazine. For the 80th anniversary of these historic debuts, we're releasing some of the earliest and most exciting issues of these fabulous titles. You'll thrill to the continued exploits of G-8, as well as the electrifying debuts of The Spider and Dime Mystery magazine. These thrilling titles come to life in affordable audiobooks, along with companion eBooks. You'll enjoy them all. I guarantee it.”
 
Today we are excited to announce that The Spider audiobooks are now being released MONTHLY! We have built Nick Santa Maria a recording studio and all the adventures of The Spider are coming to life. You will be able to hear all your favorite Spider stories in the comfort of your home or car. Very exciting news for The Spider  fans.
 
 

Crime does not pay...

Those four simple words sum up the basic philosophy behind "Calling All Cars", a popular crime drama heard over CBS Pacific Network stations from November 29, 1933 to September 8, 1939. In these dramatizations, the point was driven home time and time again that a life of a crime was a life wasted -- and anyone venturing off the straight-and-narrow was fated to meet a sad and sorry end. 
 
During the Great Depression, some might have argued that it DID pay - and pay very well, too. After the 1929 stock market crash, bank failures, Midwestern crop disasters, and mass unemployment became a daunting part of everyday life, resulting in the rise of the bank robber and gangster as folk hero rather than criminal threat. It would take the election of Franklin Roosevelt and the appointment of such charismatic crime fighters as Melvin Purvis, J. Edgar Hoover, and Elliott Ness to finally turn the tide against the criminal element, turning lawmen into heroes and, eventually, the common man against the criminal element.
 
In the 1930s, radio played a part in stemming the tide against crime - and never more so than in "Calling All Cars", one of the earliest and most influential police procedural shows. Dramatizing true crime exploits and introduced by real-life law enforcement officials, "Calling All Cars" offered the gritty details of criminal activity in true "ripped from the headlines" style. Led by writer/director William N. Robson, the weekly series gave listeners the audio equivalent of a tough, down in the streets Warner Brothers crime drama, complete with car chases, low-life gunsels, high-crime bosses, frightened victims, and criminal cases that often hit very close to home. Kidnappings, petty thefts, murders, prison breaks, bunco schemes...all were raw materials for the creators of each show and details of all these crimes and more were used as the basis for the realistic dramas presented.
 
The influence of "Calling All Cars" extended far beyond its six-year run, acting as a blueprint for such later-day radio series as "Dragnet" and "This is Your FBI". And, although this eighty-year-old series may seem a bit primitive to modern-day audiences, listening to the programs today instantly brings to mind such timeless movie classics as "The Public Enemy", "Little Caesar", and "Scarface".

For its entire run, "Calling All Cars" was sponsored by the Rio Grande Oil Company and their patented brand of "cracked" gasoline. Luckily, thanks to the limited and expensive network lines of the 1930s, recordings of all of the programs were made for redistribution to the Southwestern states. This is marvelous news for radio buffs, since it means that almost the entire run of "Calling All Cars" still exists for us to enjoy today.
 
We're proud to offer "Calling All Cars, Volume 6", a ten hour set which, like our other collections, has been professionally restored and transferred directly from the original transcription recordings for impressive audio fidelity. These rare and exiting shows are sure to occupy a special place in your personal library. 10 hours $29.98 Audio CDs / $14.99 Download.

 
Special 50% discount Offer
The world's most famous fictional detective debuted in the pages of the 1887 Beeton's Christmas Annual, and soon came to embody of the intellectual ideals of the Victorian Era. However, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Great Detective owes a great deal of his continued popularity to American radio. All but one of Conan Doyle's canonical stories were out of print when the author died on July 7, 1930, but the popularity of the American radio broadcasts quickly led to the reprinting of Doyle's original stories.
 
The stately Holmes of England was first brought to the airwaves on October 30, 1930 by Edith Meiser, a Broadway actress-turned-radio director who lobbied for years to bring the Great Detective's adventures to radio. "Sherlock is perfect air material," she proclaimed in 1936. "There are not too many clues. Holmes, you know, was the first deduction artist. Doyle, a scientist at heart, believed in mental, rather than physical action. Therefore Sherlock has excellent radio pace. It's uncanny how smoothly it works out for radio adaptation."
 
After several seasons as a Hollywood-based series, Holmes returned to the airwaves September 28, 1947 in a New York-based production with John Stanley starring as the Great Detective. Although his Holmesian tones were almost identical to the legendary Basil Rathbone's, Stanley was a far more-polished radio performer and his portrayal of Holmes was among the finest in history of the long-running series. Stanley had been born and raised in London, less than half a mile from Baker Street, and had relocated to the United States after two years on the London stage. "My father had told me so much about his native New England that I decided I just had to see it," he explained in 1947. A devoted fan of Conan Doyle's stories, John Stanley attended several gatherings of the Baker Street Irregulars and even authored a monograph on the handguns used by Holmes and Watson that appeared in the July 1948 issue of Black Mask.
 
Note: This 10 hour Nostalgia Ventures radio collection has never been available as a Digital Download before today. Regular Price $29.98 - Specially priced until October 10 for $14.99 Audio CDs / $7.49 Download.
 
 
80th Anniversary of The Spider
Will Murray's Pulp Classics #34
by R. T. M. Scott
Read by Nick Santa Maria. Liner Notes by Will Murray
 
 
Eighty years ago in the summer of 1933, Popular Publications President Harry Steeger and his executive editor, Rogers Terrill, decided to enter the new field of magazines built around a single hero. They enlisted popular aviation hero Robert J. Hogan to help conceive G-8 and his Battle Aces, which debuted late in August.
 
But they also wanted to publish a crimebuster to rival a famous pulp juggernaut.  Steeger frankly admitted in later years, “The reason we started the title The Spider was because of the success of Street & Smith’s The Shadow. At this point in pulp history individual titles became very popular, so we decided to try out a few ourselves.”
 
The story of how The Spider came to be is covered in cobwebs. Even Steeger wasn't certain of all the details. He did recall that he was playing tennis when inspiration struck. A solitary spider crossing the court gave him the name of his new hero.
 
The author chosen to pen the first Spider tale was a famous mystery and suspense novelist whose preferred byline was R. T. M. Scott. More than a dozen years before, Scott became famous for his stories and novels featuring Secret Service Smith, a government agent who later became a consulting detective for hire. Aurelius Smith was assisted by his Hindu aide, Langa Doonh, and girlfriend Bernice Asterly.
 
It's clear that Scott modeled this new hero for the Depression generation after his previous protagonist. While Richard Wentworth did not have a government connection––other than to have served with distinction in the First World War––Scott gave him a Hindu aide named Ram Singh. Fiancee Nita van Sloan provided the distaff ally.
 
All of that came under the heading of autobiography. The Canadian-born Scott worked in India prior to World War I, subsequently serving with the 21st Canadian Expeditionary Force with the rank of captain. Coming to New York after the Armistice, he became a successful writer.
 
Beyond personal experience, Scott remade his heroic ideal into a hardboiled hunter of criminals, one who occasionally wore a mask, and invariably imprinted the cold corpses of his enemies with the seal of The Spider, but who was otherwise a faceless phantom.
 
The big mystery of the origins of The Spider magazine is that they were not one, but two, writers named R. T. M. Scott. The first was the father to the second. Reginald Thomas Maitland Scott was one of the most famous writers of the 1920s. His son, Robert Thomas Maitland Scott, was new to the writing world. In fact, the younger Scott worked on the staff of Popular Publications during the 1930s, and periodically contributed to their magazines under the pen name Maitland Scott. One Maitland Scott story published in Terror Tales featured a sinister character named Ram Singh, further confusing the issue.
 
Some critics have thought they detected a different style in the second Spider novel, The Wheel of Death, and have posited that the father wrote The Spider Strikes, while the son penned the sequel. Whichever the truth may be, this is a rare instance in which we know the correct byline of an author, but cannot be certain about his true identity.
 
Be that as it may, The Spider Strikes establishes the essentials of this exciting series. Richard Wentworth is reckless, cold-blooded, and perfectly willing to play a dangerous game between the law who seeks his capture and the enemies of the law he is sworn to track down. While his motivations are unclear, his single-minded determination is without question. He is a hunter of criminals, and in his debut novel he becomes a hunter of supercriminals in the form of the mysterious Mr. X.
 
As Spider fans know, the amazing Norvell W. Page replaced R. T. M. Scott with the third Spider story. And it is Page who is considered the ultimate Spider author. Scott has a flair all his own, and his indelible portrayal of the Master of Men who is both millionaire Richard Wentworth and the dreaded  Spider remained unchanged, but was much more deeply explored under Page’s able but fevered pen.
 
So go now with Richard Wentworth, alias The Spider, as he tackles his first great case and comes face-to-face with the diabolical Mr. X.
 
This audiobook also features short stories by Leslie T. White, who for many years would write The Web column in The Spider magazine, and a rare early tale by Norvell Page, who would dominate this magazine over the next decade. As always, Nick Santa Maria brings the action to electrifying life. This is how The Spider began. 6 hours $23.98 Audio CDs / $11.99 Download.
 
 
 
RadioArchives.com and Will Murray are giving away the downloadable version of the newly released Strange Detective Mysteries audiobook for FREE.
 
If you prefer the Audio CDs to play in your car or home CD player, the coupon code will subtract the $11.99 price of the download version from the Audio CDs. That makes the Audio CDs half price.
 
Add Strange Detective Mysteries to the shopping cart and use the Coupon Code AUDIOBOOK.
 
“Strange Detective Mysteries #1 is one of my favorite pulps and I am excited to produce it as an audiobook with my good friends at Radio Archives. It leads off with Norvell W. Page’s bizarre novelette, “When the Death-Bat Flies,” and includes thrilling stories by Norbert Davis, Paul Ernst, Arthur Leo Zagat, Wayne Rogers and others. Popular Publications went all-out to make this 1937 debut issue a winner. And they succeeded!”
 
Happy listening,
Will Murray
 
 
80th Anniversary of The Spider, G-8 and His Battle Aces, and Dime Mystery Magazine
 
New Will Murray's Pulp Classics eBooks
 
The best of timeless Pulp now available as cutting edge eBooks! Will Murray's Pulp Classics brings the greatest heroes, awesome action, and two fisted thrills to your eReader! Presenting Pulp Icons such as the Spider and G-8 and His Battle Aces as well as wonderfully obscure characters like the Octopus and Captain Satan. Will Murray's Pulp Classics brings you the best of yesterday's Pulp today!
 
An unseen weapon that drives men mad... A green gas which turns smiling faces into leering skulls... A master criminal who can assume at will any known identity... Add to these separate menaces three big-game hunters sworn to destroy the Spider — and you have a situation in which the brilliance and courage of Dick Wentworth will thrill-you as never before! Total Pulp Experience. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and features every story, every editorial, and every column of the original pulp magazine. $2.99.

 
“Purple aces — purple faces! Coming to kill you at dawn!” A dying Yank gasped these words. As he did so he pointed to his own forehead where, emblazoned on the skin, was a small purple ace of spades! What was this dread emblem? Who were the suicide pilots that fought like fiends under the Order of the Purple Ace? The Allies wait in terror while G-8 and his sky pals take up a fighting trail against this mystery staffel of death! G-8 and his Battle Aces rode the nostalgia boom ten years after World War I ended. These high-flying exploits were tall tales of a World War that might have been, featuring monster bats, German zombies, wolf-men, harpies, Martians, and even tentacled floating monsters. Most of these monstrosities were the work of Germany’s seemingly endless supply of mad scientists, chief of whom was G-8’s recurring Nemesis, Herr Doktor Krueger. G-8 battled Germany’s Halloween shock troops for over a decade, not ceasing until the magazine folded in the middle of World War II. G-8 and his Battle Aces return in vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
 
“To all Mankind: Amen Sikh, mad Egyptian scientist, controls the ancient white plague... He is working against the Allies. Plague is to be spread on legs of L...” As G-8 read this unfinished message, he grew chill with terror. Already Yanks were dying by the thousands of a strange disease no one had been able to diagnose — The Plague! Death stalks the world as three Yanks seek to curb its phantom wings! G-8 and his Battle Aces rode the nostalgia boom ten years after World War I ended. These high-flying exploits were tall tales of a World War that might have been, featuring monster bats, German zombies, wolf-men, harpies, Martians, and even tentacled floating monsters. Most of these monstrosities were the work of Germany’s seemingly endless supply of mad scientists, chief of whom was G-8’s recurring Nemesis, Herr Doktor Krueger. G-8 battled Germany’s Halloween shock troops for over a decade, not ceasing until the magazine folded in the middle of World War II. G-8 and his Battle Aces return in vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
 
In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Dime Mystery Magazine was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a collection of stories from the pages of Dime Mystery Magazine, all written by Paul Ernst, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
 
99 cent eBook Singles
Each 99 cent eBook Single contains a single short story, one of the many amazing tales selected from the pages of Terror Tales and Rangeland Romances. These short stories are not included in any of our other eBooks.
 
They were a friendly group of carefree, interesting people — till the laughing madness called them, one by one! In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Dime Mystery Magazine was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a classic story the pages of Dime Mystery Magazine, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format$0.99.
 
The face of that little dead child came back to haunt Sally Hathaway’s dreams — and to terrorize Nick, her husband, with the ghastly knowledge that soon the mad collector of unborn babies would be seeking the new life hidden in Sally’s lovely body! In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Dime Mystery Magazine was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a classic story the pages of Dime Mystery Magazine, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format$0.99.
 
Deep in the strange, macabre darkness of the Maine woods, young Dr. David Kirkland and his fiancée fought a power more ghastly than the epidemic of hydrophobia they had undertaken to wipe out — the unearthly power of the beautiful Nedra Lee, whose pack of soulless, ravening beast-men tore at the flesh of those who dared deny her every whim!... In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Dime Mystery Magazine was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a classic story the pages of Dime Mystery Magazine, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format$0.99.
 
Greed and avarice made me defy the warning uttered by the sinister Dr. Kwang-Lee. For, to recover those priceless jewels I was willing to enter that secret charnel house where ancient lusts were resurrected, and the blood of my body was to be quaffed by the Goddess of Terror herself! In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Dime Mystery Magazine was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a classic story the pages of Dime Mystery Magazine, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format$0.99.
 
All eBooks produced by Radio Archives are available in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats for the ultimate in compatibility. When you upgrade to a new eReader, you can transfer your eBook to your new device without the need to purchase anything new.
 
Find these legendary Pulp tales and more in Will Murray's Pulp Classics, now available at:
 
 
Search for RadioArchives.com in iTunes.
 
 
 
80th Anniversary of The Spider
 
Receive an exciting original Spider adventure FREE! Part of the Will Murray Pulp Classics line, The Spider #11, Prince of the Red Looters first saw print in 1934 and features his momentous battle with The Fly and his armies of crazed criminal killers.
 
For those who have been unsure about digging into the wonderful world of pulps, this is a perfect chance to give one of these fantastic yarns a real test run. With a full introduction to the Spider written by famed pulp historian and author Will Murray, The Spider #11 was written by one of pulp's most respected authors, Norvell W. Page. Writing as Grant Stockbridge, Page's stories included some of the most bizarre and fun takes on heroes and crime fighting in the history of escapist fiction.
 
Even today Page's scenarios and his edge-of-the-seat writing style are still thrilling both new and old fans everywhere. For those who have never read one of these rollercoaster adventures, you are in for a thrill. If you already know how much fun a classic pulp is, make sure you get a copy of this classic.
 
See what the Total Pulp Experience is for yourself. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and features every story, every editorial, and every column of the original pulp magazine.
 
Send an eMail to eBooks@RadioArchives.com and start reading your FREE copy of the Spider #11 within seconds! Experience The Best Pulps the Past has to offer in the most modern way possible!
 
 
 
80th Anniversary of The Spider
The Master of Men blasts his way into Adventure once again in these two action packed tales of The Spider! First, The Spider squares off with The Corpse Broker (1939)! This terrifying tale reveals The Master of the Green Death! For A ten percent commission on murder, this Dealer in Evil guarantees immunity from police prosecution, and any officer that dares to challenge him, dies! With New York in the clutches of this deadly criminal mastermind, the Spider sets out to stop wholesale murder that turns the dead green! Next, The Spider marches against the Volunteer Corpse Brigade (1941)! Deadly plague-germs are used against the nation as Smiler Miordan issues the statement that 'Might is Right!' crushing all who oppose him. Himself affected by the virus, Richard Wentworth, alias the Spider, rallies a band of patriotic lepers to stem the tide of murder set in motion by the criminal Underworld Union! These two exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading and feature both of the original full color covers as well as interior illustrations that accompany each story. On sale for $12.95, save $2.00
 
 
The Knight of Darkness battles foreign threats to America in two classic pulp thrillers by Walter B. Gibson writing as "Maxwell Grant." First, with his alter ego compromised, The Shadow rises from the deep Pacific to confront Japanese agents and retrieve the U.S. Navy's prototype Z-boat, a submersible "Death Ship" that could tip the balance in the future war. Then, at the height of World War II, The Shadow and distaff aide Myra Reldon combat the treacherous plots of "The Black Dragon" and his sinister secret society. BONUS: "The Man with The Shadow's Face!" This instant collector's item reprints Graves Gladney's and Modest Stein's first Shadow covers in color plus the original interior illustrations by Edd Cartier and Paul Orban, with commentary by Will Murray. $14.95.
 
 
The Pulp Era's greatest superman returns in two action-packed pulp novels by Harold Davis and Lester Dent writing as "Kenneth Robeson." First, a series of corpses bearing the bloody sign of "The Crimson Serpent" sets Doc Savage on a trail to an ancient castle, modern-day conquistadors and the Fountain of Youth! Then, the Man of Bronze and his Iron Men journey to South America to investigate the bizarre mystery of "The Exploding Lake" vaporized in a nuclear inferno. This double-novel collector's special leads off with a thrill-packed color cover by Emery Clarke, and features Paul Orban's original interior illustrations, historical commentary by Will Murray and a biographical profile of Golden Age Doc Savage Comics artist Elmer Stoner. $14.95.
 
80th Anniversary of The Spider
This is an authentic replica of an original pulp magazine published by Girasol Collectables. This edition is designed to give the reader an authentic taste of what a typical pulp magazine was like when it was first issued - but without the frailty or expense of trying to find a decades-old collectable to enjoy. The outer covers, the interior pages, and the advertisements are reprinted just as they appeared in the original magazine, left intact to give the reader the true feel of the original as well as an appreciation for the way in which these publications were first offered to their avid readers. To further enhance the “pulp experience”, this edition is printed on off-white bond paper intended to simulate the original look while, at the same time, assuring that this edition will last far longer than the original upon which it is based. The overall construction and appearance of this reprint is designed to be as faithful to the original magazine as is reasonably possible, given the unavoidable changes in production methods and materials. $35.00.
 
by Will Murray and Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson
 
When out of work magician Gulliver Greene stumbles upon a man who claims to be Christopher Columbus, still alive in 1937, it’s only the start of the most complex plot ever to involve the incredible Doc Savage.
Called to the sleepy farm town of La Plata, Missouri, the Man of Bronze plunges into the enigma of the vanishing Victorian house. Is it haunted? Is it even real? Can Doc solve the mystery—or will he be sucked into the unknown vortex into which it disappears?
From his supersecret Crime College to a sinister island in the Great Lakes, Doc Savage and his brilliant team race to untangle the most baffling webwork of Halloween horrors ever encountered. For many weird mysteries beyond human ken converge in the Missouri wilderness in this, the wildest Doc Savage adventure yet! $24.95.
 
by Will Murray
 
The Writers of the Purple Wage have long since taken the last trail into dusty memory. But, now, they live again––to retell tall tales of those distant days when they helped forge the fabled West of American Imagination.
 
They’re all here!
*The Popular hacks!
*The Spicy bestsellers!
*The Thrilling myths!
 
Those amazing million-words-a-year men!
True Westerners born on the Range!
Broadway cowboys never West of Hoboken!
 
Join Max Brand, Luke Short, Johnston McCulley, Ernest Haycox, Walt Coburn, Frank Gruber, Ryerson Johnson, & a hard-working, fast-drawing posse of freelance fictioneers!
 
And those two-fisted foremen of New York’s fiction factories–magazine editors Frank Blackwell, Rogers Terrill, Leo Margulies, Robert Lowndes & Fanny Ellsworth!
 
Together, in their own words, these veteran pulpsters & others offer startling inside stories of how they created the mythology of the Golden West!
 
*Blazing action! Savage characterization! Real emotion!
 
Ride with the Old West’s top gunhands, greatest pulpsmiths & legendary brands. From Buffalo Bill, Deadwood Dick & Hopalong Cassidy to Gunsmoke & Louis L’Amour, this is their saga.
 
Armed with forgotten interviews, controversial essays & candid letters first not seen in generations, acclaimed pulp historian Will Murray, author of The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage, reveals the epic life & frequent deaths of the Pulp West! 469 pages, approx. 6"x9" $29.98
 
 
80th Anniversary of The Spider
Review of The Spider Strikes
By Andrew Salmon
 
 
R. T. M Scott's The Spider Strikes introduces us to Richard Wentworth, Nita Van Sloan and Ram Singh in this debut outing. Well, sort of. Long time Spider fans know what I'm talking about but for you newcomers picking up a Spider tale for the very first time, hold on to your hats!
 
The tale begins simply enough with Wentworth at sea, coming back from the hunt for Mr. X which had taken him to Europe. X is a notorious murderer/thief along the lines of Professor Moriarty. Wentworth is a millionaire adventurer who helps the police in cases such as the search for X. Few know that Wentworth's alter ego is The Spider but there are suspicions in the police force and this leads to some close calls for our hero — especially after there is murder aboard the ship he's on and the dead man bears the mark of The Spider! Upon returning to New York, Wentworth and Mr. X play a captivating cat and mouse game that will keep you turning pages.
 
The Spider Strikes is a fun, pulpy read but one that could easily be dismissed as not being a real Spider novel. Let's face it, the character did not come into his own until Norvell Page took over the writing duties with the third novel. Wentworth here is a gentleman investigator working with the police (while they hunt The Spider) seemingly more for the love of adventure as much as a desire to do the right thing. He wears no costume — except at one point where a prototypical version of the later Spider garb makes an appearance — and the body count is low by Spider standards. Of course, in reality, we know that the novels were written by different writers who brought their own particular strengths to the tales but that does not mean that The Spider Strikes should be discounted.
 
Rather, it is essential reading! Sure, it's tame by Page standards but that actually emphasizes what is to come. Wentworth, in this novel, comes across as devil-may-care, working on the side of justice because it gives him something to do while he and Nita bide their time before getting hitched and living happily ever after. Leap ahead to the Page stories and we see The Spider as a tormented madman, thirsting to punish wrongdoers with a maniacal intent unmatched in pulp. A crusade which forever keeps him apart from Nita and the life together they both so desperately crave.
 
What happened?
 
It's the answer to that question that fuses the juxtaposed versions of The Spider passed down to today's readers. Reading The Spider Strikes is to step into the life of Richard Wentworth and company before the bomb went off and the Spider went off the rails. It's a great read on its own merits as Wentworth and Mr. X trade barbs and plans. However, reading it within the context of what lies in store for Wentworth makes it all the more enjoyable. What is essentially a clever, fast-paced crime tale typical of the period in which it was written becomes a tragic ticking clock experience as, soon, the Spider will "lose it" in a series of ever more intensifying, blood-soaked reads that should be part of any pulp fan's collection. The Spider Strikes shows us part of Wentworth's last hours of sanity and leads us to ponder what exactly was the deciding moment that pushed him over the edge.
 
Read in that context The Spider Strikes is all the more fun to dive into. On this the 80th anniversary of the character, there's no better place to start. Don't miss it.
 
eBook #RE001 $2.99 / Double Novel reprint #9 #5509 $14.95 On sale for $12.95, save $2.00 / Audiobook Audio CDs $23.98 / Audiobook Download $11.99
 
 
Comments From Our Customers!
 
Andrew Mara writes:
Downloads are really a convenient method of getting Old Time Radio Programs and I appreciate how much work must have gone into the restoration of these broadcasts. I've ordered quite a few of your downloads. The quality of the audio is terrific.
 
If you'd like to share a comment with us or if you have a question or a suggestion send an email to Service@RadioArchives.com. We'd love to hear from you!

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