Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Shadow In Review

The Shadow In Review (Non-Fiction)
by John Olsen.
Pulplandia Press
Lulu.com
Price $10.00
515 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

In this nicely produced tome, John Olsen has investigated and reviewed all 325 original pulp novels of The Shadow, plus the two short stories, a paperback original novel, a lost Shadow story, and a Shadow turned Batman comic book story, the serial, and the 1994 movie.

This huge work would have fit nicely among ALTUS PRESS Companion books to other series, as basically it provides similar data, though more aimed at reviews. It’s only lacking in not providing scans of the covers, but those can be found on the Internet.

I’ve also read every Shadow novel, and I may not agree with some of the author’s ratings, but we each have our own likes or dislikes, and for the most part he does give valid reasons for the ratings of each novel, and that’s his right. For instance, in one example he gives THE GOLDEN VULTURE, a mishmash by Lester Dent & Gibson a 5-star rating, while dropping TEETH OF THE DRAGON to 4-Stars; I’m sure Gibson had to do a lot of rewrite to Dent’s adventure-style yarn in order to make the novel half way read like The Shadow. While TEETH OF THE DRAGON, on the other hand is a topnotch Shadow set in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and introduces the marvelous Myra Reldon/Ming Dwan, one of best stories in my opinion. I only suggest the reader may consider other ratings. Read the novels, and by all means add this fantastic book to your shelf. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Author of THE BLACK BAT COMPANION

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