But that's all nitpicking. Did I like it?
Well, I'm reading it because the book I'm right now writing is a tribute to pulp sci-fi/fantasy, so I'm reading more pulp sci-fi/fantasy to get my mind in the right corner. Fortress of Solitude was exactly what I'm looking for. Haven't read any other Doc Savage books, but boy, do I need to start!
Throughout the book I paid extra attention to the word choice (which I must mimic exactly), and it was glorious. Some specifics:
pg. 3 - We can see the book's datedness already. This African American fellow is described as a "black ox", and "queer" gets used here and throughout the book as a synonym for "strange". I think. On this page, it might mean exactly what it says - "they were a little queer, perhaps because all their lives men had been scared of them". Titania/Gigantia fanfiction would be rampant if this book had fans.
pg. 17 & 18 - I love how the words get more violent as an action scene approaches. The process server doesn't just "wait" for a skyscraper tenant, he's "lying in ambush." The bomb isn't just stuck to the bottom of the escalator, it's "lashed" there.
Also, is every black guy gonna be an ox in this story? Oh wait, it's the same person. What appeared to be an archaic slur was actually a call for us readers to recognize a signature character. It would have built tension if I wasn't so busy complaining.
pg. 22 - Character says some "very bad Russian words." Oh, scandal.
pg. 23 - "Men do things because of love. Always. Without exception."
pg. 26 - Heh, heh, heh. Don't you miss those straightforward, innocent times? Times when you could ejaculate right in the middle of a conversation and nobody would call you out on it? I miss the 30's.
Really, "ejaculate" is just an archaic cross between "interject" and "iterate." Which really just mean "said." It was a common synonym back in the day; you don't find it in the classics because literary authors didn't use cliche terms to describe a character's way of communication.
pg. 35 - "Can be" gets overused in this book. "Why'd they try to kill you?" "That can be part of the mystery." How would that not be part of the mystery, you bloody idiot? "Protean genius." Hmph.
pg. 37 - "John Sunlight? What's that? Some guy's name?" Can be.
pg. 43 - Scudded. Not sure if that's a real word but it sounds awesome.
pg. 52 - Obviously. If you ever find a sentence of yours that uses the word "obviously," cut it. Not the word, the whole sentence. If it's obvious then the reader doesn't need it told. It's also condescending. "She wasn't there, duh. Haven't you been reading?"
pg. 53 - The funny thing about John Sunlight is that he supposedly can break a person's will with a few turns of phrase - but we never see him do it, because that would force Kenneth (Lester?) to develop a similar mastery of the English language. So he just uses his "frightening verbal statements." I don't know what those are.
pg. 56 - Dryly. Writer friends - you have no obligation to describe the way in which someone made a statement. Stop doing it. I tell you this contrarily, pleasantly, mildly, suddenly. And dryly. "Dryly" should not be a word. If I ever read that somebody "ejaculated dryly",I'm going to retire from reading forever.
pg. 59 - Entering vague ideas. I can relate with the author on this one. "We can't just say thinking! That's a tired old phrase! We've gotta go somewhere crazy, somewhere no author has gone before. We gotta utilize the variety and flexibility of the English language." And then we come up with "entered vague ideas".
pg. 70 - Crisp voice. Friends, what does a crisp voice sound like? Can anybody link me to a demonstration? I'm clueless here.
pg. 73 - Dirty buzzard. Apparently that's a reference to something the prince had done previously. Damned if I know. Good combination of words, though.
pg. 80 - Civan just called some guys cookies.
pg. 86 - I like this sentence: "It always aggravated [John Sunlight] to have his control on himself slip." It paints John Sunlight as a man that manipulates and enslaves, not just the people around him, but himself as well. His mind is a pestilence on this earth, like something from the demon possession stories of old.
pg. 97 - "He managed to help along the business of following the footprints by utilizing the sense of touch." Could have said "He felt for footprints." It's all right, I've produced similarly convoluted and nonsensical sentences.
pg. 97, 98, 99 & 108 - This may surprise you, but there aren't actually any Eskimos in Russia. Those people who sit around shivering in the northern wilderness are called... Russians. Seeing as Kenneth got that wrong, I'm suspicious of these phrases that he claims are part of the Eskimo language. Words like "igloovegak," "ooloi," "chimo," "elarle," "umiak." Google Translate doesn't help here.
pg. 101 - Monk just kicked a guy on "the part of the anatomy most generally kicked." I think it's the ribs, but something's telling me it's probably the dick. Speaking of which, the prince just "turned the adjacent air blue" with swear words. Luckily it wasn't all the air, just the stuff nearby. Can you imagine living in a total blue haze just because some guy lost his cool?
pg. 104 - "Copper is made up of molecules." No. No it's not. It's an atom.
pg. 106 - Heh, heh, heh. The prince just ejaculated. He ejaculated because John Sunlight wants him to pay 11 million for the death ray technology, when the original price was 10. Kind of an odd reaction, if I say so myself.
pg. 108 - John Sunlight just came fast. Darn it, my mind's in the gutter all of a sudden. Also, this poor fellow's "trying to plug a leak in his chest." Love the word choice there. That sounds like something I'd write.
pg. 113 - Ham the lawyer is not impressed. Also, "nonconductor" - you could just say "insulator."
The book closes with a pun. I love it.