Saturday, July 6, 2013
Hades & Hocus Pocus by Lester Dent
His prose whipped along, carrying only the essential details. One could easily argue that Elmore Leonard might have picked up a few lessons from reading Dent's pulp stories.
Perhaps that pared-down, zooming prose was influenced by Dent's pre-pulp career as a telegrapher. Or maybe Dent was just a Zoomer at heart, and telegraphy suited his natural traits.
The fast-and-furious qualities of Dent's stories published by Dell magazines got him noticed. Eventually he was tagged by Street & Smith to bring Doc Savage to the newsstands under the house name Kenneth Robeson.
While the bulk of Dent's published work was for that magazine, he wrote plenty under his own name. Two examples were these serialized stories from Argosy: Hades and Hocus Pocus.
Both feature Dent's trademark telegraphic prose, he fondness for gadget-loving heroes with an trait for spontaneous ingenuity, and lots of action.
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