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Review of Donovan's Brain

Obsessed mad scientists, cranial theft, sweet and way too accepting wives, power mad super brains, possessed men in rented cars tying to run over little girls,flustered lawyers, crazed science pushing into God's domain, forgotten dinners, rhymes that will get stuck in your head, this book has it all.

It was Monstrous . . . and Alive!

Beware the Brain!

Donovan's Brain by Curt Siodmak, published in 1950 by Bantam, originally by Knopf Inc. in 1943.

     A great little read. Only 180 pages and goes straight to the story of frustrated scientist Dr. Patrick Cory and his focus on brains; both monkey and human. Of course, the good doctor tampers with things that shouldn't be tampered with ( a safe scientist is not a good MAD scientist ) which results in a crazed businessman taking over his body. Will the super brain of Donovan carry through with his plans of murder? I won't tell, ya have to read the book.
     I found my copy at a used book store for $1. A lot of Noir elements in the story. It was a best seller back in the 40s and has been adapted to movies several times, plus inspired variations of the theme in science fiction shows. Stephen King used the line from the book "Amidst the mists and coldest frosts he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts" in his novel It.
     I didn't recognize the author's name at first, but he is also the man who wrote the screenplay for the 1941 movie The Wolf Man (one of my favorites) and responsible for that bit of verse that becomes stuck in your head years after you've seen the movie;

 "Even a man who is pure in heart,
And says his prayers by night
May become a Wolf when the Wolfbane blooms
And the autumn Moon is bright"
 
 
He also wrote the screen plays for Beast with Five Fingers (also his novel), I walked with a Zombie, and Earth Vs the Flying Saucers. He wrote 13 books in all, not including screen plays and short stories. Siodmak had fled Nazi Germany before WW II and found his career as a screen writer in the USA. Hitler could have had Donovan's Gehirn, but he blew it. Siodmak died in September 2000, lived 98 full years, good for him.

    Amidst the mists and coldest frosts  . . . damn it.  GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!
    


    

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Eldon Litchfield

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