Saturday, December 08, 2012

Backstory: The Devil Thumbs A Ride

It's time once again to, without benefit of reading the actual book, look at the backstory of a vintage book.  Today's victim is The Devil Thumbs A Ride by Robert C. Du Soe, published in 1938.  Please note that I am using the Complete And Unabridged version for this post. 

Very little information exists about Mr. Du Soe.  Goodreads gives us a little information about Mr. Du Soe's other worksJoe at Goodreads tells us that there may be more titles by this author and, shockingly, some of these books are children's books!

Knowing so little about the author, I'll just jump in here and give you the backstory.   This is a somewhat apocalyptic novel.  Our heros are caught in a devastating earthquake.  This is the story of their fight to survive when, thanks to the earthquake, society breaks down and all 7-11 stores are closed.

You may notice a red creature in the upper left corner.  Let's call him Frank.  Frank is a devilish fellow with a wicked sense of humor.  He has two superpowers: the ability to create earthquakes, and an uncanny knack for hosting hellagood weenie roasts.  From his complexion, I believe he is using both superpowers at the same time.

Our three lead characters are in the car.  From left to right, they are: Marge Sikes, Sally Livingood, and Hank Fairworthy.  Hank is the character most deeply affected by the earthquake as, without 7-11, he has no place to purchase cigarettes.  His slow descent into madness is horrific. 

Marge, is the scientist of the group.  With her background in home economics and chemistry, she is able to provide food, clothing, and excellent hallucinogenic drugs that help the three survive the cataclysm.

But it is Sally's struggle that is most gripping.  Sally was born with a longer than normal right shoulder.  Her daily struggle to use her right hand and maintain balance at the same time is moving.  Her inspiring courage in overcoming her disability motivates her companions when they are ready to give up. 

Of the police officer, little is known.  His terror upon seeing Frank unleash mayhem on the world shocked him into a heart attack and he dies quickly.  His body is run over by the oncoming car and he is so damaged that identification is impossible.

I'm sure this is an engrossing and exciting read.  Worldcat reveals at least 21 copies owned by libraries worldwide.  See if your library participates in the InterLibrary Loan program and have them find it for you.  I'm sure it will be worth everyone's time.


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