I read this because I read the 80s novelisation by Arthur Byron Cover and loved it to death, and also because I was curious as to how this version would hold up in comparison. I wasn't disapointed. It was a fun read and had some truly wonderful moments, the little copper robot being just one of them. These novels were based on a cartoon strip that appeared in newspapers way back in the 30s, drawn by Alex Raymond, whose name is credited on the cover. The actual author's name only appears inside however, a 'Con Steffanson'.
It's not high-brow literature by any stretch but rather a fun, fast-paced adventure in a futuristic place as imagined a long time ago(I'm referring the 30s strips the novel is based on rather than the 1974 publication date of the actual novel). It really does hold up well though, a good part of the reason for that being that Flash Gordon was always going to be a pulp-style sci-fi adventure and so fits in quite well with other pulp-style sci-fi no matter when they were written, pulp is still pulp after all whether it was written 100 years ago or 1 year ago.
I loved it, for what it was. It's a good deal less cheeky than the 80s novelisation(Dale, a swinger? Are you sure? OMG!) but I was expecting that anyway, not because it was published in the 70s of course, but because it's based on that 30s cartoon strip I was talking about, so if they're going to base it on that and stick to it as best they can then I suppose there's going to be that air of innocence about it.
OK. I liked it more than I thought I would. It was very enjoyable and had some very cute moments, and whats more, there are 6 in the series that I know of so I'm looking forward to reading the rest.