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Chinese Puzzle: 3 (The Destroyer) Paperback – 15 Mar 2013


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Paperback, 15 Mar 2013
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Destroyer Books (15 Mar. 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0615786901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615786902
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,872,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

WARREN MURPHY was born in Jersey City, where he worked in journalism and politics until launching the Destroyer series with Richard Sapir in 1971. A screenwriter (Lethal Weapon II, The Eiger Sanction) as well as a novelist, Murphy’s work has won a dozen national awards, including multiple Edgars and Shamuses. He has lectured at many colleges and universities, and is currently offering writing lessons at his website, WarrenMurphy.com. A Korean War veteran, some of Murphy’s hobbies include golf, mathematics, opera, and investing. He has served on the board of the Mystery Writers of America, and has been a member of the Screenwriters Guild, the Private Eye Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, and the American Crime Writers League. He has five children: Deirdre, Megan, Brian, Ardath, and Devin.

RICHARD BEN SAPIR was a New York native who worked as an editor and in public relations before creating The Destroyer series with Warren Murphy. Before his untimely death in 1987, Sapir had also penned a number of thriller and historical mainstream novels, best known of which were The Far Arena, Quest, and The Body, the last of which was made into a film. The book review section of the New York Times called him “a brilliant professional.”

RICHARD BEN SAPIR was a New York native who worked as an editor and in public relations before creating The Destroyer series with Warren Murphy. Before his untimely death in 1987, Sapir had also penned a number of thriller and historical mainstream novels, best known of which were The Far Arena, Quest and The Body, the last of which was made into a film. The book review section of the New York Times called him “a brilliant professional.”

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By bedford2nowhere on 29 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love these books, read the hard copies years ago and finding them again digitally. They have not aged with time but remain strangely topical, humorous and lightening paced. Remo is a super hero capable of impossible things and makes Jack Reacher look like Julian Clarey . It's the biz
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have recently begun reading this series of books, which, I believe Warren Murphy et al began writing in the 1960's/70's - They are strangely predictive. They are full of plots that I have seen either occur in real life or have been repeated by films script writers for the last 50 years. Kung Fu of the Grasshopper fame been one of the many.
It is also interesting to note that the first books in the series are set in the era of Richard Nixon, who was found to be one of the most corrupt Presidents in America. Does this series pick up on this eventually???
There is the nub!!
Don't expect great literature from this series, however, they are as good as any in this genre and certainly as good as his contemporary writer Ian Fleming.
I will continue reading the first books in this series until they become repetitive -- as I suppose they must when ideas run out.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 33 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
*NOW* we're cooking. 29 Dec. 2003
By Christopher Wanko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If this is the first Destroyer novel you pick up, you've gotten it right on the first try. This is where the hysterical banter between Remo and Chiun really hits its stride, and you get character development in an action novel that readers had no right to expect back when these were written.
Lest ye forget, the Destroyer novels competed with "The Executioner", "The Butcher", and "Edge" for rack space at the drugstore. While Mack Bolan is rightly the inspiration for Marvel's Punisher character (it's so blatant they should cut a check to Don Pendelton's estate each time Dolph Ludgren makes his sewer soliloquy on late-night cable), the Mack Bolan character doesn't stand the test of time, and after about a dozen or so, it's all the same novel.
"Chinese Puzzle" sets the stage for an enjoyable twnety years of Destroyer novels. If you have to get one classic, this is the one to get.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
On Target 5 Aug. 2005
By The Rectifier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although I still enjoy #2 in The Destroyer series, this book is the one that charted the course to Remo and Chiun's long running success.

The story is good, but the best thing about this book is the beginning of the relationship between Remo and Chiun. The humor in this story stands up after 30 years. Although the story is somewhat dated now, this book deserves a read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It's No "Puzzle" Why The Destroyer Kicks Ass 30+ Years Later! 6 Jun. 2006
By Baron Von Cool - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Wow! The Destroyer is the action series for people who don't like action series. Forget the first two Destroyer books; they were the warm-up. This is the pitch! Book #3 is when the series really takes off. We get lots of hilarious dialogue, character development, and martial arts action. Even a little sinanju style sex!

As other reviewers have stated, it is the hysterical banter between Remo and Chiun that makes this series such a timeless, enduring classic. If you've seen the Destroyer movie, "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins," you know what I'm talking about.

The Destroyer is more social commentary and black comedy than brain-dead bombs and bullets, unlike many other action series--that's why it's not dated or forgettable 30+ years later. That's not to say the series is lacking in action, but that it is the characters who drive the plot forward, not a bunch of interchangeable action set-pieces that all blur together.

You can't go wrong with The Destroyer from #3: Chinese Puzzle forward.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Remo is starting to grow on me 3 Sept. 2013
By Edward S. Hirgelt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the third in the Remo Williams saga. It isn't necessary to read the first two, but it doesn't hurt either. These are a bit dated in some of their political and topical references because of when they were written (1972 and following). However, for those of us who lived in that era, the references are fun. The action is good and the overarching concept is great fun.
My First Experience With Remo And Chiun Is Puzzling But Fun 22 Sept. 2014
By E. Lee Zimmerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Growing up, I missed the whole ‘The Destroyer’ phenomenon. As a kid, I was never that much of a reader (with the exception being comic books mostly) so it’s understandable that any franchise – however big or small – never quite dropped onto my radar. As I matured, I did find a bit of a niche in reading some light science fiction novels, but I heavily gravitated toward vintage crime and pulps from the 30’s and 40’s. When I became aware of The Destroyer, I grew interested … but then I saw that REMO WILLIAMS movie, and I tuned out. The lowbrow snark just wasn’t my thing at the time, and the whole idea seemed to smack of a 70’s era recreation of dime novel sensibilities though with a 60’s era sense of humor.

Still, I found online friends recommending to me to delve into the literary world of Remo Williams over and over the past few decades. In fact, so many did that I decided to pick up a compendium of three ‘best of’ novels and give it a whirl. I’ll read them one at a time, and I’ll sound off them individually before tackling my thoughts on the whole collection in a separate review.

CHINESE PUZZLE (THE DESTROYER BOOK 3) is a bit puzzling in and of itself.

From what I’ve learned reading about why it’s considered a worthy read, this book firmly establishes for the franchise what the relationship between Williams and his Korean mentor Chiun will be (apparently, books 1 and 2 toyed with mild variations-on-a-theme given the delay in actually getting the first novel onto shelves – it took seven years). Remo came across to me as pretty much the same way he did in the 80’s flick (Fred Ward was perfectly cast, in my humble opinion), but Chiun seemed like more of a wild card as a character. His obvious love/hate relationship with his young protégé blossomed as the foundation for their rapport, and his skills in the House of Sinanju were firmly cemented.

As for the plot? At a time of fostering amity between the United States and China, a Chinese diplomat goes curiously missing while scouting American soil as an inspection for the impending visit of that nation’s Premier. In order to conduct an investigating into what may be an unfortunate kidnapping, the President of the United States instead contacts C.U.R.E. – the ultra-secret organization Remo serves – enlisting the agency’s best to conduct a low-profile search. Can Remo and Chiun find the missing general before political forces spiral out of control?

That’s always the operative question I suspect in any of The Destroyer’s books, and – to its credit – CHINESE PUZZLE is a quick paced and (mostly) harmless read. The story as written by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir is unfortunately shackled with some sexism of its era (don’t look for feminists to endorse Remo’s attempts to ‘subdue’ the General’s unruly 22-year-old bride with his sexual assault physical prowess any time soon) and a few all-too-easy plot twists that serve to heighten the action while watering down the intrigue. As formulaic thrillers go, this one might have required more salt and less pepper.

Come the end of this (it builds to a climax pitting our heroes against a shadowy villain who ends up being more of a plot twist than a legitimate international heavyweight), I’m not sure everything worked out as perfectly sublimely as it could’ve. But it always remains harmless merriment.

Still, there’s something curiously intoxicating about the simplicity of Remo Williams’ world and adventure. Chiun and Mei Soong (the aforementioned 22-year-old) suffer from racial hatred directed at one another, and they spend the bulk of the novel bantering in one ugly yet comical exchange after the other. (I’ve noticed some folks found this relationship a bit grating; all I can say is that it worked for me, though I’ll confess comic relief can occasionally go on too long.) And of course there’s always that father/son teacher/student dynamic at play between Remo and Chiun that sustains the piece; like a violent twist on Abbott and Costello, these two trade barbs almost as often as they trade blows with assorted bad guys, establishing both a tone and a tempo that gives this body its heart.

Granted, The Destroyer series may not be to everyone’s particular tastes. There’s plenty of action, but most of it ends up feeling rather tongue-in-cheek. If you don’t mind a healthy diet of testosterone and the bloody cadence of the tale, then you could do far worse.
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