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Fu Manchu - The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu Paperback – 16 Mar 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (16 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857686038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857686039
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Splendid stuff... Fu-Manchu is one of the most iconic characters of the 20th century and as much a household name Sherlock Holmes and James Bond." --Crime Time

"A gloriously tawdry, breathless, cheesy, addictive series now given a delightful new incarnation by London publisher Titan Books." --Open Letters Monthly

"The best description of this is probably pulp fiction at its pulpiest...personally, I'm anxiously awaiting the others in the series." --The Bookbag

"This is a wild ride read and I recommend it highly." --Vic'sMediaRoom

"This is an endlessly stimulating gothic cathedral of a novel, a world to wander in - surprised, affected, diverted and perplexed - for weeks on end." --Times Literary Supplement

"Fu Manchu is a master manipulator and a delightfully cunning villain. --Gutenbergs Son

About the Author

Sax Rohmer was the acclaimed author of the Fu Manchu series of novels. The first, The Mystery of Fu Manchu, was published in 1912 with many more following. Rohmer also wrote more traditional detective stories and supernatural horror. He died in London in 1959.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. R. Brandon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was attracted to this book, republished as a centenary edition in 2012 by Titan Books, as it is one of those works, often referred to, but seldom read and I decided to correct this deficiency in my reading. The first story about Dr. Fu-Manchu appeared in October 1912 in ‘The Story-Teller’, a popular magazine of the day. This was written by Sax Rohmer (Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward), born in Birmingham in 1883 and whose initial career included work in the civil service, then as a comedy sketch writer and music hall songwriter before finally becoming a successful author. Rohmer wrote a further nine more Fu-Manchu episodes for the magazine and in 1913 the stories were collected to form the present book. It is very clear when read that the book started life as separate stories as it is very episodic (no shame in that, Dickens started the same way) but it contains little forward motion or development until the final chapters are reached. One could well imagine the episodes continuing endlessly such are their repetitive nature.
The main characters are described but have an oft-repeated set of mannerisms, the intellectual hero, Nayland Smith, and his accomplice Dr. Petrie a medical man, bear a great resemblance to Conan Doyle’s Holmes and Dr. Watson. The arch enemy, as is useful for all such arch enemies who have to re-appear in many adventures, has great skill and ingenuity and is possessed of great evil. Such a character was a pleasant foil for intrepid adventure heroes until recent times when real life characters have shaken us out of our pleasant reverie.
This is not great literature, nor a sophisticated thriller, but it is a fascinating read, much as one may appreciate an old silent film without literal comparison to the modern product.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Manly Reading TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
This may be dated in places, with various references which are now dated, but you can either take offence or try to work with it, substituting more modern notions here and there, and understanding that the Peril is a political movement rather than merely every Asian, ever. If you can accept it on that basis, there is a fun story here, with lots of dashing about, an exotic love interest, elaborate poisonings, murderings and druggings, thuggee stranglers, dacoit killers…you could not ask for more.

Originally published in the magazines of the day (over a century ago, now) those origins are clear in the series of cliffhangers and crescendos, and the episodic nature of the adventures of Nayland Smith and Dr Petrie on the trail of Fu-Manchu. But as a true novel it works as well, with all those crescendos ever-building up to an explosive finale, with a final sad denoument left hanging (well, at least if you start the next book).

Its also clear that for all the racial prejudice of the day, Dr Fu-Manchu is a man of honour, in his own way, with political goals rather than mere mass-murder. He is also much, much more than a caricature: in the end this is about us and them, with us and them being pretty arbitrary lines at the end of the day (but then, drawing arbitrary lines to denote us from them is something humans have proven very, very good at over the years). Dr Fu Manchu is simply doing his best for his country, as Nayland Smith is for his own.

Lastly, well done to Titan Books for bringing the whole of the Fu Manchu series back into print: its nice to see the old stuff again and be reassured that the heart of a fun story can be timeless, and also that London around 1910 is a hell of an evocative setting. It may be that later volumes in the series are lesser than this - in a way, I'd be surprised if they weren't - but after reading the second volume also, that is every bit as good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L Humphrey on 18 Oct. 2014
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A good, old-fashioned adventure story. They don't make 'em like this anymore!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Healy on 7 Feb. 2014
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If you ev er wanted to know where the cliches of action movies came from FIRST, then this book is a must-read. As all Victorian litera\ture, it is markedly racist, but, ignore that and you have a cr5acking 'un der the blankets' read. Highly recommended.
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By Derek Pratt on 22 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I used to read Sax Rohmer books when i was still at shool, and they still hold the same magic for me today.
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