I have been a big fan of pulp era heroes like Doc Savage, John Carter, Tarzan, The Shadow, The Spirit and Biggles for many years. I found a reference to The Green Lama while doing some research on the pulps of the 1930s and 1940s. As I had a pile of Amazon vouchers from my birthday, I decided to get Volume 1 and give it a try. The five stories contained in this volume were a wonderful surprise. All of the action, suspense, intrigue and locales I have come to expect from literature of the era, bu with some beautifully thought out and well written characters. I was planning to take the book nice and easy over a couple of weeks, but I ended up reading one story per night.
The characters are all distinctive and the stories are well written. In the second story, 'The Croesus of Murder', the foundation was laid for the plot of an early James Bond film (I won't say which one, but read the story and it is glaringly obvious!), nineteen years before Fleming wrote the book and twenty-four years before the film's release. 'The Case of Babies for Sale' is a particularly interesting piece. It deals with the subject of baby kidnapping and the selling/adoption of babies. A very brave effort and sensitively handled effort at an extremely sensitive subject, considering that the Lindbergh case happened only eight years before and would have been still fresh in the public memory. The last tale, 'The Case of the Man Who Wasn't There' is an intriguing take on the old 'man overboard' stories on ships at sea.
There are little faults, but the positives more than outweigh the. Overall, I would give the volume a hearty 9.5/10
Not a bad try at the pulp market and a hero with a neat line in Buddhism with which he helps defeat the crooks.
The problem I have with the GL stories is that there is not very much tension. If our hero is captured, he is free within a very short time thanks to some secret skill he has, something hidden on his person that the criminals have overlooked, or the intervention of Magga, a mysterious lady (Buddhist?), who appears in the nick of time, usually in disguise.
The plots are fairly good though and it's a nice try all round.