John Bolen brings his extensive theater, film, and television experience to audiobooks. His recent television appearances include CIA: Masters of Deception on the Discovery Channel, and his recent film work includes The Land and The Inn Outside the World.
The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchuby Sax Rohmer
The author of this famous series, Sax Rohmer, began his literary career as a journalist. When he turned to writing short stories for magazines, he found
Here is the first of the adventures of Nayland Smith, a civilized Englishman who pits all his logic and experience against a cunning and malevolent crime lord, the inscrutable and sinister celestial Dr. Fu Manchu.
The author of this famous series, Sax Rohmer, began his literary career as a journalist. When he turned to writing short stories for magazines, he found his true vocation.
- Wildside Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Meet the Author
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
Sax Rohmer was a contemporary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They both created super villains that have stayed with us. Moriarty was overshadowed by Sherlock Holmes but Dr. Fu-Manchu never took second place in the story. Rohmer's style is similar to many of the storytellers at the turn of the twentieth century, a wordy fast-paced narration by a secondary figure. In this case, a Dr. Petrie takes the role of Watson changing it to a strong ally to Nayland Smith, the lead investigator trying to stop Fu-Manchu. 'The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu' is written as a series of ten linked mysteries. Dr. Fu-Manchu is an evil genius who is working for the re-building of China into the only world power. Assassinations, kidnapping, drugs, biological weapons, poison gas, and hypnotism is just a short list of methods Fu-Manchu uses to attain his goals. Smith and Petrie fight to block Fu-Manchu who always seems to have one more move, one more plan, and one more escape. If you like any of the great popular storytellers of one hundred years ago, you will love the politically incorrect action/mystery story, 'The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu.' It has the mystery of a Sherlock Holmes story mixed with the exotic Orient. It is classic storytelling.
Really? Of course l am!
The Insid­i­ous Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer is a novel which first intro­duced the famous vil­lain. The novel was first pub­lished in 1913. Dr. John Petrie, a physi­cian and our nar­ra­tor, meets his friend Denis Nay­land Smith who served as British police com­mis­sioner in Asia. Smith seems to know all things Asia and the innate abil­ity to get all the sup­port he needs from British gov­ern­ment offi­cials. Petrie is, of course, knowl­edge­able in med­i­cine, foren­sics, chem­istry and an ace with a pis­tol – for good measure. The pair inves­ti­gates mur­ders, the opium trade, gets into death trap and more all with the com­mon denom­i­na­tor of the Shake­spearean look­ing but dev­il­ish Fu Manchu. The Insid­i­ous Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer is an easy, yet super­fi­cial read. The great­est claim to fame is intro­duc­ing this arch vil­lain which was the model for many oth­ers to come after him. This is not actu­ally a novel, but a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries and hence lacks depth and char­ac­ter devel­op­ment (which I can only assume is the fault of the for­mat). Each story con­tains a few short chap­ters about the “Yel­low Peril”. There is con­stant action, con­stant peril and, again due to the for­mat, con­stant nar­row escapes by Fu-Manchu at seem­ingly the last second. Dr. Fu-Manchu is has become to rep­re­sent embod­i­ment of evil, a mas­ter of alchemy (for poi­son gas), a bril­liant physi­cian, leader of assas­sins and vicious ani­mals, a spe­cial­ist of tor­ture and of arts of dark­ness. Add those qual­i­ties to a name which prac­ti­cally rolls off the tongue and you can under­stand why his name became syn­ony­mous with villains. The plot revolves around the Asi­atic threat and Fu-Manchu’s dia­bol­i­cal plan to restore China to its for­mer glory and replace the British Empire with a Chi­nese one. Of course the British see this as a threat to the white race as a whole. Why? Good question! Fu-Manchu is a con­tra­dic­tion, he prides him­self on being a patriot as well as the head of a crime syn­di­cate (much like Lucky Luciano who helped the US dur­ing WWII), he heals those he wounded as long as they don’t inter­fere with his nefar­i­ous plan to take over the world and prefers not to mur­der if he can help it. Yet he laughs with plea­sure at the sight of British police dying in one of his traps. The dia­log in the book is some­what stiff and the writ­ing is wooden at times. A word of warn­ing to the eas­ily incensed – this novel’s sen­ti­ments about race and moral­ity are… well… over 100 years old and we shall leave it at that. As I men­tion in other posts, it is unfair judge oth­ers by today’s stan­dards, Rhomer believed that the British Empire was a good thing (at the time almost half the world was under a British flag), and saw the emerg­ing China as a real, cred­i­ble and exis­ten­tial threat to the pros­per­ity he, his