Fu Manchu - The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer
|Fu Manchu - The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Entertaining sequel to the Mystery of Dr Fu Manchu. It's stereotypical and could be considered offensive but it's still an incredibly fun read which is jam packed with action.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: February 2012|
|Publisher: Titan Books|
As usual with sequel reviews, spoilers for The Mystery of Dr Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer ahead - read at your own risk!
A couple of years after their encounter with the villainous Dr Fu Manchu, Dr Petrie and Nayland Smith are reunited once more to take on the returning evil genius. When the Rev JD Eltham vanishes after conversing with Petrie, the two realise that Fu Manchu has returned and must risk life and limb to save their friend.
Reviewing the first book, I mentioned that the characters were rather sterotypical - to put it mildly. Again, this isn't one to read if that's going to bother you. If anything, this is even more loaded with outdated characters, although Smith's continued reliance on his honour as being rather more important than petty things like his life or saving the world from Fu Manchu entertained me greatly. That said, the characters are strong despite being so stereotypical. Smith and Petrie are a really enjoyable main pairing, with Smith being a much sourer character than in the first book due to events in Egypt in the interim, slave girl Karamaneh is a wonderful love interest, and Fu Manchu himself must be one of the great pulp villains. Using only his ferocious intellect and cunning, he creates diabolical plots which continually put the heroes in mortal danger - but also has an honourable streak of his own on occasion.
The action seems a tad slower than in the original book here; which is not to say it's at anything less than breakneck speed. Rohmer's style still appears to be 'if it moves, shoot it, hit it, or throw a poisonous creature at it' and while it's never remotely close to great literature, it's a vey difficult book to put down.
Overall, this is still a fabulous read for open-minded pulp fiction fans who are prepared to overlook the outdated attitudes. With a dozen left to go in the series, I'm certainly hoping Titan rerelease them all and if they continue in this vein I'll definitely be around for the entire run.
It's another gorgeous cover, by the way!
For more action from a similar period, I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - both the Holmes novels and the lesser-known classic The Complete Brigadier Gerard Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I think fans of Fu Manchu would really enjoy the modern teen novel, Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon, which is one of the very few books I've read which can hold its own with this series when it comes to the sheer amount of action taking place.
You can read more book reviews or buy Fu Manchu - The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Fu Manchu - The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer at Amazon.com.
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