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The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu

Sax Rohmer

Book Overview: 

The first of the Fu-Manchu novels, this story follows Nayland Smith and Doctor Petrie who are set against the machinations of the insidious doctor.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .More fire fell from above, and the scream of hysteria quivered, unuttered, in my throat.

Keeping myself afloat with increasing difficulty in my heavy garments, I threw my head back and raised my eyes.

No more drops fell, and no more drops would fall; but it was merely a question of time for the floor to collapse. For it was beginning to emit a dull, red glow.

The room above me was in flames!

It was drops of burning oil from the lamp, finding passage through the cracks in the crazy flooring, which had fallen about me—for the death trap had reclosed, I suppose, mechanically.

My saturated garments were dragging me down, and now I could hear the flames hungrily eating into the ancient rottenness overhead. Shortly that cauldron would be loosed upon my head. The glow of the flames grew brighter … and showed me the half-rotten piles upholding the building, showed me the tidal mark upon the slim. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I like this book, but I feel a little guilty about it. It's not just that it is permeated with orientalist attitudes, but that it makes those attitudes seem less quaint and more sinister because they are reinforced here by blatant racism. It is bad enough that the villain embodies the malevolent cun

Torn on this one: lots of Sinophobia here - the archetype of so many pulp/comic villains (Ming the Merciless, the Claw, the Yellow Claw...). I read this because Fu Manchu is the Father of Shang-Chi and other characters (Sir Denis Nayland Smith, Dr. James Petrie and Fah Lo Suee) also appear in the Ma

The first Fu-Manchu novel, originally published in 1913 by Sax Rohmer (Arthur Henry Ward) does an excellent job of introducing readers to the “most diabolical evil genius of all time”. Published in the UK under the name, “The Mysterious Fu-Manchu”, the story is told from the first person perspective

"The most brilliant criminal mind to have existed in generations!" is how our Asian Moriarty is breathlessly described in this shameless Sherlock Holmes ripoff, featuring a doctor sidekick narrating an adventure in which the protagonist is his brilliant detectiveish friend.

The problem with hyperbol

This is the first in a series of popular ‎Techno-thriller‎; ‎Spy fiction written before WWI. It’s a Sherlock Holmes-like story. It pits English gentlemen against an Oriental [sic], evil, genius committing acts of espionage, kidnapping and assassination in London for a shadowy Chinese political movem

'The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu' is the American title for 'The Mystery of Fu Manchu' (published in the UK in 1913) which, in turn, was the novelisation of a series of short stories by Sax Rohmer published in 1912.

It is an exercise in sustained hysteria which is only partly explained by the original sh

To a student a literature, there are classics of older times for which allowances that must be made to understand the cultural in which they were written.

And then there's The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu

The story is simple enough. Knock-off Sherlock Holmes (henceforth KOSH) returns from Asia, informi

This is Sax Rohmer's first book featuring the nefarious Dr. Fu Manchu, evil genius and threat to the West. The book was originally published as a series of tales in various magazines in the early 1900's. In 1913, it was published in its current form. The story is fast paced and often somewhat hurky-

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