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Stolen Idols

E. Phillips Oppenheim

Book Overview: 

Two temple statues, one with the most beautiful of features, the other a hideous sight, are at the core of this tale of adventure and the supernatural. Carved by Chinese craftsmen, they have stood to either side of the great Buddha for hundreds of years, worshiped and protected by generations of priests.Taken together, they represent human nature in balance, the spiritual with the bestial, the Soul with the Body. But what if they are separated? Ancient legend warns of disaster to anyone who disturbs that balance. Young Gregory Ballaston of England, however, gives no credence to such dire threats when he and a friend set out to steal the idols, which are rumored to conceal a treasure in jewels. His friend dies in the attempt and one of the idols is presumably stolen by his murderers. Gregory nearly loses his own life in the effort but manages to get away with the other idol – the bestial Body. What will be the outcome for Gregory, or the beautiful young woman he meets in China and courts on the journey home with his prize? Even before he sets sail for home, the idol begins to prey on Gregory Ballaston.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .And the firm has an ace,” Mr. Endacott pointed out, as Wu Ling’s card fell upon the table.

Gregory sat staring at it, motionless and rigid, the light of triumph fading from his face. There had been gamblers in his family, though, and heredity asserted itself. He rose calmly to his feet.

“I’ll go down and pack the Image,” he said.

Wu Ling clapped his hands. His expression had never varied. He showed no signs, even of content.

“There will be porters who attend you,” he announced. “They will follow your ’rickshaw and bring back the Image.”

Gregory held out his hand, even then scarcely realising the position. All this risk and privation for nothing, his friend’s life for nothing, all gone on the turn of a card. For a moment the place with its strange atmosphere seemed unreal, his adventure a nightmare. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This was a bit of a thriller, complete with a curse. I actually like how the author managed the curse and the psychology of it.

This book was not a bad way to spend some time.

A good book but a weak ending.

A young adventurer steals two complimentary idols of Buddha from a Chinese temple, one of which is "supposed to have a debasing and malevolent effect upon its owners.” Poorly plotted nonsense ensues.

The Ballastons are a spendthrift aristocratic family threatened with the loss of their ancestral home

Not the best Oppenheim book I've read.

Mysterious Idols May Hold a Hidden Treasure

On a riverboat in China, a pirate holds a young Englishman captive, Gregory Ballaston. He defiled an ancient temple, and stole two mysterious idols which may contain a hidden treasure. One of the idols represents the Body, and all of the corruption and evil