Jump to content
OttoHarkaman

Sax Rohmer

Recommended Posts

Taavi

@Ningauble I'm relying on The Necronomicon Files which state that Lovecraft used the Romance of Sorcery as a source: see the linked bit above.

 

@OttoHarkaman Don't worry, it's all in good fun. I too liked Brood, except for the way in which the elder lead concealed the horrible secret for the whole book, for (apparently) no very good reason other than to build suspense.

 

I could never find a decently formatted ebook of Secret Tales, so I never read it. Interested to hear what you think. One of the Fu Manchus is also set largely in Egypt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OttoHarkaman

Tales of Secret Egypt by Sax Rohmer

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/40108

 

I am just using the one from gutenberg, just read a couple pages, the first story starts off interesting and fun. Thanks for the tip on Fu Manchu, I'll have to look for that one taking place in Egypt. Yes I couldn't stand how Dr. Cairn in Brood wouldn't tell anyone anything!!! I could have throttled the man! It was fun but very much a writing of its time. Bram Stoker's Dracula also drove me nuts at times with the style of writing typical of the period. The Green Eyes of Bast was much better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Taavi

It's The Mask of Fu Manchu. I picked up a copy because of the link to Al-Muqanna. The first two-thirds is quite good, then it abruptly peters out to a meandering anticlimax.

Dr Cairns. "Yes, my son, I will tell you the horrible secret of the man who just tried to murder you and seduce your fiance... when the time is right".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wembley

Have just started Brood and, yes, the "I can't tell you anything" clunking plot device is deployed early...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Taavi

Perhaps it was original back then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce

Tales of Secret Egypt by Sax Rohmer

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/40108

 

I am just using the one from gutenberg, just read a couple pages, the first story starts off interesting and fun. Thanks for the tip on Fu Manchu, I'll have to look for that one taking place in Egypt. Yes I couldn't stand how Dr. Cairn in Brood wouldn't tell anyone anything!!! I could have throttled the man! It was fun but very much a writing of its time. Bram Stoker's Dracula also drove me nuts at times with the style of writing typical of the period. The Green Eyes of Bast was much better.

 

Otto!  Good to see you're still around.  B)

 

There's zero doubt regarding Rohmer's influence on HPL.

 

IMO, Brood of the Witch-Queen is probably Rohmer's best novel. It has its faults, but there you go. Rohmer's genius lay more in ideas than technique or plotting.

 

Rohmer's Batwing deeply influenced both HPL and Robert E. Howard:

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=JW_iqpErrFcC&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=batwing+lovecraft+rohmer+m%27kombo&source=bl&ots=k7ExDWYVWv&sig=F-9qiuHJNu195TK4nVLUXKIjPpE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAGoVChMI9-ORhN2YxwIVC1mSCh3P_wYL#v=onepage&q=batwing%20lovecraft%20rohmer%20m'kombo&f=false

 

http://leogrin.com/CimmerianBlog/592/

 

BTW, I can whole-heartedly recommend William Patrick Maynard's The Terror of Fu Manchu. Very rarely does a pastiche surpass its source. Maynard's novel does so. Everything from Rohmer is there, just written better. Oh, and the ending has some subtle Mythos touches. Read it before you ever read Rohmer's originals.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Terror-Manchu-William-Patrick-Maynard/dp/1934543713

 

cartoon-fumanchu-2.jpg?w=650

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ningauble

@Ningauble I'm relying on The Necronomicon Files which state that Lovecraft used the Romance of Sorcery as a source: see the linked bit above.

 

 

I have that myself, and really, the reference is flimsy. The only mention in Selected Letters is the one I refer to. Not even a mention of when he read it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OttoHarkaman

Thanks deuce :) I'll have to check that Fu Manchu pastiche :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wembley

Perhaps it was original back then?

I suspect it was a hoary old cliche back then. Duty vs ethics, honour vs honesty.

 

It's like a very bad Wilkie Collins...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TMS

Speaking of Robert E. Howard, I've heard it theorized that The Mask of Fu Manchu may have been a source of inspiration for his Conan story "Black Colossus," though possibly he had come across the Veiled Prophet legend in some other way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OttoHarkaman

Speaking of Robert E. Howard, I've heard it theorized that The Mask of Fu Manchu may have been a source of inspiration for his Conan story "Black Colossus," though possibly he had come across the Veiled Prophet legend in some other way.

I'll have to read both together and find out  :idea:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce

Speaking of Robert E. Howard, I've heard it theorized that The Mask of Fu Manchu may have been a source of inspiration for his Conan story "Black Colossus," though possibly he had come across the Veiled Prophet legend in some other way.

Yeah, that was spotted years ago. I believe Dave Hardy was the first one to get it into print in 2005 via The Cimmerian journal.

 

Pulp scholar, Rick Lai, also takes a look at the topic (and much more) here:

 

http://lovecraftzine.com/2015/03/20/the-foundations-of-the-king-in-yellow-and-the-necronomicon/ (*)

 

The article above is quite wide-ranging and well-done. Lai did a more REH-centric version for his recent REHupa mailing. The origins of the "Veiled Prophet" in English lit go way.

 

* BTW, since I've been badgered about it, I'll note the article above makes a slight speculation about Dunsany that is possibly untrue.

 

There are several other Rohmerian Easter eggs scattered throughout REH's corpus. Some were first pointed out by de Camp in "The Insidious Doctor Conan". There are more than that (though I won't go into them right now). I will note that Brood of the Witch-Queen (along with HPL's Beneath the Pyramids) seems to have laid the foundations for Howard's Stygia.

 

There has been some speculation that the Harold Lamb story, The Road to Kandahar, had some influence on BC. I took a look at that, but found the influence minimal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OttoHarkaman

OK, starting on "The Mask of Fu Manchu" 

 

mask-of-fu-manchu1.jpg

 

And I have the movie also, but I don't think its exactly a remake of the book?

 

the-mask-of-fu-manchu-movie-poster-1932-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mysterioso

OK, starting on "The Mask of Fu Manchu" 

 

mask-of-fu-manchu1.jpg

 

And I have the movie also, but I don't think its exactly a remake of the book?

 

the-mask-of-fu-manchu-movie-poster-1932-

FYI, Titan Books has republished all the Fu Manchu novels.  IIRC, each volume has an introductory essay.

 

The Karloff Fu Manchu is entertaining but IIRC does not hew to closely to the novel.  The serial Drums of Fu Manchu is fun too.  I've not seen the Christopher Lee ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Taavi

Rick Lai's article contains a number of passages that are rather similar to stuff I wrote on the Yellow Sign wiki.

 

That's what you get for putting your thoughts in the public domain, I suppose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TMS

The Lai article is a fun read, though I think some of its assertions are a little irresponsible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce

The Lai article is a fun read, though I think some of its assertions are a little irresponsible.

 

 

Quite honestly, I've never read a Lai article which is perfect. That said, he's extremely well-read and has made several cogent and/or interesting observations over the years. He's been doing this type of thing for over a decade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OttoHarkaman

So far The Mask of Fu Manchu is awesome! Fast past and mysterious, best I've read of Sax Rohmer yet.

 

Funny it is reminding me of some history I have been reading concerning Islam and the British Empire. It was a great fear in WWI that the Germans would stir up anti-British feelings in the Muslim world. I am looking forward to reading this book at some time, "Like Hidden Fire" Peter Hopkirk

 

9781568361277.jpg

 

Under the banner of a Holy War, masterminded in Berlin and unleashed from Constantinople, the Germans and the Turks set out in 1914 to foment violent revolutionary uprisings against the British in India and the Russians in Central Asia. It was a new and more sinister version of the old Great Game, with world domination as its ultimate aim. As the storm clouds of the First World War loomed, German hawks dreamed of driving the British out of India and creating a vast new Teutonic empire in the East, using their Turkish ally as a springboard. At the same time, Turkey's leaders aimed to free the Muslim peoples of Central Asia from the Tsarist yoke - and rule them themselves as part of a great new Ottoman empire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mysterioso

So far The Mask of Fu Manchu is awesome! Fast past and mysterious, best I've read of Sax Rohmer yet.

 

Funny it is reminding me of some history I have been reading concerning Islam and the British Empire. It was a great fear in WWI that the Germans would stir up anti-British feelings in the Muslim world. I am looking forward to reading this book at some time, "Like Hidden Fire" Peter Hopkirk

 

9781568361277.jpg

That's a great read, as is the volume before it on The Great Game and the volume after on events during and after the Russian Revolutions, Setting the East Ablaze.  (Events in the last volume are enhanced if read with James Palmer's The Bloody White Baron.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Taavi

John Buchan wrote a WWI espionage novel, "Greenmantle", about a german attempt to start an anti-British Jihad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OttoHarkaman

John Buchan wrote a WWI espionage novel, "Greenmantle", about a german attempt to start an anti-British Jihad.

 

Yes! Actually that is how I found out about the "Like Hidden Fire" book, Peter Hopkirk said "Greenmantle" was the main inspiration of his book. I had started to listen to the BBC R4 dramatization of JB's novel but got diverted into other stuff. Hannay had just escaped from some German castle and was shivering in the woods when I left him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OttoHarkaman

I am really enjoy MoFMC but I was laughing to myself as I read about the protagonist's taxi cab chase through the streets of Cairo to follow Fu Manchu's daughter. Is'nt the highly skilled taxi cab driver a stock character in a lot of detective books? Why would he risk his livelihood (his taxi) to damage to just follow someone a passenger demands by saying he will give double fare. I am enjoying it but its funny the stock assumptions in novels such as these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Taavi

I think it's some sort of taxi driver Prestige class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wembley

John Buchan wrote a WWI espionage novel, "Greenmantle", about a german attempt to start an anti-British Jihad.

Not one of his best...and pretty ignorant on the Islam front as you might expect .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OttoHarkaman

Just finished "The Mask of Fu Manchu" really enjoyed it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sign in to comment.

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...