An Old School Pulp Butt Kicking

By Sax Rohmer

Titan Books 9.95 256pages

Some stories stand the test of time better than others. The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu is a reprint of the 1913 classic. Dr. Fu-Manchu is out to dominate the world, and his first stop is England. After escapades involving some bizarre torture devices, a white peacock and a haunted house, Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie close in on the villain, hopefully dealing with his evil at long last. It’s a fun story, and something perfect for a rainy afternoon with a cup of hot chocolate.

Once you get past the inherent racism, it’s not a bad story. The final chapters involving the mummy could have been stronger, or better yet omitted completely, but otherwise it is pulp fiction at its best. Each chapter gets more over-the-top than the last, and in a good way. As Smith and Petrie close in on the villain, you get to know them as the story goes on, building the suspense towards the final climax rather nicely. The closing essay is a waste of time, especially as the complete version is in the previous book. This story stands the test of time, and should be loved by mystery lovers everywhere.

Reviewed By Jamais Jochim

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