Topic: Other Non Comics Works
I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of William Patrick Maynard recently... Through my Facebook Network. I say that because otherwise I probably would not have known about his new book that was just released! It's been too long since the last novel in this series was published to even realize that there was a new novel for Fu Manchu readers and collectors!
His new book, THE TERROR OF FU MANCHU, (the first Fu Manchu thriller authorized by The Sax Rohmer Literary Estate in 22 years), has just been published by Black Coat Press.
It is now available in hardcover and trade paperback editions. You can find out more the book at the Black Coat Press web site:
So what is this prose novel about? Well from the write up we are given at the web site, here is the following background:
The death of a seemingly respectable missionary draws Denis Nayland Smith and his devoted companion, Dr. Petrie, back into the web of the diabolical Dr. Fu Manchu. The investigation takes our heroes on a harrowing journey where they cross paths with the Si-Fan, a rival theosophist society and the famous French detective, Gaston Max.
Before I write down my thoughts on this book, I wanted to mention why I personally had an interest in this new work by William.
You see there was a 'Fu Manchu' connection with comics a while back. There was a Marvel Comics comic book series that was published in the mid 1970's. The title of that series was 'Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu', (MOKF).
William, the author of this new novel, also was a huge fan of MOKF while he was growing up in the seventies. He is also hoping that Marvel Comics and the Sax Rohmer Literary Estate will be able to work out the reprint rights so that Fans of both formats can see the ESSENTIAL MOKF be printed. That in my mind would definitely see an increased exposure to this literary property!
My personal thoughts on the new book are as follows:
This is the sixteenth Fu Manchu novel in the library series. There were Sax Rohmer's thirteen novels and Cay Van Ash's two novels. After twenty-two years, this novel was published. Quite honestly I have not read all of the earlier novels as they date back several years, even before my time, LOL, and several appear to be OOP.
However this new one by William is in the same style and prose of the earlier novels and captures the same mood of the period. I found myself quite captivated from the very start!
What first got me into the flavor of the time was the painting that Christine Clavel created for the cover of the book. She really captured the eyes and lack of facial hair for Dr. Fu Manchu. Unlike what most of the mainstream public would remember of him! Those folks would probably remember him as an aged, partially crippled old man, and more of a caricature of Asians than the almost real looking person on the book cover.
In this new novel, Dr. Fu Manchu is closer to the 1930's incarnation post-DAUGHTER OF FU MANCHU when the 'Elixir Vitae' restored some of his youth back to him.
The Acknowledgements section and the Foreword at the front of the book really set the stage for what you are about to read, and both sections inform the new readers to the background history of the series of books. It helped remind me of what the series was about, lo those many years ago when I first started reading them.
Although I don't read that many prose text novels at this time in my life, due to my reading and reviewing so many comics and graphic novels to blog about... this was a nice change of pace.
Truth to tell, I was captivated by William Patrick Maynard's writing style, and felt I was returned to the 1913 period that his story was taking place in. I was along for the ride through the whole telling of the story. That says something for the writer, who was definitely comfortable in telling someone else's character who had been written about in thirteen earlier novels! That has to be a tough act to follow!
I would recommend this book for those that are familar with the book series! Also for those that were into the MOKF series from Marvel, this would make an interesting read! I do hope that Marvel will be forthcoming with an 'Essential MOKF' book. The tie-in would be an obvious choice should this prose text novel series continues. And with this sixteenth novel continuing the grand tradition, the series should be seeing a seventeeth sometime in the near future!
My thanks to William Patrick Maynard for providing me a personal copy of his book, knowing of my regard for the MOKF series and his own love of these characters and wanting to get the word out about his novel!
Details of the book are as follows:
Note: In addition there is a hardback collector's edition with a jacket for $39.95, so check out your usual book sources, and if not available there yet, be sure to see the publisher's web site at: http://www.blackcoatpress.com Thanks again to all of YOU reading our current and archived blog posts!
Thanks again to all of YOU reading our current and archived blog posts!