Friday, June 28, 2013

Blogging Sax Rohmer’s President Fu Manchu, Part One

Sax Rohmer’s "The Invisible President" was originally serialized in Collier’s from February 29 to May 16, 1936. It was published in book form later that year by Cassell in the UK and Doubleday in the US under the title "President Fu Manchu." The novel is the first in the series to fictionalize real events with characters based on familiar figures in the US in the 1930s such as Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin. More than one critic has noted that the story may have influenced the classic Cold War conspiracy thriller "The Manchurian Candidate." The novel gets underway with Sir Denis Nayland Smith on special assignment with the FBI in a reworking of the Parson Dan episode from the very first Fu Manchu novel over twenty years before. Rohmer is much more comfortable with his second effort at a third person narrative for the series. The early chapters do an admirable job of introducing Smith and his opposite number, FBI Agent Mark Hepburn into the lives of the highly controversial radio talk show host, Father Patrick Donegal. The celebrated Catholic priest had his manuscript on the forces threatening the USA stolen from his studio at the Tower of the Holy Thorn during his most recent broadcast. Abbot Donegal can recall nothing of the theft or even the contents of the manuscript he prepared. TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE VISIT THE BLACK GATE.

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