Thursday, September 19, 2013
Blogging Sax Rohmer’s The Drums of Fu Manchu, Part One
Sax Rohmer’s The Drums of Fu Manchu was first serialized in Collier’s from April 1 to June 3, 1939. It was published in book form later that year by Cassel in the UK and Doubleday in the US. The book marked a welcome return to the first person narrative voice in the tradition of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmesmysteries and constituted a return to the series’ roots with a close re-creation of the very first Fu Manchu episode, “The Zayat Kiss” in the opening chapters of the new novel. The narrator is Fleet Street journalist Bart Kerrigan, a Dr. Petrie substitute who is an old friend of Sir Denis Nayland Smith from his days as a colonial administrator. As in the first book, our narrator is disturbed one night by the unexpected arrival of Nayland Smith seeking shelter from the Si-Fan agents on his tail. Smith has once again returned to London to save the life of a man marked for death by the Si-Fan. Smith and Kerrigan rush to the home of Sir Malcolm Locke. Sir Malcolm’s house guest, General Quinto is Italian dictator Pietro Monaghani’s right hand man. Quinto has foolishly disregarded his three written warnings from the Si-Fan. Upon Smith and Kerrigan’s arrival, they learn the General has mysteriously died from what Smith calls “the Green Death.” TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE VISIT THE BLACK GATE ON FRIDAY.