I spent yesterday reading Bill's copy of The insidious Dr Fu Manchu which was very silly, action packed and despite being labeled as "complete and unabridged" on the cover wasn't! I got suspicious when the girl showed up and said it was the third time meeting them, when she'd only appeared once before, and then there was a lot jumping around that seemed to be at odds with the text. (I couldn't quite belive it was written so poorly). A quick search of gutenberg and other texts reveals that it was a shortened version, bits with the girl were missing, murders, more opium dens and references to the boxer rebellion. How terribly dissapointing especially as I read the whole shortened version. I shall have to track down a complete version some time and perhaps the other adventures as well. It reminds me a little of when I read the abridged version of Dracula I once read that had totally removed Van Helsing. I did wonder why there was no mention of China besides just the villain.
I did feel a certain sense of trepidation about the racist overtones associated with this book. It was very much part of the "orientalist" tradition. But it is pulpy nonsense and should not be taken too seriously....Continua