Read The Long Arm of Fantômas by Marcel Allain Free Online
Book Title: The Long Arm of Fantômas|
The size of the: 956 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.7
The author of the book: Marcel Allain
Edition: Beltham House
Date of issue: April 9th 2011
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
Fantômas is Fantômas and we're now at book number six in the Canon and the authors are on full roll.
This is a very rare book and will probably never be found as a commercial reprint, which is to say the copy I'm reading is a "Print on Demand". The book itself has a beautiful evocative cover, but internally, it is a nightmare!
My first issue with this reprint is that there has been no allowance for the physical demands of the construction of any book, which in this case is the margin needed on the edge that has to be glued into the binding; the last word of every sentence is unreadable without virtually breaking the spine of the book.
My second issue is that the book appears to be less of a translation than a transliteration; I do not speak French, but I do know that the trick in translating the language is to "remove" the redundant, or excessive, verbiage – but here we have a very floral, dated prose with many archaic words constituting very dated Victorian speech; this may bring a sense of charm to some readers, but to me it only made the book harder to read with its' convoluted, run-on, single sentence paragraphs. It also doesn't help that the book appears to have had only marginal, if any, proofing and is probably scanned from one of the 1924 English printings – tis is the place where typos have come to frolic and amaze!It is a sad day when the one of the heroes' own names is misspelled in a chapter heading(Jove for Juve.
However, on to the content of the book itself.
Things are pretty much where we left them at the conclusion of "A Royal Prisoner" except it is six months later. Juve is still in prison thought to be the villain Fantômas and Fandor is on the run wanted by the law as his accomplice. In standard Souvestre and Allain style, Fandor finds himself inserted into the company, if not the trust, of Paris' Apaches (there is a description in the book of an Apache Dance that could have been equally describing what I many times saw in my 1950s variety show TV viewing). Of course the hand of Fantômas is everywhere while his true persona is equally obscured, a salted trial of red herrings which is the very essence of any Fantômas story.
In this installment Fantômas actually gets a lot of screen time while Juve is left to rot in the clink and Fandor is basically an onlooker and only do the two get to do their hero thing in the very final reel. Fantômas doesn't get to commit any of his trademark mass murders that he does in some of the other books; but setting a lake on fire to tidy up all his enemies in one fell swoop is a pretty memorable sequence and probably the set point of the tale (it also does leave us available for the arrival of Hélène in book eight).
In true pulp fashion we are asked to run here, run there along with the various characters until the final unmasking and the fade out leading to the next installment. I do not think it too much of a spoiler to reveal that as regards to our stanch heroes they are restored to their rightful societal positions so they once again can openly pursue their arch-nemesis; who as we all know is "Slippery as Sin".
While all the Fantômas novels are pretty formula driven this one was pretty good fun and while everyone probably guesses who Fantômas is from the the first page, this time the reveal is carried off in good fashion with maybe a hint of an actual surprise.
Fantômas is Fantômas and I can can hardly wait for "The End of Fantômas?" to be published by Black Coat Press in the relatively near future - if for no other reason to be spared the horrible and distracting typos that are the domain of the Print-on-Demand trade and put back into the company of an outstanding professional operation.
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Read information about the authorMarcel Allain (1885-1970) was a French writer mostly remembered today for his co-creation with Pierre Souvestre of the fictional arch-villain and master criminal Fantômas.
The son of a Parisian bourgeois family, Allain studied law before becoming a journalist. He then became the assistant of Souvestre, who was already a well-known figure in literary circles. In 1909, the two men published their first novel, Le Rour. Investigating Magistrate Germain Fuselier, later to become a recurring character in the Fantômas series, appears in the novel.
Then, in February 1911, Allain and Souvestre embarked upon the Fantômas book series at the request of publisher Arthème Fayard, who wanted to create a new monthly pulp magazine. The success was immediate and lasting.
After Souvestre’s death in February 1914, Allain continued the Fantômas saga alone, then launched several other series, such as Tigris, Fatala, Miss Téria and Férocias, but none garnered the same popularity as Fantômas.
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