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Old 12-10-2008, 02:50 AM   #1
mtravellerh
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Post Rohmer, Sax: The Orchard of Tears v1 10 dec 2008

Many people who read The Orchard of Tears find it an "odd" book in the context of Sax Rohmer's other work. There are no oriental villains or exotic locations; rather, there are gentle rabbits and lambs in pastoral settings and a great deal of philosophical musing. As much as he enjoyed Fu Manchu -- and the notoriety and income the character provided -- Rohmer had other interests and a markedly serious side. The departure from his expected subject matter is plainly signalled by the book's dedication:

To
the slaves of the pomegranate,
sons of Adam and daughters of Eve,
who drink at the fountain of life,
this chalice is offered as
a loving-cup.

The Orchard of Tears is Rohmer's most restrained and serious novel. It was written because the author wanted to write it, and his recent success afforded him the opportunity to do so. A clue to the intent is to be found when the protagonist, Paul Mario, asks: "You mean that literature and art persistently look in the gutter for subjects when they would be more worthily employed in questioning the stars?"

In Master of Villainy, Cay Van Ash and Mrs. Rohmer tell us, "Readers who are anxious to know the kind of thing which the 'master of villainy' was most honestly pleased to write should get hold of this book".(http://www.njedge.net/~knapp/Tears.htm)

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