Black Dog Books. The Leopard Couch is Volume 2 of The Sax Rohmer Library, a follow-up to last year's entry, The Green Spider. Like the first volume, this one features four stories that were never before published - at least in their complete and original form - in the United States.
But while The Green Spider featured mystery and suspense stories, The Leopard Couch focuses on the fantastic and supernatural. And Rohmer's style, which is just naturally sort of creepy, lends itself very well to this type of tale.
If you haven't read Sax Rohmer, the best way I can describe him is to say - think Arthur Conan Doyle on drugs. Even Rohmer's mundane scenes have a dreamy quality, and when he wants to create a really mystic mood, he goes all out.
It's the mood Rohmer creates - and draws the reader into - that give
these stories their power. The fantastic and supernatural elements themselves are rather subtle, making them all the more believable. You'll find no zombies eating brains in this collection. Instead, people have dreams that just might explain seemingly impossible occurences. There are strange lights, sounds and smells, and maybe a set of moving footprints with no body attached. An aura of evil might fall over a house, or an object, or a person. But the true manifestation of that evil is always just out of sight, where it stretches the imagination just enough - without reaching the breaking point.
Surprisingly, given the author's long-time association with Dr. Fu Manchu, most of these stories involve the mysticism of ancient Egypt. And that's a good thing, because to me, Egypt has always rated way higher on the creepy scale than China.
Click HERE to visit Black Dog Books and check out The Leopard Couch and other lost treasures of pulp fiction.