Friday, July 3, 2015

Phantom Manor [Lu Siao Feng] (1977) - Gu Long

I really enjoyed reading this book. One of the characters was a master of disguise who was so clever that he could transform himself into a dog.

The movie 'Perils of the Sentimental Swordsman' (1982) was based on this book, but the main character was changed from Lu Siao-feng to Chu Liu-hsiang. The book was much better, though, in my opinion, with more complex plots.

It was said that Liok Siau-hong had committed adultery with Sebun Jui-soat's beloved wife. Sebun Jui-soat had reached perfection with his sword, so perhaps he could kill Liok Siau-hong. Scared to death, Liok Siau-hong ran to the mysterious Phantom Manor, a secluded place where he met many swordsmen whom thought to be dead. There they had been hiding to evade their enemies. The Phantom Manor was led by a mysterious person who was arranging a scheme to kill leaders of the martial world. Liok Siau-hong had been given the most difficult task: to steal a gold cap being worn by Wu Tang's leader in a meeting.

The conclusion was good. Liok Siau-hong did a wonderful detective job here.

The parts with the dog character were amusing. The master of disguise knew that if he had done his part, he would be killed. So he asked Liok Siau-hong's help to take him along when Liok Siau-hong went out to do his task. When the time came, Liok Siau-hong left the Phantom Manor as an official with a wife, a son, several servants, and a dog. Because he was being watched all the time, he met with his 'dog' in a toilet. Once a day he would ask someone to walk the dog. Until the time when his watchers couldn't take it anymore and killed the dog, but what they killed was really a dog. The master of disguise had fled. Nevertheless the watchers wrote a report to their leader: 'Today we covered two hundred kilometers. The dog suddenly dead.'

Liok Siau-hong loved making friends. It was safe to guess that the bad guy in every Liok Siau-hong story was one of his friends.

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