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Tales of the Shadowmen 1: The Modern Babylon [Paperback]

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Item description for Tales of the Shadowmen 1: The Modern Babylon by Jean-Marc Lofficier...

Tales of the Shadowmen 1: The Modern Babylon by Jean-Marc Lofficier

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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.82" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   0.84 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2005
Publisher   Hollywood Comics
ISBN  1932983368  
ISBN13  9781932983364  

Availability  56 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 06:27.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical

Reviews - What do customers think about Tales of the Shadowmen 1: The Modern Babylon?

A lot of fun!  Jan 2, 2007
Most of us know a few of the great characters of French popular literature. Captain Nemo, the Count of Monte Cristo, and the Phantom of the Opera have made it onto the world stage and are well known in many languages. In his time the gentleman thief Arsene Lupin was nearly as popular as Sherlock Holmes, though few Americans know him today except as the grandfather of the anime character Lupin III. Alas, most of these characters are unknown to most non-French readers.

Jean-Marc Lofficier began to open up this world with SHADOWMEN, a non-fiction guide to the heroes and villains of French popular literature. Now, TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN: THE MODERN BABYLON follows this up with a wonderful collection of stories which brings these characters and some of their British, American, and other contemporaries together in a set of new stories.

"Cadavres Exquis" by Bill Cunningham is a severe and painful makeover for the obscure French proto-superhero, Fascinax. It made me think a little of DARK NIGHT RETURNS, but it is even more intense in the way that it re-imagines the character.

"When Lemmy Met Jules" by Terrance Dicks pairs the author's character, Lemmy Caution, with the famous French detective Maigret. This one is short, funny, and perfectly in character. It's a real gem.

"The Vanishing Devil" by Win Scott Eckert is an encounter every pulp fan has wanted to see. Win uses the obscure French character Francis Ardan and his archenemy Natas in a conflict that comes across as Doc Savage vs. Fu Manchu. He does great job of capturing the personalities of both main characters.

"The Three Jewish Horsemen" by Vivian Etrivert is another short but very clever story bringing together a wonderful assortment of characters, including Lupin and the Phantom of the Opera. The last line is a special treat.

"The Werewolf of Rutherford Grange" by Greg Gick is part 1 of a longer story to be concluded in Vol 2. This is an atmospheric occult-themed mystery teaming French investigatory Harry Dickson and the Sar Dubnotal. The story manages to be introspective while losing none of its fast paced excitement. I really enjoyed this and am eager to read the conclusion.

"The Last Vendetta" by Rick Lai puts together a rogues gallery of characters at an "assassins' auction." Arsene Lupin's greatest enemy, Josephine Balsamo mingles with a variety of characters from spaghetti westerns. The story is intricately plotted and packed with details that I'm still catching after several readings. Rick has a wonderfully sly sense of humor that comes through when you start peeling back the layers.

"The Sainte-Genevieve Caper" by Alain Le Bussy is short and funny. A great use of classic characters making their presence felt without actually appearing.

"Journey to the Center of Chaos" by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier is a great use of period and setting as Robur (from Jules Verne's MASTER OF THE WORLD) recruits a group of literary characters from a threat involving the yeti and their Tibetan stronghold. I liked the combination of characters and thought the use of Dahoor was especially good.

"Lacunal Visions" by Samuel T. Payne is a story of Poe's detective August Dupin in an unearthly mystery featuring Doctor Omega. This is a very enjoyable story and showcases Dupin's ingenuity beautifully.

"The Kind Hearted Torturer" by John Peel was one of my favorites in the collection. The combination of characters (Dupin and the Count of Monte Cristo) was inspired, and Peel captured them very well.

"Penumbra" is another unexpected and wonderful combination of characters. This was conceptually brilliant as Chris Roberson brings the French character Judex into connection with several much better known cloaked avengers of the night.

"The Paris Ganymede Clock" by Robert Sheckley is one of the late writer's final (possibly the final) story. It involves Lord Peter Wimsey and the French villain Fantomas in a futuristic mystery. I feel bad that I really didn't follow this story well. I came away confused.

"The Titan Unwrecked; or, Futility Revisited" by Brian Stableford pictures a transatlantic crossing on a luxury liner with famous characters (including a number of the great vampires of literature.) This was more pessimistic in tone than I usually like, but wildly inventive and compellingly written. I am always dazzled by Mr. Stableford's scope of knowledge and his ability to weave so much together in his stories.

All in all, this is a collection that succeeds by turns in being adventurous, eerie, chilling, and funny. It is tremendously imaginative and is more sheer fun than any collection I've read in quite awhile.
Behold the pulps!  Aug 19, 2006
As a lover of pulp fiction in the truest sense (which means most of my readings are rather half-hearted now-a-days, courtesy the latest trend of worshipping the false Gods of literature, i.e high-brow stuff full of atmosphere & characters and devoid of plot), books like Shadowmen are straight-forward heavenly gifts. This book becomes more satisfying for non-Francophones like us because several of the central heroes & villains depicted in these stories are new to us. Not only are these stories great, they make us hungry for more. Jean-marc Lofficier deserves a solid toast for unleashing this anthology.
They are back and they are the Shadowmen!  May 6, 2005
Imagine, if you will, the heroes and villains from French pulp fiction brought back to life for another tale. In some cases, it is merely a possible follow-up story to the original work. In other cases, friends and foes unite to do battle once again. The result is this anthology featuring fourteen rather creepy stories. As co-editor Jean-Marc Lofficier notes in the introduction these "...are the stuff myths are made of." (Page 10)

A case in point is by Win Scott Eckert entitled "The Vanishing Devil." If you haven't had the pleasure of reading the novel "City of Gold & Lepers" featuring Doc Ardan (also from this publisher) then the story will not work nearly as well for you. But, if you have had the pleasure of reading that very good book, this short tale set twenty years in the future will intrigue with the possibilities it suggests.

An adventure showcasing Arsene Lupin (one of several to mention Lupin directly or indirectly) is "The Three Jewish Horsemen" by Viviane Etrivert. Lupin does like his pranks.

Another Lupin story and equally good is "The Sainte-Genevieve Caper" by Alain le Bussy. Others beside the famous Sherlock Holmes are at work chasing Lupin and Monsieur Ganimard fully intends to be the first to catch him.

This enjoyable anthology also features stories by Matthew Baugh, Bill Cunningham, Terrence Dicks, G. L. Gick, Rick Lai, Samuel T. Payne, John Peel, Chris Roberson, Robert Sheckley, Brian Stableford, and of course, the editors Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier. Many of the contributors are well known for their work elsewhere, some are not, but all share an affinity for French pulp fiction and a talent to bring their chosen characters alive for the reader. The result is an enjoyable read from start to finish and further proof that good stuff comes from the halls of Black Coat Press.

Book Facts:

Tales Of The Shadowmen-Volume One: The Modern Babylon
Edited by J. M. and Randy Lofficier
Black Coat Press
ISBN # 1-932983-36-8
Large Trade Paperback
253 Pages
$22.95 US



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