City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir
'A fascinating tale of life and death in a city on the brink of all-out war' Time, on Midnight in Peking
'He resurrects a period that was filled with glitter as well as evil, but was never, as readers will appreciate, known for being dull' Economist , on Midnight in Peking
1930s Shanghai could give Chicago a run for its money. In...more
So while the book certainly focused o ...more
This is a meticulously researched narrative and it shows throughout the bo ...more
The famous Shanghai Bund
My dead pixels, format, book was a modest 325-pages which included appendices and a glossary. It had a US 2018 copyright.
Paul French is a British journalist and author. He is the author of eight (8) books on eastern Asia. This was the first book I’ve read by the author.
Firstly, this book was listed as non-fiction. In the book’s Preface, the author states ...more
Paul French’s City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai makes a case that history books are not just something you give to Dad on Father’s Day. They might be informative, and they might even be entertaining! And while City of Devils is not as entertaining as say an outlaw car race starti ...more
Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom opens in 1935 at a club in the city of Shanghai. Jones is going to met a gangster, and, of course, the shit hits the fan. It is a Hollywood version of what Shanghai was like during the interwar years. Yet, there is some truth to it. The city did have Badlands, and there were clubs that not only hired but catered to expatriates from America and Europe. In his book City of Devils, Paul French presents the truth and while it does in ...more
1930's Shanghai was a frontier town, rapidly expanding in both population, city limits, and crime. Drugs, murder and mayhem were the main courses on the menu with a couple of unassuming characters in Riley and Farren taking full advantage of the low lying fruit begging to be plucked and exploited.
City of Devils chronicles Ril ...more
Shanghai was one of those strange city-states which was occupied by neutral foreigners and somewhat immune to all that happened around it (somewhat like Berlin before the wall came down). It was a place of last resort for White Russians, European ...more
Thank you to goodreads for the opportunity to review this book. ...more
Was looked on as something shocking.
But now, God knows,
Good authors too who once knew better words
Now only use four-letter words
Shanghai Chorus Girls
Paul French's City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai brings us a touch of the bawdy magic that the chorus girls exude in the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It delivers a healthy dollop of Nucky Thompson's crimi ...more
A deep delve into Joe and Jack Riley's personal and professional lives, detailing their struggle and rise to the top amidst their colorful forays with women, fellow outlaws, drugs, and violence. French really paints a picture of the era, detailing the inner sanctums and bars of the elite gamblers they serviced while also painting a grim picture of the escalating war and drug scene co ...more
While the story is quite interesting; it could have been fascinating, had the author not tried to include every historical fact, drop every name, and include every intrigue in the 23 years it covers. Too much trivia.