One chance for a new fan
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So, I have one chance to get him hooked. Any suggestions? Fer de Lance is the first, but not my favorite by far.
Please keep suggestions coming, I like them so far, and they are somewhat what I had in mind, with the above exception.
My immediate reaction was to endorse Some Buried Caesar. It is a straight forward and clever crime story with a wonderful opening comic scene - Wolfe stranded on a rock in the middle of a meadow menaced by a bull . It introduces most of Wolfe's eccentricities; and is redolent of a simpler time, which I miss. It lacks however, a central moral or ethical conundrum: either of which would serve a lesson well. Still, it is a delicious story.
Both the The Doorbell Rang and The Golden Spiders have more sophisticated stories. The former is a classic “State versus the Individual” tale, while the latter touches on illegal immigration. I would also add The Silent Speaker, with one of my favourite heroine's, Phoebe Gunther. I am particularly fond of this story as it neatly encompasses the larger theme of the clash between Industry and Government, and the smaller one of fanaticism to an ideal: well it was smaller when I first read it.
It seems that I've forgotten what little I knew of posting .... I can't get rid of the word “it”. And it's driving me nuts.
MrsLee, thinking of the 'sex den', I thought the setting in the A&E series was pretty neat - not as I had imagined it, however.
For some reason, I've never been as fond of Some Buried Caesar, despite the period, the entrance of Lily Rowan, or the humor. Also, the late thirties may seem harder to relate to than the forties, early fifties (?), and mid-sixties.
Now I'm going to spend the night trying to think of a central moral or ethical conundrum from Some Buried Caesar... How to make chicken and dumplings? What are your duties to a boss in peril? It's pretty ethical to have truth in advertising (not that it happens much).
I'm glad I asked this question here. You all have great insight and thoughts on the matter. SBC is one of my favorites, but at this point, due to comments here, I'm leaning towards Golden Spiders. IIRC, it's a bit of cloak and dagger? I'm thinking body count may have an appeal, also my son is a very sympathetic soul, he would be indignant at the boy being killed (or is it the old woman?), I always get the two very similar stories confused. I think personally, I prefer the short story which is very like GS. Why did he write two stories like that?
I'm now re-reading Some Buried Caesar thanks to this thread. I think it might have been the first Rex Stout I ever read. Worked out fine for me...
Thank you, Eurydice. It is a pleasure to be back, especially to this group. I often feel that much of my time spent on the internet is wasted; but never the time spent with LT, which is a comfortable place in my life. The fishing was excellent. Two weeks in PNG, a few days of which was spent on a rocking boat in the Bismarck Sea. My discomfiture a source of gentle amusement for the hosts. There attitude somewhat reminiscent of mine towards Nero Wolfe outside his Brownstone comfort zone. A rational conclusion would be that you are far more compassionate than I. But I can't help it, I enjoy seeing “our favourite fatty” squirm.
No trout Mrs Lee. I am strictly a one eating fish per day person, provided I'm that lucky. Otherwise it is catch and release. I should point out that my definition of “roughing it” is the absence of 24 hour (or tardy) room service. So I did little (actually no) direct cooking. It was a vacation! I did however supervise one meal by issuing imperious instructions on the preparation of the Nero Wolfe trout deal, substituting banana leaves for foil, a lesser quantity of palm sugar for brown sugar and mangrove jack (it may have been jungle perch, I can't recall) for trout. The bacon was real. It was moderately successful. Meals on the open sea consisted of dry toast for breakfast, lightly buttered for lunch and crackers and cheese for dinner. These I am proud to report, I prepared all by myself.
Edited to add: PNG = Papua New Guinea
And I agree: however much time I may waste on LT, LT time is rarely a waste. It's another home, and a rich community. After a long hiatus, I'm grateful to rejoin it.
So I gave my son the run-down of all opinions expressed here and gave him a choice between Some Buried Caeser and Golden Spiders. He chose the GS because he remembered the episode from A&E and liked it. My husband said it's not fair that he gets to read something fun in school. :)
Does everyone here know that our ostrom is an LT author? Way to go!
(For now, I'm happily reading, and reading about, some precursors, in The Lives of the Poets and The Oxford Book of English Verse. I can't tell you how glad I am that I picked the former off my boyfriend's shelves - bought the latter to go with it - was given his copy, as he replaced it - and, am reading them both. It's too easy for me to skip over poetry, and an unspeakable pity to do it.)
I might suggest "The Rubber Band". It's early enough in the series to pick up on some of the differences that appear later but still keeping Archie and Wolfe in the original era. I love the tension in the final scene and all the principals are there... Cramer, the DA, etc. It's an easy read, full of humor and Wolfe is some what endearing as Clara Fox actually states her intention of marrying Wolfe. I love the English characters and we get to hear from all of Wolfe's operatives. The mystery isn't a giveaway but it is easy to solve prior to the final scenes.
It's one of my early favorites.
I am convinced that poetry provides a critical edge to all reading. It appears to hone that part of the mind concerned with interpreting an authors intentions, adding depth to the experience. Everyone who reads should indulge in some poetry for this reason alone!
Now dismounted, and the rocking horse stabled.
Or, 'kept lovingly in trim by Trim'?
Thank you both for what will only encourage me (And others?) in this reading. It's taking the time to slow down, and, as you say, finding something that speaks to us, particularly, that are difficult. But I really cannot, having seriously begun, overstate my gratitude.