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 Red Threads (1939) 
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New post Red Threads (1939)
You're invited to use this topic to discuss the quotations from Red Threads (1939) – a murder mystery novel by Rex Stout.

You may also use this thread for general discussions about this literary work; you do not necessarily need to discuss specific quotations.

Or, if you'd like to talk about anything else related to Rex Stout, feel free to create a new discussion topic.


Last edited by Faterson on Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 6:34, edited 2 times in total.

Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 6:14
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Yesterday, I received the following comment from Arnie Perlstein via email. I'll be responding to it here online in the forum, to get the discussion of this superb non-Wolfe Rex Stout mystery novel started, if possible.

Here is the inquiry received yesterday:

Arnie Perlstein wrote:
I just enjoyed browsing at your Rex Stout website, and I was particularly intrigued by your comment:

Faterson wrote:
At least one non-Wolfe mystery also deserves high credit: Red Threads. It is written in the vein of Jane Austen – the writer Rex Stout admired most of all.

I read many of the Nero Wolfe novels 40 years ago as a young teenager, and I already am well aware of how much Stout admired Jane Austen's writing, in particular her ability to create suspense and mystery. Based on your comment, I have just bought a copy of Red Threads online and look forward to reading it as soon as I receive it in the mail. In the interim, if you'd be so kind as to relieve me of some of the suspense of waiting, can you briefly summarize for me in what way Red Threads was written in the vein of Jane Austen?

If you want to know why I am interested, check out my blog.


Last edited by Faterson on Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 16:30, edited 1 time in total.

Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 6:30
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Arnie Perlstein wrote:
I already am well aware of how much Stout admired Jane Austen's writing, in particular her ability to create suspense and mystery.

Really?! I must say you surprise me. :) I've always thought Stout admired Jane Austen primarily because of the romantic nature of her writings. So, you possibly know a lot more about this topic than I do. 8)

Perhaps you still remember it from your own reading of the Wolfe Corpus: Nero Wolfe, improbable as it sounds, frequently describes himself as a romantic person.

With our contributor Adonis Guilfoyle, we've already had some discussion about the definition of the term romantic in Rex Stout's works; for an example, see here.

Not only Rex Stout, but also Jane Austen is one of my favourite writers. So, this online Book of Quotations will be presenting quotations from all works by Jane Austen as well, and there will be a dedicated Jane Austen discussion forum on this site, too.

I trust that the Jane Austen quotations webpages and forum threads will, among other things, help bring out similarities between Austen's and Stout's writings and all the features of Austen's work Stout may potentially have admired. :wink:

Arnie Perlstein wrote:
In the interim, if you'd be so kind as to relieve me of some of the suspense of waiting, can you briefly summarize for me in what way Red Threads was written in the vein of Jane Austen?

I may disappoint you here, but I meant simply the following: in Rex Stout's non-Wolfe mystery novel Red Threads, the romantic involvement of the two main protagonists seems as important (or perhaps more) as the unravelling of the murder mystery.

Anyway: I have collected a good two dozen impressive quotations from Red Threads. After I manage to upload them, you'll see that I find the novel's focus (and the main source of the reader's delight) to be on the romantic aspects (that is, love story), not the whodunnit.

That is all I meant by referring to Jane Austen. Even so, I trust you won't regret having purchased the novel; I find it to be of high quality – higher, in fact, than most Nero Wolfe mysteries. Feel free to let us know, here in this thread, after you finish reading the book, how you liked or disliked it, and why. :)

The foregoing paragraph may sound blasphemous to hard-core hippopotamus fans, and I know there are many of them who find Red Threads unremarkable or negligible, but I for one consider it to be one of Rex Stout's masterpieces.

Oh, and let's get one frequent misunderstanding out of the way at the very outset: Red Threads is not, repeat not “an Inspector Cramer mystery”.

Yes, the policeman investigating the crime in this story is Inspector Cramer, but he's no more than a supporting cast member. Most of the time in the novel, he's not to be seen; he's even less noticeable in Red Threads than in a typical Wolfe story. His name in Red Threads might as well have been Inspector Jones or Inspector Smith – it wouldn't make any difference, because you'll hardly recognize the familiar figure from the Wolfe yarns in the character featured here in Red Threads.


Last edited by Faterson on Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 16:38, edited 1 time in total.

Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 7:19
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Could you summarise a little of the plot of Red Threads for me, sans spoilers, of course? :wink: There is a copy in the fiction reserve of the library where I work, but I haven't yet felt inclined to borrow it - and yes, I did think it was 'an Inspector Cramer mystery'! :oops:

I'm afraid the only appeal of Rex Stout for me is Archie Goodwin and, necessarily, Nero Wolfe, so I'm not tempted to read beyond the corpus, I'm afraid - Dol Bonner and Tecumseh Fox do not hold the charm of my favourite man of action and his overweight boss, not to mention the fact that both characters have ridiculous, gimmicky names, which bugs me.

But if you can persuade me that I should dust off Red Threads, I shall add it to my 'to read' list gladly! :D

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Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 12:49
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AdonisGuilfoyle wrote:
Could you summarise a little of the plot of Red Threads for me, sans spoilers, of course? :wink:

I'm afraid I'm not very good at this sort of thing, Adonis. :? Mostly because I forget all about my favourite books' or movies' plots only a short while after I finish reading or watching them. :roll: I can recall my impressions pretty well, and the emotions connected to a book or movie – but not their plots, usually.

Yes, I still remember the plots of Gone With the Wind and Titanic and a few others, but those are probably the exceptions that prove the rule for me. :twisted: Incidentally, I must be one of the few males on this planet who highly appreciates both Gone With the Wind – book and movie version – and the blockbuster James Cameron rendition of Titanic.

(For the sake of completeness, I shall out myself, right here in this post, as a heterosexual male, because I've frequently heard some extremely stupid prejudice to the effect that if any male reader or viewer appreciates Gone With the Wind or Titanic, there's probably something unusual about their sexuality. Well, I very much doubt anything as stupid as that can be claimed of the entire Pulitzer Prize committee who decided to award the prize to Margaret Mitchell's novel in 1937 :!:)

Perhaps Arnie Perlstein who was inspired by my praise for Red Threads to purchase the volume will be so good as to give us a short summary of the plot (spoiler-free, if possible) after he finishes reading the book? :wink:

However: I'm pretty confident, Adonis, that my collection of quotations from Red Threads might inspire you to want to read the whole book. After all, that's the purpose of this site: with the help of the quotations from, or in-depth discussions and analyses of a book, to wake the readers' interest and motivate them to read the whole book, ideally after purchasing it. The next time anyone approaches us with doubts concerning copyrights, I'll be brandishing this very forum thread in front of their virtual eyes as evidence that the site's proclaimed intent actually does work in real life.

AdonisGuilfoyle wrote:
I'm afraid the only appeal of Rex Stout for me is Archie Goodwin and, necessarily, Nero Wolfe, so I'm not tempted to read beyond the corpus, I'm afraid - Dol Bonner and Tecumseh Fox do not hold the charm of my favourite man of action and his overweight boss, not to mention the fact that both characters have ridiculous, gimmicky names, which bugs me.

Red Threads features another Native American male leading character; fortunately, he's not Tecumseh Fox. (Like you, I found the Tecumseh Fox mystery novel Double for Death tedious and not worth reading.)

Adonis, it all depends on whether you like romantic literature or not. If love stories generally bug you, you will probably find Red Threads uninteresting and irritating.

If, on the contrary, love stories of Jane Austen's type, or the Gone With the Wind and Titanic type, happen to be your favourite genre, as they happen to be mine, there is a fairly big chance you'll be delighted by Red Threads, despite its lack of Archie and Wolfe. It doesn't lack humour, as far as I can remember, although humour certainly doesn't take center stage in Red Threads, unlike in a typical story narrated by Archie.

No, the main focus of Red Threads, as I perceive it, is the love story of the two main protagonists, with the murder investigation creating an exciting backdrop for the story – just like the American Civil War is the backdrop for Gone With the Wind, but it probably wouldn't be entirely precise to call Gone With the Wind “a Civil War novel” when the novel's main focus are the heroine's romantic exploits, not historical events.

Nowadays, whenever I finish reading any book, or watching any movie, I always sit down to write a mini-review to capture my impressions. I then publish those impressions on this site; see my mini-review of Agatha Christie's Death in the Clouds for an example.

Unfortunately, it's been a number of years since I read Red Threads, and I didn't have the good habit of review-writing back then. So, the only thing I'll have for you in 2007 to entice you to read the novel will be the collection of quotations. I'll tackle it as soon as I finish tinkering with (and considerably expanding) The Black Mountain excerpts. 8)

(Of course, I'll be re-reading Red Threads in future, and will be happy to write a mini-review of the novel to mark the occasion.)


Last edited by Faterson on Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 21:27, edited 1 time in total.

Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 15:12
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Faterson wrote:
Mostly because I forget all about my favourite books' or movies' plots only a short while after I finish reading or watching them.

Depending on the complexity of the plot, I'm with you there - at least it aids the collection of one's own library! :wink:

faterson wrote:
Incidentally, I must be one of the few males on this planet who highly appreciates both Gone With the Wind – book and movie version – and the blockbuster James Cameron rendition of Titanic.

I've never had the patience to tackle the whole of Gone With the Wind on screen, and the book has been recommended to me to no avail, but I wouldn't judge you for being a fan of such a classic. I do, however, hold James Cameron's 'Titanic' against you :wink: That is such an incredibly bad film; popcorn romance as an alternative to the infinitely more effective 1950s version, A Night to Remember, which always brings a lump to my throat. And even insisting that Cameron's swagger is more of a love story than an account of the Titantic's fateful voyage won't raise the film's rating with me - I have never seen such an unconvincing couple as Leonardo deCaprio and Kate Winslet, and the premise of a well-meaning, well-to-do young woman falling for a jack-the-lad who could be her younger brother is more a cause for concern than a celebrated romance. Also, the film is piled high with cliche - I had to grit my teeth through the 'Irish-jig-below-stairs' heavy-handed symbolism :? Great special effects and attention to detail, but it takes more than whizz-bang to catch my eye.

faterson wrote:
Adonis, it all depends on whether you like romantic literature or not. If love stories generally bug you, you will probably find Red Threads uninteresting and irritating.

Honestly, I do! :P It might not sound like it, after that rant, but I do enjoy romance - subtle romance, that is, not Mills and Boon :wink: To return your honesty, I shall confess that one of my other favourite writers is the Baroness Orczy, who started writing her Scarlet Pimpernel series at the start of the twentieth century, and continued up until the Second World War. A Hungarian by birth, she and her family fled their native country and took refuge in England, where Orczy eventually settled and married, and her stories all evoke the powerful patriotism of an immigrant for her adopted country, but it is the romance between Sir Percy - the Pimpernel - and his wife Marguerite that made me fall in love with her flowery prose and far from subtle class prejudices; it's not overdone, as the two characters barely get to spend any time together, but their romance has latent strength and a fairytale quality that goes straight to my heart and imagination. And Sir Percy is a true English gentleman - I return to him every now and again, just to dream that such figures might exist :wink:

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Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 16:57
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AdonisGuilfoyle wrote:
I've never had the patience to tackle the whole of Gone With the Wind on screen, and the book has been recommended to me to no avail

:o Oh, you're missing out on huge delights... Or huge suffering – people are so different that you never can tell. Witness your bashing of James Cameron's Titanic. :wink:

I have lots of quotations from the book version of Gone With the Wind, and I trust that when that particular collection is made available online on this site, this will persuade you to give your attention to both the book and the movie. 8)

AdonisGuilfoyle wrote:
I do, however, hold James Cameron's 'Titanic' against you :wink: That is such an incredibly bad film; popcorn romance [...] And even insisting that Cameron's swagger is more of a love story than an account of the Titantic's fateful voyage won't raise the film's rating with me

Wait, that's not what I'm saying about Titanic :!: Yes, I enjoyed the romantic angle in that movie, too, but what I believe James Cameron's Titanic is primarily, is a fairytale. That's the crucial thing that I fear most bashers of this masterpiece are missing. :wink:

If you approach James Cameron's Titanic as a modern-day, high-tech fairytale, everything falls into its place and the movie can be enjoyed as what it is – a true masterpiece of 20th century cinema.

Anyway, that's my take on it. All are free to disagree. :P

(I haven't seen A Night to Remember yet; it's on my to-watch list, obviously.)

AdonisGuilfoyle wrote:
I have never seen such an unconvincing couple as Leonardo deCaprio and Kate Winslet

I agree that neither DiCaprio nor Winslet were ideally cast. However, the personal traits of the two leading protagonists in Titanic were not all that important. If the two leading roles had been played by straw puppets, or a pair of dogs, or a pair of guinea-pigs, the movie still would have made all of its valid points.

It just wouldn't be so popular among pubescent girls if it lacked their sex symbol, so it's logical and understandable for James Cameron to have selected DiCaprio for the role, even though he may not have fitted it ideally. After all, the movie cost tons of money to produce, and Mr. Cameron had to make sure his return-on-investment was as high as possible, didn't he :?:

Ah well, we should transfer this to a dedicated Titanic thread, I suppose. :)

AdonisGuilfoyle wrote:
the premise of a well-meaning, well-to-do young woman falling for a jack-the-lad who could be her younger brother

Whenever I fall in love, it's always with the least probable person around, the worst-suited match for me. Woody Allen is a suave playboy compared to myself. So, the improbability of the love affair is nothing I would hold against Titanic; that's life, you know... :twisted:

AdonisGuilfoyle wrote:
the film is piled high with cliche

Yes, as are most other fairytales, and that's what James Cameron's Titanic is primarily: a fairytale for viewers of all ages.

We could take the cliches you mention one by one and I could demonstrate why none of them spoils my artistic enjoyment of the movie. (I've seen it maybe 6 or 7 times so far.) But, that would really be something for a dedicated Titanic thread, and I probably wouldn't have time for such an in-depth discussion of the movie right now anyway.

AdonisGuilfoyle wrote:
Great special effects and attention to detail, but it takes more than whizz-bang to catch my eye.

So it does for me. I'm not really interested in speciel effects or attention to detail – those are just trimmings. Yes, even in James Cameron's Titanic, the technicalities are no more than trimmings of the more important (“spiritual”, if you wish) aspects of the movie.

AdonisGuilfoyle wrote:
one of my other favourite writers is the Baroness Orczy

Aha :!: I don't know her yet. Thanks for the recommendation; I've just added the Baroness to my list of future readings.

(And I hope I can one day put up that reading list online, just as I've already put up the list of music albums recommended by friends, or the favourite music albums list, or the favourite songs list I'm currently compiling online – it will contain at least 900 items! 8) There's so much work connected with this site I'll probably be dead ten times over before I accomplish a smidgen of all the things I currently have in mind. :cry:)


Last edited by Faterson on Sat, 28 Jul 2007, 4:35, edited 1 time in total.

Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 17:41
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New post Red Threads and Jane Austen
Wow, so much to respond to, I will pick some highlights:

Faterson wrote:
I've always thought Stout admired Jane Austen primarily because of the romantic nature of her writings. So, you possibly know a lot more about this topic than I do.

Maybe we're both correct, in the sense that I know for sure that Stout considered her to be without peer in her ability to create and sustain suspense and mystery in fiction, but surely he also loved her ability to create great love stories as well.

Faterson wrote:
Not only Rex Stout, but also Jane Austen is one of my favourite writers.

Please expand on that a bit--which novels are particular favorites of yours, and the reasons why you like them.

Faterson wrote:
I may disappoint you here, but I meant simply the following: in Rex Stout's non-Wolfe mystery novel Red Threads, the romantic involvement of the two main protagonists seems as important (or perhaps more) as the unravelling of the murder mystery.

Not only do you not disappoint me, it is quite the opposite--you give me hope that Red Threads will shed much light on RS's understanding of JA's fictional artistry. What I think you don't realize is that Emma, JA's masterpiece, can exactly be described as a detective story masquerading as a love story! And that there is in fact a murder that occurs "offstage" in Emma, among other "offstage" action that is hinted at in the text, but not explicitly described. That is precisely what I think Stout had a very strong intuition about, but did not quite know what to do with it, in terms of understanding what I call the "shadow story" of Emma and of JA's other novels.

So I will read Red Threads with great interest as soon as I get my copy! And I will eagerly await your uploading of those quotes from Red Threads as well.

Faterson wrote:
Perhaps Arnie Perlstein who was inspired by my praise for Red Threads to purchase the volume will be so good as to give us a short summary of the plot (spoiler-free, if possible) after he finishes reading the book?

With pleasure, although I suspect that won't be till the end of August.

Thanks again for your amazing responses, I think we will have a very nice time here exchanging insights and ideas about these wonderful writers, RS and JA! ;)


Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 19:37
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New post Re: Red Threads and Jane Austen
Arnie Perlstein wrote:
Faterson wrote:
Not only Rex Stout, but also Jane Austen is one of my favourite writers.

Please expand on that a bit--which novels are particular favorites of yours, and the reasons why you like them.

Hope you'll forgive me I don't have the necessary time to delve into this in detail right now. :( As I promised you, via email I think, this site will present collections of quotations from all of Jane Austen's works, plus there'll be a dedicated Jane Austen discussion forum, just as there currently already is one for Rex Stout.

For now, let me say tritely that Pride and Prejudice might serve as the archetypal Jane Austen masterpiece.

Since we've already mentioned Gone With the Wind on this page, let me also say I find the similarities between Pride and Prejudice and Gone With the Wind striking. The two leading protagonists in both novels seem similar characters; I'm sure Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable could star in the leading roles of a Pride and Prejudice screen version with utter conviction. I should point out that Gone With the Wind, due to its much larger scope (I still remember it clearly: 1039 pages :!:), is probably the richer masterpiece from among the two. Basically, one might say that there are only 2 fascinating characters in Pride and Prejudice – whereas there are 4 of them in Gone With the Wind (the two married couples), each of the 4 an absolutely unique and unforgettable character. (Especially thanks to Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland and Leslie Howard, I suspect. :wink:)

Even so, Pride and Prejudice deserves an A+ rating and I'll be prepared to discuss it (and all other Jane Austen novels) in more detail when I get to uploading the quotes collections. 8)

Arnie Perlstein wrote:
What I think you don't realize is that Emma, JA's masterpiece, can exactly be described as a detective story masquerading as a love story!

Thanks for pointing that out, Arnie. If that's true, then Red Threads may be described in exactly opposite terms: as a love story masquerading as a detective story.

I do realize that Rex Stout considered Emma to be Jane Austen's best novel. 8)

Arnie Perlstein wrote:
Faterson wrote:
Perhaps Arnie Perlstein who was inspired by my praise for Red Threads to purchase the volume will be so good as to give us a short summary of the plot (spoiler-free, if possible) after he finishes reading the book?

With pleasure, although I suspect that won't be till the end of August.

No problem! :) As I just complained in the previous post, there's so much work to do on this site one would perhaps need several lifetimes to accomplish it all. :cry: Whenever you find the time to let us know your take on Red Threads, Arnie, we'll be grateful for it. This forum is meant to last, so you may re-visit this particular thread in a month, in a year, or in 10 years from now, and we may continue this discussion with renewed insight right at the point where we left off today. 8)


Last edited by Faterson on Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 20:56, edited 1 time in total.

Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 20:34
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To follow up on the foregoing post, since it's relevant for the novel discussed in this thread, I'd also like to copy here what I posted earlier today to the Nero Wolfe mailing list at Yahoo, regarding Red Threads:

Quote:
While I liked all of Stout's mysteries, I thought Under the Andes was awful. I thought for a while it must have been written by a different Rex Stout.

Oh, yeah: one that was a lot younger! That frequently translates into “less experienced” and “less skillful” writer, naturally.

Under the Andes was published in 1914, when Stout was just 28 years old.

In contrast, the very first of the 47 Nero Wolfe volumes (and possibly the best of them all), Fer-de-Lance, came out in 1934, when Stout was 48. That's a fully mature man for you right there: smack in between the (eternally unchanging) biological age of his 2 main protagonists, Archie and Wolfe – so that, at the age of 48, Rex Stout was capable of faithfully describing both a man that was slighter younger, and a man that was slightly older than himself at the time of writing.

Now take Red Threads, that I've just said I find to be better than most Nero Wolfe stories. This non-Wolfe novel was published in 1939, at the height of Rex Stout's creative powers: in the same year as Some Buried Caesar, hailed by many Wolfe fans (though not by me) as the very best Wolfe novel, immediately following on 1938's Too Many Cooks (I'd be ready to bestow The Best Wolfe Novel distinction upon this one), and immediately preceding another Nero Wolfe masterpiece, Over My Dead Body from 1940.


Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 20:48
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Charles Wimberley has just posted the following fair and balanced appraisal of Red Threads on the “other” Nero Wolfe mailing list (the one with such strict membership requirements I seem to be disallowed from [re]joining the debates):

Charles Wimberley wrote:
Inspector Cramer appears in Red Threads (1939) sans Wolfe and Archie. He is the cop in residence but not the real whodunit solver. Mrs. Stout was active in the garment design business and the plot involves activities in the garment district – it is certainly up to Stout's standards.


Fri, 27 Jul 2007, 21:40
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I happily endorse 'Gone with the Wind'!
I did both, read the book and watch the movie. Of course I lived in Atlanta at the time, where this is considered local history. 8)

I'll pass on Titanic to include the traveling artifacts show! Just a bit too disturbing.
And while I am in a negative mood, let me add that I would not touch the none-Wolfe Stout with a 10 foot pole.
I'm nothing if not an exclusive Nero fan. The Brownstone is my favorite destination for a happy escape. :D


Sat, 28 Jul 2007, 3:27
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starfish wrote:
I happily endorse 'Gone with the Wind'!
I did both, read the book and watch the movie. Of course I lived in Atlanta at the time, where this is considered local history. 8)

Upon the first cursory reading of your post, Starfish, I thought you were saying you lived in Atlanta at the time when the novel was taking place. That's not what you meant, right? :lol:

Let's add more about 1939, the year when Rex Stout published Red Threads and Some Buried Caesar.

This was a super-eventful year on a global scale. To this day, 1939 is called the finest year in the history of Hollywood. Gone With the Wind won all the major Oscars for 1939, but they say there were at least half a dozen, or more, movies from 1939 that could have easily won the Best Movie Academy Award in any other year. (As an example, take Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, in no way inferior to Gone With the Wind.) In 1939, the competition was just too strong.

Plus, in Europe in 1939, Hitler started World War II which was to disrupt Rex Stout's writing career. He gave up writing Nero Wolfe stories in favour of becoming a radio talk show personality tirelessly advertizing the anti-Nazi war efforts. It's interesting to observe that Rex Stout weaves his anti-Nazi sentiments, by means of little inconspicuous remarks, into some of his early Wolfe novels; I believe Over My Dead Body of 1940 is an example of that tendency – long before the United States officially entered the War following the Pearl Harbor attack. Rex Stout clearly found the rise of Nazis to power in (some, and later all of) Europe disturbing, unlike many other Western intellectuals who didn't seem to give a damn.

Now, a curious and fascinating thing is that an excellent-quality recording of Rex Stout's voice from 1939 is readily available for us. Rex Stout appeared on the Information, Please radio quiz show on 29 August 1939. So, you may listen to Rex Stout deliver a Goodwinean wisecrack about beards and moustaches (2:35 minutes, 1.03 megabytes); Rex Stout definitely not only has a beautiful beard and moustache – as the master of ceremonies, the New Yorker literary critic repeatedly points out – but Stout also has an impressive, resonant, microphonic voice perfectly suited for the radio medium; no wonder Stout went on to become a radio talk show host in the years following this broadcast. Also, you may listen to Stout answering (or failing to answer, or feigning to fail to answer) questions about Sherlock Holmes (4:24 minutes, 1.76 megabytes), sent in by a fellow writer, Ring Lardner Jr., who was only 24 years old at the time of the broadcast.

One of the things I find interesting about the broadcast is that Rex Stout is introduced to the audience as “the author of the famous Nero Wolfe mysteries”. That suggests a lot. After all, this is only 29 August 1939 :!: By this time, Stout had only published a meagre six :o of the overall number of 47 Nero Wolfe volumes. Yet those first six Wolfe volumes alone were enough for Nero Wolfe to be called “famous”. Quite an achievement, isn't it :?:

Little did anyone who can be heard in the broadcast suspect that Stout would continue writing Wolfe stories for the next 36 years (:!:) following the program.

In another thread, we were contemplating with Adonis Guilfoyle whether Rex Stout as a person perhaps shared some of Nero Wolfe's disagreeable personal characteristics, such as arrogance. This we cannot determine. However, Rex Stout's final reply concerning Sherlock Holmes and writers of mystery fiction seems to suggest that, just like Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout certainly didn't suffer from false modesty. :twisted: :lol:

(For more on the radio broadcast featuring Rex Stout, and to listen to the full-length recording of the program, see the section titled The Voice of Rex Stout.)

PS: On an off-topic personal level, I'll add that 1939 was also a pivotal year for my own country and family. Czechoslovakia broke up in 1939, after Britain and France, who had previously signed a military cooperation treaty with Czechoslovakia, basically told Hitler at the 1938 Munich conference, “OK, we don't need this country, Czechoslovakia – take it, if you like.” In 1939, Hitler proceeded to do so. The Munich treaty is, therefore, frequently also termed “The Munich Betrayal” in my country – today's Slovakia and the neighbouring Czech Republic.

It was only after Hitler's army marched into Poland in September 1939 that Britain and France said, “That's it, folks, this is a new war.” The breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1939 ultimately resulted, among other things, in both of my grandfathers being sent to jails, soon after my father and mother were born. The two families didn't know each other back then, of course; they were in fact on the opposing sides of the barricade – my paternal grandfather being ethnic Russian, and my maternal grandfather (still alive with very ill health today at 87) being ethnic German.


Sat, 28 Jul 2007, 6:05
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starfish wrote:
And while I am in a negative mood, let me add that I would not touch the none-Wolfe Stout with a 10 foot pole.
I'm nothing if not an exclusive Nero fan. The Brownstone is my favorite destination for a happy escape. :D


I would take that last statement to the extreme - I literally prefer the confines of the brownstone, with everybody in their place, for a really enjoyable escape into fiction; as Goodwingrad knows, I am not a fan of books where Wolfe is forced to travel to some country retreat or Montana ranch, leaving behind his routine and his favourite chair. All very interesting to see how he reacts, of course, but I need my comfort zone just as much as he does, and I don't begrudge him his home - Archie is the legman extraordinaire, not Wolfe; I need to know that the fat genius will always be there when I return to West 35th Street! :P

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Sat, 28 Jul 2007, 12:00
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Joined: Sat, 21 Jul 2007, 23:13
Posts: 39
New post Re: Gone . . .
FS, my dear Suh!
You gave me quite a start, hinting at a lady's age ?
Goodness gracious me!
(she said, fanning herself while sipping a mint julep and kicking at the crinoline.) :wink:


Sun, 29 Jul 2007, 1:11
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