dorinda: Two hands, one dangling a silver Comedy mask and one dangling a gold Tragedy mask, under the words THE PLAYERS. (Sting_players)
[personal profile] dorinda posting in [community profile] milk_and_orchids
I certainly don't want to scoop later book-club-type discussion (I do hope we'll have some more!), especially given the enjoyable nature and events of the Zeck books, so I won't go into a ton of detail. But--I've been idly re-reading The Second Confession (the middle Zeck novel), and, in light of events to come in In The Best Families, I've been spending a lot of time saying "Poor Archie! :-( ". (My face looks just like that.)

This is the book where Wolfe makes repeated noise about the possibility of having to flee his old life and hide out, should Zeck take a personal interest in him or vice versa. And in hindsight, it really stands out to me how clear it seems (to Archie, and as far as I can tell, to Wolfe also) that if Wolfe does have to skedaddle, he'll take Archie with him. And Archie seems to need that reassurance, and thrive on hearing it.

Like, when they're out at Sperling's place, Archie pokes at Wolfe, basically saying, who says I'd want to come with you anyway: "You merely said that your base of operations will be known only to Mr. Goodwin, taking Mr. Goodwin for granted. What if he decides he's not as vain as you are?" But Wolfe of course knows better:

"Pfui. Do I know you?"
"Yes, sir. As well as I know you."
"Then don't try shaking a bogy at me. How the devil could I contemplate such a plan without you?" He returned to the book.
I knew he thought he was handing me a compliment which should make me beam with pleasure, so I went and flopped on the bed to beam.


But given the way later events really develop, the base of operations is not known to Mr. Goodwin, and he does contemplate such a plan without him (thus even undermining his point to Archie about Archie knowing him so well). It's sad, in hindsight, to see Archie having such a nice time grousing about being taken for granted (a secure state of affairs he wouldn't change for the world), knowing what's coming up. It's like stealth-woobification. *g*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-01 12:48 am (UTC)
jest: (pic#84512)
From: [personal profile] jest
It's sad, in hindsight, to see Archie having such a nice time grousing about being taken for granted (a secure state of affairs he wouldn't change for the world), knowing what's coming up. It's like stealth-woobification.

THIS! I have thought that on more than one occasion. Though, in the third book Archie never acts as betrayed by Wolfe's desertion as I would have expected. I want angsty fanfic where he is all broken up over it and spends his month in Norway trying (and failing obviously) to convince himself that he should forget Wolfe now that it is over.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-01 06:38 am (UTC)
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (wolfe: archie says what the hell)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

It is very timely that you posted this thought since we're coming up on May 3, which is
"Holmes and Moriarty's final duel at Reichenbach Falls Day." *snifs* Although there are key differences between Holmes abandoning Watson, and Wolfe doing the same to Archie. (I do wonder why Doyle made it THREE YEARS before Holmes came back. I mean, obviously ACD meant Holmes to be gone for good, whereas Rex Stout knew Wolfe would be coming back before the end of the book, but still. When it came around to "The Empty House" he could've just as easily had Holmes be missing for six months, not three years.)

To me the most tragic part about what Archie goes through is that no one believes him when he says he doesn't know where Wolfe is or what he's planning. It's just adding insult to injury, really. ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 05:29 am (UTC)
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (Default)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

Did it have anything to do with the actual length of time he abstained from publishing Holmes stories, added to the imagined existence of Watson as an author?

Possibly? I am not much of a Doylist, really. *G*

Also, wow, I can't believe I never actually put this together before, but I just realized, both Wolfe and Holmes first meet up with their respective better halves WHILE IN DISGUISE and make sure to get them alone before revealing themselves.

Poor Archie. I guess at least, even though it was horrible for him, he at least knew Wolfe was *alive*.

SPOILERS!

Date: 2011-05-01 04:07 pm (UTC)
parhelion: Archie Goodwin/meganbmoore (Archie-gun)
From: [personal profile] parhelion
I -- rather cruelly -- enjoy how later Archie spends the whole time Wolfe is gone obsessively doing and saying things specifically to prove how little Wolfe's absence matters. In fact, the book startled me when I read it as a young teenager because that was the first time I realized (being given the outside perspective) that working so hard not to care meant you cared A LOT.

By the way, since ITBF makes it pretty clear Wolfe was running an extortion scam out in Los Angeles, the face that he didn't bring along Archie as he'd originally hinted he would is where I got my personal fannon that Wolfe decided he'd have to go off the reserve in his personal life as part of his cover. Wolfe's loyal to his few intimates; something important had to be making him abandon Archie after implying he wouldn't, and I thought that something might be the prospect of loosing Archie forever over what he was doing while in disguise. And since he immediately told Archie about the blackmail (or whatever), I didn't think it could be that...

For a long time I've had this Chandler-noir fusion plot bunny about a clever, creepy-looking, and sexually perverse blackmailer (very Chandleresque) out in post-war L.A. (bing!) who suddenly has a reddish-haired, attractive young tough (again, very Chandleresque) show up out of nowhere seeking...revenge?...over something in their mysterious and murky past just before events get violent and complicated.

I really do mean to write the thing one day when I feel up to tackling that deceptively simple and actually formidable style.

edited to add spoiler alert
Edited Date: 2011-05-01 04:09 pm (UTC)

Re: SPOILERS!

Date: 2011-05-03 01:19 am (UTC)
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (Default)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

For a long time I've had this Chandler-noir fusion plot bunny about a clever, creepy-looking, and sexually perverse blackmailer (very Chandleresque) out in post-war L.A. (bing!) who suddenly has a reddish-haired, attractive young tough (again, very Chandleresque) show up out of nowhere seeking...revenge?...over something in their mysterious and murky past just before events get violent and complicated.

Oh my god, it would be like the Wolfe/Archie Gilda AU of my DREAMS. (where Wolfe is sort of a combination of Balin and Gilda, and Archie of course is Johnny.) <3

Re: SPOILERS!

Date: 2011-05-03 08:54 am (UTC)
liviapenn: phoebe gunther is smarter than you (wolfe: saving it for mr. goodwin)
From: [personal profile] liviapenn

If Archie has never said to Wolfe, "I was born the day you met me ... I got no past," I will eat my hat. Okay, I don't own a hat. I will eat something else. Seriously.

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