aris_tgd: "This story is a murder mystery--the mystery of MURDER." (Lyttle Lytton Murder Mystery)
[personal profile] aris_tgd
Hello, everyone! I'd like to kick off the reprise of the book club with a chance to go back and refresh our memories about what we've already covered, to give people who weren't here (me) a chance to say some things about the early books and to get us all in the mood to keep going until the end!

Oh, also, I made a banner:



Feel free to use it for all community purposes!

The first half-decade of Nero Wolfe books started with Nero and Archie already settled in the Brownstone with Fritz, Theodore, and a cast of supporting New Yorkers in place. But that isn't to say that Rex Stout didn't make changes as he settled into the world he'd created and decided exactly what he wanted to do with it.

Here are the original book club posts for the first six novels:

Fer-de-Lance as pilot episode
Fer-de-Lance
League of Frightened Men
The Rubber Band
The Red Box
Too Many Cooks
Some Buried Caesar

What do you think are some of the most important traits of a Nero Wolfe novel, or the most important characterizations of the core cast of characters, and where do you see those starting to come into play in the early novels? I find it interesting that some of Nero Wolfe's habits are completely set and unchanged from the beginning, but one of his major character beats (his "relapses") is basically gone by the end of this part of the canon. It feels almost like that was one of those tropes lifted from Sherlock Holmes' dark moods which got dropped when Stout started doing his own thing.

What are some favorite moments? I love Lily Rowan conspiring with Wolfe about the sketches in Some Buried Caesar. And of course the discussions about food in Too Many Cooks. And any time that Archie and Wolfe bicker, and whenever Archie gets worried about Wolfe and tries not to show it!

Is there anything that was in the early books that you're sad didn't make it to the later ones?

What's your favorite early Wolfe book? Favorite early Wolfe murder or Wolfe-murderer showdown?

I'll post the next set of recaps in a couple days, depending on how much people are enjoying chatting about these!
liviapenn: phoebe gunther is smarter than you (wolfe: saving it for mr. goodwin)
[personal profile] liviapenn
The Metropolitan Museum of Art posts one work from its collection to an RSS feed every day. Today's piece of art was September Morn, which Archie describes in "Fer-de-Lance" (not entirely accurately) as "a young woman apparently with no clothes on and her hair hanging down in front." According to Archie, it's hanging in his en-suite bathroom.

ETA: I knew I had seen some discussion of this online somewhere-- turns out it was on this comm in 2009. ^_^
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (f. wolfe: wolfe's perfect day)
[personal profile] liviapenn
Okay, so-- Fer-de-Lance the actual story!

I have paid you a rare compliment; I have assumed that you mean what you say.  )

Also, there are still a few free spots available in the sign-up post. If people who have already signed up for one want to grab another one, feel free. If it ends up that nobody wants to do "The Red Box," I'll do it, *G* and then the next open slots are six weeks from now, so no rush, really.
liviapenn: miss piggy bends jail bars (remains sexy while doing so) (f. wolfe: wolfe's perfect day)
[personal profile] liviapenn
Okay, so I started working on my Fer-de-Lance post and, like, fifteen paragraphs later, I realized that it was getting really long and kind of needed to be two posts, one talking about Fer-de-Lance as the "pilot episode" for the whole series and discussing the general set-up & dynamics that are established in this book, and then another one talking about Fer-de-Lance specifically. So, here's the first post, I'm still working on the other one. :)

Fer-de-Lance as Pilot Episode  )