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
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!
parhelion: Archie Goodwin/meganbmoore (Archie-gun)
[personal profile] parhelion

So here I am, three days late and also, I'm afraid, three dollars short. Some Buried Caesar is widely held to be one of the very best books in the Nero Wolfe canon while I can only scratch at its surface.



Nonetheless, there's a lot to enjoy here... )


I have to stop at some point, though, before the eleventh of May becomes the twelfth in the same way the ninth became the tenth and then the eleventh.  So now I have to throw the question over to all of you.  What did you think of, and possibly love about, Some Buried Caesar?


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