Thursday, December 01, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rex

Today is the birthday of Rex Stout (1886). He is, of course, the creator of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin - the first book, Fer-de-lance, was written when he was 46, but he wrote prolifically (yay!) and there are over 40 novels and novellas featuring the pair. Timothy Hutton (he was born to play Archie) and Maury Chaykin made two seasons of television for A&E and I absolutely recommend the DVDs. The slightly stylized effect of the repertory cast actually catches the flavor of the effect that Stout achieved by moving the stories along in time (Depression, WWII, the Fifties, Civil Rights...) while leaving the characters the same age the whole time. There are only a few mystery/detective books I can read a second time - Wolfe I can read over and over; it's Archie's narrative voice, of course.

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