Stout fellow: listen to all of our Nero Wolfe mysteries, including classic radio programs!
©1997 Rex Stout; (P)2000 Books on Tape Inc.
"Nero Wolfe [is] part of our folklore." (The New York Times)
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is a very OK Nero Wolfe, but far from one of my favorites. It is unusual in a number of ways. The mystery takes place in Montana not New York and the details of the event don’t come out until half way through; indeed Nero Wolfe has a much smaller role than usual. Although the story specific characters are nicely developed there is not a lot of interplay between the regular series characters. I rarely have a quibble with the characterizations of story specific characters in Nero Wolfe novels, but in this one there were a few cases where the regional vernacular seemed overly contrived. For example there was a comment of a local comparing people to a herd of cattle. This was colorful, but did not ring true. There are some interesting scenes, events, and twists, but overall I was left unsatisfied.
Rabbi Steve the Storyteller
And even more rare, he leaves the state of New York.
Another one of those greatest of Archie & Nero books, wherein, The satisfaction is not so much in the solving of the mystery, as in the comeuppance of a jerk cop.
This is a classic example once again, of how the murder mystery is truly a McGuffin, merely to propel the story forward to give some people who need it a slap in the face. But there's never as satisfying a slap in the face as when Nero Wolfe delivers it.
I typically great performance from Michael Prichard. Here, since other then Archie, Lily Rowan, and Nero Wolfe, we have none of our other usual cast of characters, Michael Prichard gets to perform some interesting local color residing in the state of Montana.
One of the greats among the greatest.
Both audio and print versions are excellent
Wolf's arrival in Montana
Prichard makes the characters' voices take on their personality.
I already knew the story pretty well, so I was not as compelled to keep listening to get to the end in a hurry. Instead, I savor the setting and the characters.
I love Archie, Nero, Fritz, Inspector Cramer, Saul, Fred, Orrie (sort of), Sgt. Stebbins, Lily, and all the regular characters in the Wolf stories. Most of them are absent in this one, but the local characters that were introduced were great fun.
Nero Wolfe remains one of my all-time favorite characters; and Michael Prichard's interpretation of Rex Stout's immortal detective & his faithful (if uber-glib) side-kick, Archie Goodwin remains my all-time favorite!
However, this particular episode left me slightly disappointed overall; the ease with which Stout causes New York's streets to materialize in one's mind doesn't seem to transfer to less-familiar environs.
Good as a stand-alone read, tho-- seemed to be fewer-than-normal references to previous episodes...
If This Is The Only Wolfe Story Left For You, Might As Well Complete The Set...Right?
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