Stout fellow: listen to all of our Nero Wolfe mysteries, including classic radio programs!
©1954 Rex Stout; (P)1995 Books on Tape Inc.
"It's always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore." (The New York Times)
"What's not to like about a Nero Wolfe mystery? The mysteries are short, cleverly plotted, well paced, and, if you're an audiobook listener, wonderfully read by Michael Prichard....Prichard has read nearly 20 books in Stout's series and has mastered Wolfe's deep, meditative voice and Archie's spry, chipper voice, as well as those of a host of other characters we recognize from one recording to the next." (AudioFile)
This was more of an adventure story. Not all all the classic deduction driven mystery. For those who love Nero Wolfe and want to hear them all, sure. For those trying Nero Wolfe, it would be better to start with another one.
This story line is very different from just about every other Nero Wolfe book that Rex Stout wrote. Being different it has a number of detractors, which is understandable to an extent.
What you still see is the same interaction between Wolfe and Archie Goodwin,which is always entertaining. Another aspect you don't get in the rest of the Wolfe stories is a view of Stout's view of a communist country In the middle of the Cold War.
If you know and enjoy the world of Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe and his brownstone in his other stories, this is an interesting divergence.
If this is your first Nero Wolfe story, read but withhold judgement and read another story then decide. When choosing your first story I suggest you stay way from the books that contain several of his short stories. You cannot get the total atmosphere of the inhabitants of the brownstone; Archie Goodwin (who 'writes' the stories), Fritz, the cook, Theodor the orchid nurse of Wolfe's 10,000 plants in the greenhouse on the roof, Inspector Cramer, Saul Panzer, and much more.
However, be careful. You too may become addicted to the ever fascinating story lines, characters and brilliance of Rex Stout's characters that first saw the world in 1934 in "The Fer-de-lance".
Retired teacher. Moved to live in Sydney to be close to grandchildren. My wife and I both love being read to!
A great buy for fans of Nero and Archie - this is one I hadn't read before. A really interesting story well read as always by Michael Prichard
This has to be one of the best of Rex Stout's book on Nero Wolfe. No orquids in the storyn except one reference to them by Archie. On Nero's homeland, excitement and intrigue abound after Mark' murder. Nero's daughter is involved too.
i have loved nero wolfe books for a couple of decades now. (the originals, not the radio shows. shudder.) this is one of my favorites! at first, it was just getting to learn his background. then after a couple of listens, i grew to love the crazy montenegran names. the book is so accurate, you can follow Archie and Wolfe's paths on google maps!
there's not as much clever detection in this one, but you can definitely see where Wolfe hone his skills of talking circles around even the most cunning criminals.
as always, Michael Prichard does a fantastic job with the reading. there are a couple of places i would read the emphasis differently, but that's always a hazard with written text. im most impressed with how he tackles those foreign names!
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
With a plan to visit Montenegro this year, it is interesting to listen to a murder mystery in that country. Rex Stout may or may not have visited Montenegro but he obviously had some understanding of the complex history of Tito’s Yugoslavian Federation. Tito led a communist guerrilla movement called the Partisans during WWII in Yugoslavia. He resisted Hitler and became Prime Minister and then President for Life of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia after the war. Though nominally a communist, Tito defied Soviet hegemony during the Cold War and tilted toward market socialism in the 1950s and 60s. After Tito’s death in 1980, Yugoslavia disintegrated and Montenegro re-asserted itself as an independent nation.
Stout, through the character of Nero Wolfe, shows the face of an idealized American who does whatever it takes to right a wrong, but only within defined ethical boundaries. Wolfe insists on rule-of-law for judgment of criminals. There is no Wolfe’ vigilantism. There is no torture for confession of murder. There is no communist baiting; even when McCarthyism is at its peak in America. There is only justice proscribed by rule-of-law. Wolfe has the opportunity to kill his friend’s murderer but chooses to have him returned to the United States for trial.
“The Black Mountain” is an entertaining mystery; expertly narrated by Michael Prichard. It is a story that will make some interested in more tales of the rotund American hero and his witty, deadly, fellow crime fighter.
Different from others
I like how Archie and Wolfe are forced into odd roles. Archie does not speak any language but English so then they go to Montenbegro Wolfe has to do all the talking and just trust that Archie can just guess what going on.
He does individual voices so well.
Rabbi Steve the Storyteller
There are a number of stories where Nero Wolfe leaves home. But never further from home then this one, where he returns to his boyhood home, with Archie in tow, to catch a murderer.
This is the only Nero Wolfe story, which brings both him and Archie, as well as their stenographer, Rex Stout, back to his roots, as a writer of adventure novels (which were not very good), as well as the roots of his main character.
This is as much, if not more and action adventure story, as it is a mystery. There is danger present at almost every moment. And we get to see both Nero Wolfe and Archie, as action heroes.
Lots of fun, entertainment, and exploration of The titular "Blackmountain", Montenegro, Which Is Also where Wolfe gets his name.
Archie is out of his element, and Wolfe is at least in his element from his youth. Archie has to depend on Wolfe's knowledge and experience of the countryside, as well as Wolfe's reporting all the conversations in foreign languages.
A great story which takes both detectives out of their comfort zone.
Michael Prichard's performance is typically outstanding.
when it comes to finding a good book to loose myself in, i'm looking for something that makes me think & if i am lucky also makes me laugh
I love Rex Stout's Nero Wolf books! The only problem I have with this story in particular is the resolution to the mystery. I look forward to figuring out "who done it" and unfortunately, this story really doesn't provide you clues along the way, but just gives you the name of the murder. So overall good story, but not as much fun to read.
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