The Black Mountain

By: Rex Stout
Narrated by: Michael Prichard
Series: Nero Wolfe, Book 24
Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (261 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When evil strikes a loved one, it can make us crazy. We can't think rationally enough to get revenge ourselves, so we shouldn't. But Nero Wolfe ignores reason when someone guns down a close friend in cold blood. He vows to collar the killer personally, and it thrusts him into the gravest danger of his career. The case takes him 4,000 miles across the ocean to the hazardous mountains of Montenegro, where Communist cutthroats have also disposed of Wolfe's adopted daughter. Now they zero in on the world-famous detective himself.
Stout fellow: listen to all of our Nero Wolfe mysteries, including classic radio programs!
©1954 Rex Stout (P)1995 Books on Tape Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not a representative Nero Wolfe

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.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An off-beat story line by Rex Stout

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".

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

VINTAGE NERO WOLFE

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Barely even a story

I suppose the story give some depth to Nero Wolfe's background. as an actual Nero Wolfe story however there really isn't one here. no detection, merely a mediocre 60s Espionage story with a very artificial ending.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Black Mountain

Loved it! Michael Prtchard is by far the beet voice next T Hudson. Others just donr have ut.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

not remotely believable

What did you like best about The Black Mountain? What did you like least?

It was nice to have Nero out of the Brownstone but really, the story was so farfetched! And there was quite a bit of violence and even torture. Not a typical Rex Stout by far.

What could Rex Stout have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Make the story take place in another location. Also, the criminals were too dumb, make them have a bit of intelligence, please.

Which scene was your favorite?

The part where Nero Wolfe doesn't want to even take off his shoes as he is too afraid his feet will be so swollen, he won't be able to put them back on.

Could you see The Black Mountain being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No

Any additional comments?

This book was a disappointment.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • BJ
  • 04-13-17

NERO WOLFE and ARCHIE GOODWIN

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

one of my favorite nero wolfes!

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!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

MONTENEGRO

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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another brillant Wolfe

If you could sum up The Black Mountain in three words, what would they be?

Different from others

What did you like best about this story?

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.

What does Michael Prichard bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He does individual voices so well.