Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nero Wolfe

Good things about Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books I've listened to or read thus far
1. excellent dry tone, lovely sense of humor
2. Nero Wolfe = sublime eccentric character. Anyone who is afraid to leave the house, loves to eat, and reads all the time is a friend of mine.
3. Archie Goodwin is a great narrator, very funny/clever/gallant. Dreamy.
4. The always-angry Inspector Cramer

My boyfriend has suggested that I ditch my normal style of profanity and start to swear like Nero Wolfe. This would involve:
Pfui!: sounds like "phooey," seems to mean the same.
Confound it!: for when frustrated
[Accusing someone of] FLUMMERY: I would use this a lot. People are always trying to trick me, I feel. Webster's Collegiate lists "MUMBO JUMBO" as a synonym. Brilliant.

The very best thing NW does, however, is simply bellow NO! when he does not want to do something. Most of us had to discard that communication strategy somewhere in the terrible twos. I think the time is very ripe for a revival.

Wolfe on TV
I checked out some of the episodes of the Nero Wolfe TV program starring Murray Chaykin and Timothy Hutton; they're very enjoyable. They use a repertory theater model for minor parts, so the same people appear repeatedly in different roles. The guy who plays Inspector Cramer is brilliant. Timothy Hutton is immensely good-natured/darned adorable as Archie. Chaykin does a fabulous job of portraying Wolfe's eccentricities. Sometimes the pace is frenetic and the plots make no sense; soemtimes, the episodes fall apart. This does not matter, somehow.

Dear god, people: THERE IS A MEGA SET
So, somewhere between eighty and ninety dollars' worth of Nero Wolfe. Buy now!

Wolfe Audiobooks:
Family Affair This one is read by Michael Pritchard; he's got a great voice for Wolfe and makes Archie Goodwin very likable.

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