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.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

[link]8 Apps for iPhone readers

eBook Roundup: 8 Apps for iPhone readers
2007 also marked the introduction of the iPhone; it took about a year for eBook apps to appear on the iPhone. Now there are so many of them that finding the right one for your purposes can be a confusing prospect. I would like to clarify all this a bit by categorizing the four types of eBook apps, at least so far, and letting you know what you can expect from each.
(via tuaw)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

[link] Interview with Mimi Smartypants

Fiction Writers Review >> [interview] Type type type: A Conversation with Mimi Smartypants

I experienced what Margaret Lazarus Dean describes here while reading her description of it:
Rather, what I experience sometimes when I read her diary is that strange phenomenon that first brought me to fiction as a child, and has kept me here all these years: the eerie way in which another human’s mind can reach across all gaps of time and distance and stranger-dom into your own mind and stir a feeling that had never been stirred there before. That sense of seeing something described that you had never seen put into words, that you would have assumed could never be put into words, yet finding that seemingly singular and resistant thing rendered perfectly specific and clear, even sonorous, and, maybe even funny.
If you don't already read Mimi Smartypants, you should start now.