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• View topic - John Dickson Carr

John Dickson Carr

Sladists are media maniacs...I mean lovers. Movies, Books, Music & Sports are all here.

Postby MarylandManson » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:29 pm

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The Joy of DVD's and the Electronic Age . . .

Postby Judy » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:01 pm

Actually I own almost all of Hitchcock's movies on DVD and some of the earlier b&w entries as well. And some of the collections from the TV series . . . he was almost more entertaining with the introduction than the actual episode. And I'm old enough to remember seeing it on the boob tube when it first aired.

I've spent a good portion of the morning hunting for copies of JDC's books to buy . . . since my local library has few available. Something to keep my cravings at bay until "Crucified" is out. :twisted:



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Postby Slade » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:53 pm

It's only one person's view - other readers differ - but to give you a start in selecting the best of JDC's books, note the number of stars each novel gets from a critic who considers Carr to be "without reservation the best of the "Golden Age" mystery writers."

THE JUDAS WINDOW should have three stars.

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Postby MarylandManson » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:35 am

Or, if one is feeling Scottish and whimsical...THE CASE OF THE CONSTANT SUICIDES is the most humorous I've yet read by Carr. God's wounds! Romance and screwball comedy around the locked rooms?

So. Hm. Yes. Just that. Archons of Athens, I am a turnip! A donkey!

Harrrumph! MM
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Postby Slade » Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:25 am

I guess it would help if I included the link that goes with the post above, so let's try it again:

It's only one person's view - other readers differ - but to give you a start in selecting the best of JDC's books, note the number of stars each novel gets from a critic who considers Carr to be "without reservation the best of the "Golden Age" mystery writers."

http://members.aol.com/grobius/carr.htm

THE JUDAS WINDOW should have three stars.

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Postby MarylandManson » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:12 pm

Slade,

The Grobius Shortling link was easy to find from the phrase you quoted. I thought you were prompting a little detective work! The stars seem wonky. THE JUDAS WINDOW is superb, but gets one star? Then, CONSTANT SUICIDES has "superb locked-room murders" but gets two stars? So the criteria are probably rather subjective in a way that Shortling doesn't adequately explain.

None of which detracts from the value of Shortling's comprehensive, categorized list.

I'm currently reading HE WHO WHISPERS.

O Bacchus! MM
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Postby Slade » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:03 pm

MM,

I thought the ratings system was "off" too. But since a number of posters were picking up on Carr, I thought it best to give them some guidance. The books vary in quality and ingenuity. If we were talking Agatha Christie, I wouldn't want someone to pick up ELEPHANTS CAN REMEMBER as an introduction to her work:

Elephants Can Remember has been criticized as of lower quality than the bulk of Christie's output. According to The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English, this novel is one of the "execrable last novels" where Christie "loses her grip altogether".

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Postby Slade » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:20 pm

MM,

Here's what appears to be a rethinking of the Grobius Shortling list. Note the telling changes in the number of "stars" assigned to various books. It seems the critic himself discovered that his ratings were "off":

http://www.mysterylist.com/carr.htm

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Postby Slade » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:27 pm

And when we follow the links to the annotated pages, they too have been changed:

http://www.mysterylist.com/carr2.htm

http://www.mysterylist.com/carr3.htm

http://www.mysterylist.com/carr5.htm

Bottom line to new Carr readers, go with this list:

http://www.mysterylist.com/carr.htm


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Postby MarylandManson » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:24 pm

Slade,

Those revised stars seem a better fit, at least based on HAG'S NOOK and the reputation of THE JUDAS WINDOW. I'll have to branch out to Henry Merrivale mysteries from Fell. Many moons ago I read THE JUDAS WINDOW, but I remember not a whit of it, nor can I recall the details of this:

http://www.antiqbook.nl/boox/ser/4719.shtml

...which I read after finishing the complete Holmes as a teenager, and which a helpful librarian (gotta love the librarians) recommended, along with THE JUDAS WINDOW.

"Oh, well if you like Holmes, perhaps you'll like this?"

Oh, my eye! MM
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Postby MarylandManson » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:00 pm

I just finished Carr's HE WHO WHISPERS and heartily recommend it to anyone who finds, in Slade novels, a compelling look at the darkness that can exist in the human heart. The novel was, for me, a riveting and emotional experience very much like what I've often felt while reading Slade's work.

Cheers! MM
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Postby raasnio » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:29 pm

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Difficulty in Finding Copies of Books . . .

Postby Judy » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:40 pm

Not meaning to belabor a point . . . I really wish more books would be released in an electronic media or audio media . . . I understand the desirability and profit-making advantages that publishers want, but when physical production of books is so costly this kind of media reproduction can always be stored and distributed on an as needed basis . . . and after the initial costs are recovered I would think much more cheaply. Plus storage would be minimal and an edition would always be available.

Is every one here aware of the Gutenberg Project - which is trying to translate a large number of books into an electronic format that would be available for free download?? It's is done for the love of books by people who offer their services free of charge to ensure availability of books no longer in print.

Durability and availability of a product to future generations of readers could be assured.

Just my .02 . . . . .
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Postby MarylandManson » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:39 pm

An oddity of Carr's detective's names is a recurring pattern:

consonant-vowel-double consonant

For example:

Gideon Fell
Henry Merrivale

In particular, the "ross" combination of letters appears several times.

Patrick Rossiter
Dermot Kinross
Gaudan Cross

Maybe that's why the author tired of Henri Bencolin.

All of which might be little surprise coming from a man named Carr.

Stung! MM
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Postby Slade » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:43 pm

raasnio & MM,

Having to hunt for the JDC books makes their reading even more enjoyable. The two of you have climbed into a Time Machine and are back in the age when Michael Slade formed. Meanwhile, working his way through the 87, moonflee is doing the same.

CRUCIFIED is a novel that comes out of that period, and in the months to come, I'll point you toward some other great reading that is lost in the mists of time.

To repeat: We all come into the entertainment Timeline at some point and move forward. Some people never look back, and miss out on all the good stuff that came before.

As with everything in life, it's all about balance. And if you don't know how things got where they are, how can you expect to fully understand the Now?

What you're experiencing in John Dickson Carr is how mystery and the macabre fused in the early mind of Slade, leading to the Big Bang: LADY, LADY, I DID IT!

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