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• View topic - John Dickson Carr
Page 7 of 10

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:12 am
by raasnio

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:01 am
by raasnio

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:52 am
by MarylandManson
Great! Here's the observation:

It seems that Carr sometimes does quite well at layering surprises, so that even when you think it's "over"...in other words, after the whodunit and howdunit are revealed...there's another humdinger of a surprise waiting in the last few paragraphs. The "surprise coda" seems to hinge on really well-done character moments, where you think, "Whoa! I didn't see that coming, yet it's very consistent with what we already knew about Character X."

WAXWORKS contained a fine example of that, IMO. What was your take on that?

Thanks,
MM

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:54 am
by raasnio
Waxworks was very satisfying. One of the things that I most like about Bencolin is his ability to admit mistakes and admit not knowing who the 'fiend' is. Fell always seems to know everything but a minor detail or two. Not that I dislike Fell, mind you, I just prefer Bencolin.

As for layering, I have noticed that. When it's handled well it makes for an even better reading experience and with Carr this happens often.

In Waxworks, as with other novels of his, he never lets a character overstay their welcome. He's very good at balancing characters and the time devoted to them. If anything, he could probably have gotten away with a few more pages involving Galant.

Galant was in more than one book, correct? If so, which one(s)?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:39 am
by MarylandManson
I have IT WALKS BY NIGHT but haven't read it yet (my Carr pile is diminishing but still rather tall). I'm on the lookout for THE LOST GALLOWS. I'll let you know if Galant appears again, although...I think, from the list you posted earlier, you have all five of the Bencolin novels.

Fair comment about Fell. Sometimes he laughs at his mistakes...

"O Bacchus! Stung, lads. Stung!"

...but you're right, most of the time he's done with the mystery well before anyone else.

Good point about balancing characters and their time on page. I find that Carr is not always spot-on with characters, but when he's on, he's really on.

Thank you for sharing your insights.

Cheers! MM

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:03 am
by MarylandManson
raasnio,

Here's a note for when you get back to Carr. I see that POISON IN JEST is on your Carr pile. I just finished it--it's not a Bencolin mystery, but it is narrated by Jeff Marle. He mentions Bencolin a few times, but through half the novel Marle is arguably "the detective" despite the presence of a local (Pennsylvania) cop. In the second half, Pat Rossiter (an Englishman) is "the detective." I really enjoyed Marle's character here, even more so than in THE CORPSE IN THE WAXWORKS.

Also, there's a real-life coincidence in POISON IN JEST that almost knocked me out of my chair, such a total surprise it was. You'll know when you read it--I'm curious about your reaction.

Now I've read all of the Carr novels with "one-shot" detectives. On the whole, I liked them--Gaudan Cross in THE BURNING COURT is the least enjoyable, and he's okay. It's almost too bad Carr gave them up in favor of Fell, Merrivale, and Bencolin.

Cheers! MM

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:35 am
by raasnio
I'll be on the lookout for that.

Next Carr novel in the queue is Dead Man's Knock.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:08 pm
by MarylandManson

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:19 pm
by dreab trawets

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:24 pm
by MarylandManson

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:07 pm
by Judy
I have a fairly good collection of JDC's books that I've managed to collect so far . . . but they are all bagged together for future reading pleasure. I compiled a list of all his books and colored-coded each according to the main character (Bencolin, Merrivale, Fell, or March) and included the publication year of each.

Ah . . . now to find the time to read them all . . . . :lol:

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:10 pm
by Slade
Well, well...

Another disciple is hooked. Even if she doesn't know it yet.

Slade

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:21 pm
by Judy

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:43 pm
by raasnio

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:10 pm
by Slade