Saturday, December 1, 2012

Rex Stout created detective Nero Wolfe

Rex Stout
It is the birthday of writer Rex Stout (1886), creator of one of the most brilliant fictional detectives of all time, Nero Wolfe. Stout produced Nero Wolfe books for four decades, until his death in 1975. Stout wrote 47 novels and 40 novellas in the Wolfe series. His last two books, Death Times Three (novella collection) and Assault on a Brownstone (novella) were published in 1985.

Wolfe's confidential assistant, Archie Goodwin, narrates the stories, most of which are set in New York City. Wolfe lives in a luxurious brownstone on West 35th Avenue. According to Stout, Wolfe is 56 years old (though his age is never stated in the novels). He never ages. He is extremely obese, and "limits his physical movements to what he regards as the irreducible essentials," writes Goodwin. Wolfe also usually does nothing to disturb his usual daily routine. The cases are brought to him. Archie Goodwin does his leg work.

In the first Nero Wolfe novel, Fer-de-Lance (1934), an out-of-work steel worker goes missing after coming into an inheritance. Wolfe takes on the case for the man's sister. Many of the recurring characters appear in this first book.

Politically, Stout was an outspoken liberal. He helped start the American Civil Liberties Union and a radical Marxist magazine The New Masses. He supported Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. During World War II, he served a chairman of the Writers' War Board, a propaganda organization. In the McCarthy era of the 1940s and 1950s, he was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee but he ignored it.

J. Edgar Hoover had FBI agents keep an eye on him, considering him to be a Communist or a Communist dupe. Stout's 1965 novel The Doorbell Rang attracted considerable attention. In it, Stout described a cryptographic technique which allowed users to send secret information over an insecure channel.

Stout wrote 10 novels and numerous short stories for pulp magazines in the teens, '20s and '30s before his first Nero Wolfe book appeared.

Stout died in 1975 at age 88.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

Subscribe to our emails

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by 2008

Back to TOP