Friday, July 03, 2015

Rex Stout. Some Buried Caesar (1938)

     Rex Stout. Some Buried Caesar (1938) Archie drives Wolfe to upstate New York for an orchid competition at an agricultural fair. A tire blows, and they end up in a field with a bull. That bull is the focus of a feud between Pratt, its current owner, and Osgoode, his neighbour, whose stable hand he was before he became a restaurateur. Then Osgoode’s son is murdered, apparently gored by the bull; and a second murder with a pitchfork is done at the agricultural fair while Wolfe is exhibiting his orchids. And so on. Wolfe is his usual irritating self, Archie meets Lily Rowan for the first time, and the jealousies and intrigues of Guernsey breeders are exhibited for our fascinated gaze. These people are serious; murder may be a plausible solution.
     There have been attempts at transposing Wolfe from print to video, apparently not very successfully. I think it’s Stout’s style. He’s a very good writer. The dialogue would work very well as is, but the ambience would be very difficult to do visually. The tales a funny-noir, a genre that’s very tough to pull off.
     An early Nero Wolfe story, a couple or three hours of well done entertainment. **½

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