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The League of Frightened Men (1935)

de Rex Stout

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Nero Wolfe (2)

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8782418,146 (3.81)110
"Paul Chapin's college cronies never forgave themselves for the prank that crippled their best friend. Yet with Harvard days behind them, they thought they were forgiven--until a class reunion ends in a fatal fall."--Container.

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This is the second Nero Wolfe book and I can already see an improvement from the first one. Promising. This book's title is a variation of "The League of Attonement", the self titled group of people helping Paul Chapin after they made him a cripple during a Harvard hazing ritual. Now they have started dying.

As the league is Harvard educated they are mostly successful and Nero Wolfe sees a chance to make some money by solving their problems.

An extra dimension is that this book is set during the depression and you get passages that mention people's misery, not as an historic novel but as a natural description of the contemporary world.
( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
Seconda avventura di Nero Wolfe, che ritroviamo più in forma che mai con le sue idiosincrasie e l'indiscussa genialità; anche il buon Archie comincia ad acquistare maggiore spessore e a diventare quella simpatica canaglia che tutti conosciamo.
Il punto forte sono indubbiamente i botta e risposta tra i nostri due eroi, per il resto dopo aver letto tre romanzi ormai ho capito che dai gialli di Rex Stout non devo aspettarmi un puzzle cervellotico come quelli a cui mi ha abituato la Christie, ma più che altro un mix di commedia e azione, con un tocco di mistero per rendere tutto più appassionante: non è il tipo di storia che preferisco, ma non posso farne una colpa all'autore.
In particolare qui le premesse sono originali e catturano subito il nostro interesse, poi lo svolgimento si perde fra giri a vuoto e una marea di personaggi, talmente tanti che è impossibile tenere il conto di tutti e si perde facilmente il filo.
Come al solito quindi il giallo vero e proprio non è niente di che, ma l'ottima caratterizzazione dei protagonisti e uno stile scorrevole e vivace la rendono una lettura piacevolissima. ( )
  Lilirose_ | Nov 7, 2020 |
Paul Chapin was crippled during a college hazing incident, and the men who were responsible have had an uneasy relationship with him in the intervening decades, providing monetary support to him while also keeping him at arm's length. After one of them dies at a reunion gathering, all of the surviving members receive a copy of a poem claiming responsibility for the man's death and promising that the rest of the self-styled "League of Atonement" will suffer the same fate. All of the men believe that Chapin both killed their friend and wrote the poem, but they can't agree on what to do about it, even as more members turn up dead. Eventually they land on Wolfe's doorstep, who agrees to undertake to rid them of the menace, whatever its origins.

This is just the second book in Stout's stellar series (published in 1935) and as such lacks the smooth and assured tone and pacing of latter entries. Because Stout was still trying to establish Wolfe's and Archie's personalities, the dialogue seems stilted and overly mannered. In later books Stout often provided a refreshing counterpoint to the prejudices of the day, but here the characters make free with disparaging epithets for the disabled that, although absolutely of the time period, are jarring to a modern reader's sensibilities. In short, a well-plotted psychological thriller more than a mystery, but the flaws are glaring enough to make it far from a favorite. ( )
  rosalita | Oct 10, 2018 |
This is the second Nero Wolfe book. A group of men come to Wolfe for protection against one of their group. They had goaded this man while in college into doing something foolish and he was badly injured and had trouble walking. Two men from their group had died although there was no proof this man had done it, but the others in the group had received poetry that suggested the man they feared was bragging. A third man has disappeared. Wolfe and Archie are looking for the missing man. The police have investigated and found nothing, but seemed to believe the man was guilty. Archie arranges for full time surveillance of the man, but nothing comes of it. Finally Wolfe finds the missing man who has been in disguise all along and he also has been watching the man. Another man from the group is killed. Wolfe figures it out in the end and finds that the man is not guilty, but another member of the group killed the last man and let the disabled man take the blame.
  taurus27 | Apr 21, 2017 |
See my comments on the other edition. This is one of several Nero Wolfe novels I own two copies of in case one weasrs out. ( )
  antiquary | Mar 2, 2016 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Stout, Rexautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Goldsborough, RobertIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lehtonen, ReijoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pitta, AlfredoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Prichard, MichaelNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Wolfe and I sat in the office Friday afternoon.
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I do read books, but I never yet got any real satisfaction out of one; I always have a feeling there's nothing alive about it, it's all dead and gone, what's the use, you might as well try to enjoy yourself on a picnic in a graveyard.
Wolfe asked me once why the Devil I ever pretended to read a book, and I told him for cultural reasons, and he said I might as well forgo the pains, that culture was like money, it comes easiest to those who need it least.
To assert dignity is to lose it.
Archie, I love to make a mistake, to assume the burden of omniscience.
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"Paul Chapin's college cronies never forgave themselves for the prank that crippled their best friend. Yet with Harvard days behind them, they thought they were forgiven--until a class reunion ends in a fatal fall."--Container.

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