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The Rubber Band: A Nero Wolfe Mystery

(Nero Wolfe #3)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  3,094 ratings  ·  218 reviews
What do a Wild West lynching and a respected English nobleman have in common? A lovely young woman hires Nero Wolfe to find the connection, and soon the great detective and his confident assistant, Archie Goodwin, are up to their necks in international scandal and murder.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by AudioGO (first published April 9th 1936)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  3,094 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rex Stout in "The Rubber Band" gives the reader a misadventure in Nevada in 1895, which has repercussions in New York City forty years later.

A fast moving plot.
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

I started with high expectations for this book, as the first chapter was absolutely hilarious!

Wolfe still paid no attention to me. As a matter of fact, I didn't expect him to, since he was busy taking exercise. He had recently got the impression he weighed too much- which was about the same as if the Atlantic Ocean had decided it was too wet...

& the revelation of the chief villain genuinely surprised me, but it was just too talky talky. Of course this is always a characteristic of this s
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe (and by extension Archie Goodwin) is engaged in a boring case of stolen money from a company's executive desk while he is offered another case. This one is looks much more exciting. Its background reminds of a typical Western: Wild West settings, a guy who is about to be hanged, a last-minute rescue, a horse chase and a promise of a big monetary reward which remained unpaid by the time Nero Wolfe heard about it - almost fifty years later. It escalates very quickly from here.

This book
Deb Jones
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
In only the loosest sense are the t Nero Wolfe books a series. Though they are numbered sequentially, that is more so for the time frame of each title's publication and the time era of the story. In every other way, these books can be read as stand-alones without missing anything critical to the enjoyment or understanding of the book in hand.
Gary Sundell
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Among the firsts in this book, the third in the series:
Wolfe's exercise program.
Sgt. Stebbins tagging along with Inspector Cramer on a visit to Wolfe's brownstone.
I don't recall the use of pfui by Wolfe in the first two books. It appears in this book.

Cramer is still smoking a pipe at times and again refers to Archie as "sonny". Cramer hasn't jelled completely yet.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had ordered The League Of Frightened Men, #2 in Stout's series but they shipped me The Rubber Band instead and when the mistake was pointed out I was told to keep the book and they gave me a full refund. The book was in fair to poor shape, a paperback, but the words were legible and that's what matters most of all. If I can read it then it's a good book, all things considered.

I don't know if I read any of the Nero Wolfe novels as a kid. I was living in Brazil from the ages of 11½ to 13 and no
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rex Stout combined the hard-boiled detective of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler with the intellectual master-detective of the Sherlock Holmes stories and came up with a most winning formula for his long series of Nero Wolfe books. While Wolfe cogitates without leaving his home, his legman Archie Goodwin handles the tough guy stuff, as well as the narration. The Wolfe books are extraordinarily entertaining, and THE RUBBER BAND is one of the best. It deals with the collection of a debt owed ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Nero Wolfe novels are just plain fun and I should read more of them. I'm glad I read the first in the series first, as Stout introduced his characters there, but I think the rest of the them can be read in pretty much any order. At least that is the premise I'm going to operate under.

Only Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin are more than caricatures. I will probably always picture them as the actors who played them in the TV series. Wolfe commands a wide network of operators. Though mos
Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
The Rubber Band is another intricately woven plot that introduces a couple of new characters.

As usual, the Wolfe household is in a state, but for a change our protagonists are already working on a case while another interesting case falls into their laps. From money stolen from a desk to a last minute rescue of a man heading to the noose to a beautiful new client whose charms work wonders… this case has it all. But what can a fifty year old lynching case have to do with the present? And will Ner
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only the third of the Nero Wolfe novels, written in 1936, when all the male visitors to Wolfe's brownstone wore hats and overcoats, and the ritzier ones had canes to be left near the front door. A trunk call to Nebraska remarkably took only ten minutes to be put through by a series of long distance operators. Archie has not yet developed the intelligence he will display in later books (30 years later he and Wolfe will not have aged, although they will have changed a little), but his love-hate, p ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, crime

...Anyway, this is my first time reading anything in the Nero Wolfe series, and I ended up starting with Rubber Band. It was a riveting novel with elements of mystery and crime, and the characters felt like they were almost real. Definitely a book worth reading. :)
Jack Heath
4 Stars. Not as great as the debut of Nero Wolfe and the follow-up, about snakes and leaguers, but #3 was most enjoyable. The title's a grabber. "Rubber band" is used by Stout in three ways, only once as an elastic to keep a stack of mail together! Indeed Wolfe gives some credit for resolving the case to Archie Goodwin for doing just that - bringing in the mail. Of course Archie is having his usual difficulties with his boss and telling all and sundry about it, and Wolfe continues to drink an oc ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can a story be entertaining if there are no car chases, no blood and gore, no raw sex? Yes, if you enjoy working your little grey cells. The Rubber Band is early in the Nero Wolfe cannon and it is fun to see the characters as they begin to take shape, particularly the supporting the cast. However the suspects and the clients are beautifully described, as always, and the reader has no trouble at all picturing Clara Fox in Archie's PJs. All the clues are there and when Wolfe gathers everyone in th ...more
Charles Prepolec
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third book in the Nero Wolfe series and the first to feel tight and polished to me. Would have rated it 5 stars, except that I was able to recognize the culprit in the first quarter. On to the fourth...
Steven Walle
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will give a full review at a later date.
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“His narrative and dialogue could not be improved, and he passes the supreme test of being re-readable. I don't know how many times I have reread the Nero Wolfe stories, but plenty. I know exactly what is coming and how it is all going to end, but it doesn't matter. That's writing.”

PG Wodehouse

For those who have never read a Nero Wolfe mystery, there is great pleasure in store. These idiosyncratic detective stories, set in mid-century Manhattan have style, plotting, atmosphere and panache. But t
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
While this Nero Wolfe installment is not one of my favorites, it still is a strong mystery. Grand Larceny, an English Nobleman, a 50 year old debt, and Murder has the detective spinning and a female staying in Wolfe's house.

Archie's wit and cynicism is fully on display and expect a few laughs, especially when the police execute a Search Warrant on Nero Wolfe's home .

Everything does eventually tie together and the culprit was a surprise to me.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, well. Book three, and by now I love the characters. I spare any readers who accidentally stumble over this my review the synopsis of the book, other people did a better job at describing than I could.

As in any good mystery, there is a nice twist and a fantastic solution to the case, but that's not the most charming part of this (and probably any other) Nero-Wolfe-novel. As I stated above, I love the characters. At first I had a hard time liking a guy who hardly ever leaves his seat, becaus
COUNTDOWN: Mid 20th Century American Crime
BOOK 187 (of 250)
Hook=2 stars: This book takes a while to get started.
Pace=2: Builds slowly towards some good twists and surprises.
Plot=4: This is a convoluted plot and I had to take notes along the way (Not a spoiler: you'll learn early there must be an imposter or two) but Wolfe unravels it all beautifully without pulling any tricks.
People=3: Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin, and Fritz the cook make up a household. That's certainly unusual, as detectives in
Bryan Brown
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I started #4, The Red Box by mistake and when it referenced a Rubber Band case I realized I was reading them out of order. So I put that one down and picked up The Rubber Band instead.

Stout begins to hit the familiar rhythms of Nero Wolfe stories. Archie is made much smarter in this one than he was in book 2. In order to preserve the mystery exposure until Nero can make his final pronouncement Stout has Archie off doing other things while Nero learns something important. As cheesy as that sound
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anybody who likes Nero Wolfe stories is sure to like this one. Rex Stout essentially hit the ground running when he started writing Nero Wolfe, and this one, only the third book in a long series, is totally up to speed. Some of the long-familiar character traits aren't quite set in stone yet. Inspector Cramer actually lights a cigar. Wolfe is ever so slightly susceptible to his client's feminine charms. Is the roadster parked at the curb outside or in a parking garage? We get conflicting reports ...more
Tom Donaghey
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The Rubber Band (1936) (Nero Wolfe #3) by Rex Stout. It is important to recall that this book was written in 1936. The “War To End All Wars” was just little more than a decade over. 40 years before this book there were gold and silver rushes going on out west, laws weren’t very well written or adhered to out there, and destruction of property outweighed manslaughter as a more punishable offense.
Come 1936 and a young woman, Clara Fox, is accused of stealing $30,000 from the company she works fo
Pamela Shropshire
It’s amusing to notice the little things in the early Nero Wolfe books that Stout hadn’t quite settled. For example, Cramer actually smokes his cigar in this book instead of merely chewing them as he so famously does in most of the Wolfe canon. Also, there is an additional detective in this one, Johnny Keems. Apparently he appeared in a few early books, but I don’t recall having met him before. However, Wolfe’s eccentricities are fully established, like not leaving his house and drinking beer an ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1936, this is the third of the Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout and already the relationships existing among the characters living under Nero Wolfe's roof are evident. The passive-aggressive, snarky relationship that binds Nero Wolfe and his assistant, Archie Goodwin, makes me smile on the bluest of days. In this outing, a former client wants to hire Wolfe to prove that Clara Fox, one of his employees, is innocent of stealing $30,000. Later that same day, Clara Fox arrives wanting to ...more
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Rubber Band by Rex Stout.

Nero is faced or to be more exact presented with a two in one mystery. The case revolves around a beautiful client with charges against her on the near horizon. But the cases themselves start almost 50 years ago in the west...the Wild West. It seems a lynching took place and it's up to Nero to connect the dots leading to British nobility.

In order to do this Nero calls in his own posse consisting of Cramer, Stebbins, Cather and as always Archie. Together they proceed
Kevin Findley
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wondered what Sheldon Cooper would look like as an overweight detective, this is the novel for you. That's not just a tagline, that is how I felt about the good Nero Wolfe at the end of the novel. A bit petulant, prone to insult those closest to him, but brilliant nonetheless.

The mystery was a bit similar to the prior novel, The League of Frightened Men, but the wrap-up was quite different. We, the readers, receive an excellent series of back and forth between Nero and Archie. Both
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a convoluted solution to this mystery! Once I got used to Rex Stouts writing style the book moved rapidly and once the conclusion was revealed I recognised all those bread crumb clues in the book. An enjoyable read.
Anna Mussmann
Not Rex Stout's best Nero Wolfe book; but even a not-best Nero Wolfe story is good fun.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
3.5 stars
Pity the poor reader who has not yet discovered Nero Wolfe via Rex Stout’s delightful writing!
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Rex Todhunter Stout (1886 – 1975) was an American crime writer, best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe, described by reviewer Will Cuppy as "that Falstaff of detectives." Wolfe's assistant Archie Goodwin recorded the cases of the detective genius from 1934 (Fer-de-Lance) to 1975 (A Family Affair).

The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated Best Mystery Series of t

Other books in the series

Nero Wolfe (1 - 10 of 47 books)
  • Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolfe, #1)
  • The League of Frightened Men (Nero Wolfe, #2)
  • The Red Box (Nero Wolfe, #4)
  • Too Many Cooks (Nero Wolfe, #5)
  • Some Buried Caesar (Nero Wolfe, #6)
  • Over My Dead Body (Nero Wolfe, #7)
  • Where There's a Will (Nero Wolfe, #8)
  • Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe, #9)
  • Not Quite Dead Enough (Nero Wolfe, #10)
  • The Silent Speaker (Nero Wolfe, #11)

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