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The Quests of Simon Ark: And Other Stories

(Simon Ark)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  10 reviews
When ancient evil emerges, it can only be stopped by a two-thousand-year-old sleuth


Ten years ago, Douglas Zadig emerged from the mist on an English moor, his clothes tattered, his speech slurred, and his mind completely blank. Since then, he has reinvented himself as an expert on good and evil, publishing book after book of a philosophy that is entirely lifted from the anc
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ebook, 266 pages
Published November 26th 2013 by MysteriousPress.com/Open Road (first published March 1st 1985)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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Greg
COUNTDOWN: Mid-20th Century North American Crime
BOOK/Short 125 (of 250)
Edward D. Hoch is famed for his impossible crime/locked room tales.
HOOK - 4 stars: >>>>>The interested reader may find the tale of Kaspar Hauser's strange life and stranger death related [in] the Encyclopedia Britanica. And perhaps the story of Douglas Zadig's life and death will be there some day, too. For Douglas Zadig was a man from nowhere...<<<<<
Very good opening presenting us with 2 strange lives and 2 strange deaths a
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Genesistrine
Apr 25, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mundane and disappointing. They're framed as occult detective stories, but the resolutions are all non-supernatural and give the whole thing a very Scooby Doo flavour. And not in a good way. ...more
Gabriele
Edward D. Hoch è una figura leggendaria nel campo del mystery, nelle cui fila ha militato per tutta la seconda metà del Novecento. Scrittore creativo, amante degli enigmi deduttivi e fine caratterista, Hoch si è distinto tra gli altri autori di tale narrativa in quanto fu uno dei pochissimi ad aver costruito tutta la sua carriera letteraria sulla forma del racconto: per quanto il giallo classico sia stato sempre aperto alle versioni ridotte, per la loro capacità di porre in rilievo ciò che è più ...more
Jason Speck
During his ridiculously prodigious lifetime, Edward Hoch wrote over 900 short stories: his 2008 New York Times obit stated that "his work appeared in print so often that some readers assumed Mr. Hoch was actually a conglomerate." Hoch created a number of popular main characters that he returned to over the years, one of them an elderly man named Simon Ark, who claims to be a 2,000 year-old Coptic priest hunting Satan and his evil influences. This book, a collection of Ark tales handpicked by Hoc ...more
Jameson
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clearly not everyone’s cup of tea but if you’re a big fan of both Scooby Doo and John Dickson Carr you may fall in love. Not every story is a winner but the concept and atmosphere make up for the lesser tales. There is just something about the whole “ghosts are real but so far we’ve only come across fake ones” that tickles my scaryfunny bone.

(It’s disappointing to me that there is so much overlap in the three Simon Ark collections, especially when there’s nearly 30 unpublished stories waiting t
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Tom
Oct 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The mysterious Simon Ark at his best.

For anyone who loves a good mystery with a little mysticism added, these stories will fit the bill, especially if you liked Robert Howard's Solomon Kane stories. A good read.
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Colin
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mediocre collection of short stories concerning impossible crimes with a supernatural bent.
A couple of decent stories were outweighed by some really poor stories and the fact that it took nine months for me to finish this tells its own story.
Michael Hill
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A number of good detective stories. Detectives need a gimmick and Simon Ark's gimmick is that some believe he is 2,000 years old. However this falls apart in that his friend who writes the stories has known Ark for over 25 years and he would have aged, showing that belief was fake or not aged showing that belief was true. In THE UNICORN'S DAUGHTER, Ark is described as he would have passed for a reasonably vigorous 75 year old, so he is older than that. Obviously he was nowhere near as old 25 yea ...more
Michael Brown
Short stories about little mysteries with a superstitious hint. Simon Ark is 2000 years old and was charged with a quest due to his miss deeds. He is charged with finding the Devil. These tales all have a dark side with hints of ancient evils. But they are all solvable mysteries by normal means. The hook that they are all done by evil people makes them very enjoyable and easy to accept.
Monica Willyard Moen
This is my least favorite of the authors various series characters. Still, the puzzles are interesting, and the plots are pretty good. Most of these were written early in the authors career.
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Edward D. Hoch is one of the most honored mystery writers of all time.

* 1968 Edgar Allan Poe Award (Mystery Writers of America): "The Oblong Room", The Saint Mystery Magazine, July 1967
* 1998 Anthony Award (Bouchercon World Mystery Convention): "One Bag of Coconuts", EQMM, November 1997
* 2001 Anthony Award (Bouchercon): "The Problem of the Potting Shed", EQMM, July 2000
* 2007 Ellery Queen Readers
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