Hobart's Reviews > A Family Affair

A Family Affair by Rex Stout
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010-reads
Read 2 times. Last read November 15, 2010.

and so my little Wolfe-a-week project ends, where Stout himself ended things. A fitting end to a great series. Unlike most of the series, I'd only read this one once--I think I was in junior high school, and figured that was enough. I honestly don't think I picked up on half of what really happened in it then, but I caught enough of it. I still understand the decision, and debated whether I should read it this year.

I'm glad I did. And not just because I got so much of what I didn't get before. This was Stout at nearly his best (there's a conversation towards the end between Archie and Saul that's almost impossible to truly track due to pronoun confusion), certainly not ready to stop. But it's impossible to read this without wondering if he knew it was his last.

The plot certainly makes it seem that way. And I know I'm not the first (and won't be the last) to note that. There's no doubt about it, this is the most emotional Wolfe novel. Moreso than even In the Best Families or The Black Mountain.

The shadow of Watergate looms over this -- and not in an entirely beneficial way -- but it's forgivable.

It could end no other way than it did. The climax ends quickly, almost too quickly to take in properly, but that's just how Stout works. These books are about the thinking, about the order of Wolfe's office, not action, blood, guts, or any of the other hallmarks of American Detective fiction.

Great way for a great man--no, great men, to go out.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
November 15, 2010 – Started Reading
November 15, 2010 – Finished Reading
November 16, 2010 – Shelved
November 16, 2010 – Shelved as: 2010-reads

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