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The Spider's Den by Johnston McCulley
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really liked it
bookshelves: mysteries

When I was a kid, I read every Hardy Boy bk & many other bks from similar series. I didn't, however, read mysteries/detective-crime-fiction aimed at older readers - except for, maybe, the works of Edgar Allen Poe. This might've been the 1st 'adult' mystery I read. As usual w/ bks that I read so long ago, I remember it more for its atmosphere - wch is probably reinforced largely by the bk's age. So, w/o attempting to verify the accuracy of my memory, what I remember is something like: 'criminal mastermind' named "The Spider", hidden rms w/ secret entrances - perhaps thru hinged bkshelves, diabolical criminal plans involving great cleverness & labyrinthian manipulations of people. Such details (minimal though they are) are pretty much clichés of similarly themed films of the era - &, presumably, of other bks. Anyway, I loved this at the time & give it 4 stars here more b/c of the impression it made on my youthful mind than b/c I'd expect to be stunned by its literary qualities now.

It wasn't long, however, before I snubbed mysteries as a genre too aimed at the LCD, a genre w/o much deep literary content, a formulaic genre predictably full of clichés & w/o innovation or substantial observation of human nature. Decades later, I discovered Dashiell Hammett & others & became interested in mysteries all over again.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 1964 – Finished Reading
March 17, 2008 – Shelved
March 17, 2008 – Shelved as: mysteries

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