Dave's Reviews > The Man Who Could Not Shudder

The Man Who Could Not Shudder by John Dickson Carr
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Jan 30, 2012

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Read from January 30 to February 02, 2012

I love John Dickson Carr but I'd never recommend him--he's terrible at character (particularly romance) and just got worse as he went on; some of his later books are so awful even I couldn't finish them. But I love his ingenuity at creating locked rooms, and in some of my favorites of his (The Crooked Hinge, The Reader is Warned, The Burning Court) he is terrific at creating a creepy atmosphere. The books from the thirties and early forties are usually the best.

I used to love this particular book (from that period) but on rereading (twenty-five years later) I realize I must've been in a great mood when I first read it. Too many characters keep secrets from one another (and the reader), and the female characters are particularly silly. Dr. Fell and the criminal are well-matched, but the atmosphere isn't quite there.
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