tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > Obelists Fly High

Obelists Fly High by C. Daly King
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bookshelves: psychology, mysteries

When I was younger, I thought mysteries were literarily inferior &, for the most part, didn't read them. Then I read Hammett & Chandler & changed my mind. Ellroy & Highsmith came later. I liked the cover of this bk & had, admittedly slim, hopes that its era of publication, 1935, might be promising. Well.. it's no Hammett but it did turn out to be interesting in ways I didn't expect. For one thing, it's openly atheistic & dismissive of scare-preachers - in fact, the character who's a popular fire-&-brimstone pulpit pounder seems included mostly so the author can ridicule him thru other characters. But, more importantly, there's heavy referencing of Charles Fort's philosophy - esp his bk "Wild Talents"! THIS, I definitely didn't expect! The mystery itself is fine, albeit frustrating at times in the "such-&-such-is-obvious!" & "why-doesn't-he-do-this?" veins. Since the tale takes place mostly on a 'plane {I write it this way b/c that's the way it's written throughout the story - a correct, for its time, abbreviation of "aeroplane" just as "ma'am" wd be a correct abbreviation of "madam" - bringing up a pet subject of mine that I won't go into here], the chapters are broken into sections w/ distance-above-sea-level heading such as "7900 feet". This, in addition to the bk's beginning w/ an Epilogue & penultimately ending w/ a Prologue makes for some formal novelty. Given that the author is also a psychologist, there's a substantial amt of frank psychological analysis that might've been shocking in its day - latent incest & the like. All in all, not bad - despite its pretty conventional sexual mores & rather stupid heterosexuality.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 15, 2009 – Finished Reading
August 17, 2009 – Shelved
August 17, 2009 – Shelved as: psychology
August 17, 2009 – Shelved as: mysteries

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