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Favorite Authors/Books/Series > Erle Stanley Gardner

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message 1: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Erle Stanley Gardner. His books may not have been scary, but, boy were they quick paced, keep you on the edge of your seat "How the hell is he gonna her her/him off now?".

I grew up on the television series and only found the books later. I can't say I've read them all, (he wrote so many) but I loved every single one I read.


message 2: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (hayes13) | 2060 comments Mod
YOu know, I don't think I've ever read one of these. I think I've seen all the TV shows - the black and white ones were the best. (Dates me, I know...)


message 3: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I have seen every episode. The color ones were made for t.v. movies, I think. The books are exactly like the show. He always gets them off even though it seems impossible. They are quick easy reads, and you get enough clues to figure it out along the way, as long as you have a Mason/Street/Drake kind of mind!


message 4: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I just noticed that the entire televison series, and most of the t.v. movies are available at the library. I may rent them just to share with my children. My oldest and I used to watch this every afternoon when he was about 6, and he loved them.


message 5: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jun 19, 2009 12:37PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 554 comments I grew up with the TV series (My mother liked it; hence it died an early death, alas!8), and I think I've read several of the books. My grandfather was a fan and usually had them around.

Fun books. My father collects the whole series, now.

* Was thinking of the Ellery Queen mystery series for some reason. Which did die an early death. I also liked the Perry Mason ones.


message 6: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I adore these books! I was always searching for "real" clues that Perry and Della were actually smooching! The time frame was different from my own, and proprieties had changed so much, that it was great fun to read so much meaning into a gift or secret glance.

Of course the case was the real point, but, as a teenager it was all about "Are they, or aren't they" to me!


message 7: by Melisende (new)

Melisende ESG is so underrated.


message 8: by Phil (new)

Phil | 2 comments Gardner also wrote a series of books under the name of A.A.Fair. The stories were just as good as Perry Mason and was about a detective that was named Donald Lam.


message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Donovan | 45 comments ESG is fab! I live in Ventura, California, his home town, and the beautiful old courthouse here where he practiced law is alleged to be haunted.




message 10: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 36265 comments Susan Kandel in her series involving Cece Caruso, a writer doing much like she is, writing about dead mystery writers, in I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason fills in a lot of background information about Gardner. She also has books involving Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew), Dashiell Hammett and Agatha Christie. So far, to me, the most interesting were the ones about Gardner and Keene. She fills her books with eccentric characters.


message 11: by David (new)

David (davidkessler) | 10 comments I would like to add my voice to those who praise Erle Stanley Gardener. He was one of my inspirations. The thing I liked about him most is that he never wasted time: he wasn't a gabbler. Where some writers padded their books with extraneous detail, Gardner would cut to the chase. He would write things like "The first questions established his credentials as a fingerprint expert and where he worked..." and then he'd go into the nuts and bolts of the relevant evidence.

As a result of this, Gardner could say in 200 pages, what many writers today would spread out over 600 or more. This also meant that he was prolific.


message 12: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (last edited Jan 21, 2010 09:55AM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) | 2060 comments Mod
I've always suspected that writers now get paid by the word! ;-)


message 13: by Sandra (last edited Jan 21, 2010 01:48PM) (new)

Sandra Donovan | 45 comments The Phantom Book Shop here in Ventura, CA has a virtual tour on its website (photos of the courthouse, his home, hangouts, etc.). Mr. Gardner allegedly haunts the courthouse, along with a host of ghosts. Ventura is apparently a ghostly-infested town.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 554 comments Hayes wrote: "I've always suspected that writers now get paid by the word! ;-)"

Not just nowadays! Dickens was paid by the word, too. LOL


message 15: by Ananth (new)

Ananth Subramanian David wrote: "I would like to add my voice to those who praise Erle Stanley Gardener. He was one of my inspirations. The thing I liked about him most is that he never wasted time: he wasn't a gabbler. Where s..."

Hello David,
Agree with you. Stanley Gardner was not a gabbler, Agatha Christie was not and Connon Doyle was not. They stuck to hard core mystery.And the books were by and large less than 300 pages. They were gripping and full of suspense
Gabbling and 600 pages seems to be the current trend. At times you wonder whether it was a mystery novel you started of with.


message 16: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 36265 comments I usually go to a couple of used book sales a year and if I see any Gardner I always pick them up. He's realiable and you know what you are getting.


message 17: by Albert (new)

Albert Belcher (thecoolesteagle) I really liked the ones he wrote as A.A. Fair. Go Donald Lam.


message 18: by Brian (new)

Brian January (brianjanuary) | 40 comments ESG is one of my all-time favorites! Gardner was an impressive guy--he would work at his law practice all day (which he wanted to quit), then come home and bang out words on his manual typewriter every night until his fingers bled. It took him many, many words to sell his first story, but soon he became one of the top-selling writers of the pulp era. The Perry Mason books are quick reads--some aren't as good as others (Gardner really struggled with plotting)--but the early ones are classics (PM comes off as more of a shyster than a crusader for the innocent).

If you happen to come across his Lester leith stories, don't pass up reading them!

Brian January


message 19: by Albert (new)

Albert Belcher (thecoolesteagle) I've read the ester Leit, very good!


message 20: by Charles (new)

Charles If you can,take a look at the early Perry Mason movies from the late 30s. They are startlingly different. Perry is more of a slick operator who is clearly getting it on with Della Street and Paul is a thug. The stories are good.


message 21: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 36265 comments Charles wrote: "If you can,take a look at the early Perry Mason movies from the late 30s. They are startlingly different. Perry is more of a slick operator who is clearly getting it on with Della Street and Paul i..."

They are sometimes shown on TCM - Turner Classic Movies.


message 22: by Brian (new)

Brian January (brianjanuary) | 40 comments In the early novels, Perry is very shyster-like with a street fighter attitude (he is always pro-client, though, but will skate around the edges of the law to see justice served). No hanky-panky with Della, though!


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