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message 1: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 9 comments From the Lineup:

IN HIS OWN WORDS: HOW Robert Goldsborough BECAME NERO WOLFE
After complaining of boredom as a teen, Robert Goldsborough's mother gave him a Nero Wolfe story to read, not realizing she had just helped continue a legacy.

http://www.the-line-up.com/words-robe...


message 2: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Wichorek | -324 comments I read Nero Wolfe when I was a teen and enjoyed them. But I had to read one recently for a Book Club and didn't like it at all. Too much talk and no action. I'm 80 now and crave a little more excitement, I guess.


message 3: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Margaret wrote: "I read Nero Wolfe when I was a teen and enjoyed them. But I had to read one recently for a Book Club and didn't like it at all. Too much talk and no action. I'm 80 now and crave a little more excit..."

When I was a teenager, I tried a Wolfe and wasn't impressed.
Tried them again when I got older, and now they're some of my favorite mysteries of all time. (Except for the last 2.)


message 4: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Mclaren | 185 comments James wrote: "Margaret wrote: "I read Nero Wolfe when I was a teen and enjoyed them. But I had to read one recently for a Book Club and didn't like it at all. Too much talk and no action. I'm 80 now and crave a ..."

I agree James, I wouldn't have liked them when I was younger but when I got older, they were much more enjoyable (as was the TV series!). Unfortunately, I haven't read them in a while. Will have to check them out once I winnow my stash of books a bit more!


message 5: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Pamela wrote: "I agree James, I wouldn't have liked them when I was younger but when I got older, they were much more enjoyable (as was the TV series!). Unfortunately, I haven't read them in a while. Will have to check them out once I winnow my stash of books a bit more!"

So many books, so little time!

I presume you're talking about the A&E series? That's one of the few adaptations of my favorite mysteries that really does a great job of capturing the books.


message 6: by Gary (last edited May 10, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments The tv movie many years ago with the late Thayer David as Nero was pretty good. It was supposed to be a pilot for a tv series. After David's death the series finally got green lit with William Conrad as Wolfe and Lee Horsley (Matt Houston) as Archie. That series was not very good. The later series on A&E was great. A pity that it was cancelled after 2 seasons. Timothy Hutton was spot on as Archie. The rep company style of production did take some getting used to.

I must have been a weird kid, as I loved the books when I discovered them in my late teens/early 20s and I still love them today. I have not read all of Stout's books, although I have read many of them. I have also read most of Goldsborough's additions to the series. In fact, I am currently reading Archie in the Crosshairs.
I have also recently reread Some Buried Caesar, which was the first or second Wolfe novel I ever read, The Doorbell Rang might have been first. I also read Fer-de-Lance for the first time this year.


message 7: by James (last edited May 12, 2016 04:57AM) (new)

James | 29 comments I've read a couple of the Goldsborough Wolfes and enjoyed them.

And I'm hoping the A&E series will someday be available on bluray, because the visuals are so lush, I'd love to watch them again in HD.


message 8: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 9 comments I've watched a couple of the A&E series and really like it. Especially Hutton as Archie.


message 9: by Gary (last edited May 12, 2016 12:42PM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments Many of the Hutton/Chaykin episodes are available on YouTube.
Some are 2 parters some are hour long episodes


message 10: by James (last edited May 13, 2016 02:13PM) (new)

James | 29 comments Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated" wrote: "I've watched a couple of the A&E series and really like it. Especially Hutton as Archie."

Have you seen his father as Ellery Queen? It's an old series, but a good adaptation IMO. I like the Wolfes better (books and TV) but the short-lived Ellery Queen show was charming, and Jim Hutton is so much like his son, it's uncanny. (And he made a great Ellery Queen.)


message 11: by Emily (new)

Emily Thrash (thrash42) | 3 comments Nero Wolfe is a comfort read for me, though technically I should say comfort listen. (Michael Pritchard is excellent), I love that the characters' pride is both consistent and usually the driving factor.


message 12: by Cheryl (Collier) (new)

Cheryl (Collier) (cheryllynn12) I finished all the Nero Wolfe books many years ago. I definitely mourned the death of Rex Stout. Now, as an older (no, more mature) reader, I am starting them again in between other reads. Nero's brilliance coupled with Archie's wit are just what I need on an especially tiring day.


message 13: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Cheryl wrote: "I finished all the Nero Wolfe books many years ago. I definitely mourned the death of Rex Stout. Now, as an older (no, more mature) reader, I am starting them again in between other reads. Nero's b..."

Where are you in the series? Participating in this thread made me want to go back, and I started my second straight-through-in-order reread (in between batches of new books) a little while ago. I just finished Too Many Cooks and am eager to move on to Some Buried Ceasar. (One of my favorites!)


message 14: by Cheryl (Collier) (new)

Cheryl (Collier) (cheryllynn12) James wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "I finished all the Nero Wolfe books many years ago. I definitely mourned the death of Rex Stout. Now, as an older (no, more mature) reader, I am starting them again in between other ..."

Just started again so on Fer-de-Lance


message 15: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Cheryl wrote: "Just started again so on Fer-de-Lance"

Not one of my favorites, but still really good. And I think it's remarkable how Stout creates such a compelling relationship between Wolfe and Archie right from the get go.


message 16: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments Fer-de-lance is missing some of the key features of the series. No Inspector Cramer. Lily Rowan doesn't come into the series until Some Buried Caesar. I also don't think Lon Cohen of The Gazette shows up either. That said it is the foundation on which the entire series was built.


message 17: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "Fer-de-lance is missing some of the key features of the series. No Inspector Cramer. Lily Rowan doesn't come into the series until Some Buried Caesar. I also don't think Lon Cohen of The Gazette sh..."

The introduction of Lily Rowan is one of the reasons Some Buried Caesar is a favorite. I don't remember when Lon Cohen shows up, but even though Stout kept adding to the interesting cast of supporting characters, I think the third in the series (Rubber Band, also a favorite) is where he hits his stride. That book is particularly great for the battle between Wolfe and Cramer.


message 18: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments I'm not reading them in exact order. Earlier this year I read Fer-De-Lance for the first time and re-read Some Buried Caesar. I am trying to dig out my paperback copy of The League of Frightened Men, which I don't believe I have ever read. I have an E-book double of The Rubber Band and The Red Box waiting after I read that.


message 19: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "I'm not reading them in exact order. Earlier this year I read Fer-De-Lance for the first time and re-read Some Buried Caesar. I am trying to dig out my paperback copy of The League of Frightened Me..."

They're certainly not books that need to be read in order. The first time I read them as I was able to get them (which was far from in order) and there are a few I still haven't got. But I generally try to read books in order (in case it makes a difference.)


message 20: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments I hopped all over the series when I first started reading them. Now, I'm trying to read them more or less in order.


message 21: by James (new)

James | 29 comments I'm in the middle of In the Best Families in my Wolfe reread right now, the last in the Zeck 'trilogy' and it really is one of the very best. I think you would have to have read a number of books in the series already though, to truly understand how amazing it is the lengths Wolfe goes to, but I love it best for what Archie goes through. Something singular in this series. And deeply satisfying.


message 22: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Mclaren | 185 comments James wrote: "Pamela wrote: "I agree James, I wouldn't have liked them when I was younger but when I got older, they were much more enjoyable (as was the TV series!). Unfortunately, I haven't read them in a whil..."

Well now, I'm going to age myself! I meant the 1981 series will William Conrad as Nero Wolfe and Lee Horsley as Archie. Didn't know there was a later one (probably because by 2001 the kids were monopolizing the TV).


message 23: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Pamela wrote: "I meant the 1981 series will William Conrad as Nero Wolfe and Lee Horsley as Archie. Didn't know there was a later one (probably because by 2001 the kids were monopolizing the TV)."

I shudder at the thought of Lee Horsley playing Archie. But Timothy Hutton nails the role beautifully, so you'd be doing yourself a treat to check out the A&E series. (Kids permitting.)


message 24: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Mclaren | 185 comments James wrote: "Pamela wrote: "I meant the 1981 series will William Conrad as Nero Wolfe and Lee Horsley as Archie. Didn't know there was a later one (probably because by 2001 the kids were monopolizing the TV)."
..."


I will definitely have to check it out.


message 25: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Pamela wrote: "I will definitely have to check it out. "

I suggest starting with season 1. That may sound obvious, but there was a pilot 'The Golden Spiders' where they were still finding their feet, and that isn't the best beginning. (They included it as an extra on the season 2 set, which should tell you how they felt about it.)


message 26: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments Not long ago I did a sort of side by side of the 1981The Golden Spiders and the Tim Hutton co-produced pilot of the later series of the same story. The 1981 version pales in comparison and don't get me started on the rewriting in the 1981 version.


message 27: by James (last edited Jul 23, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "Not long ago I did a sort of side by side of the 1981The Golden Spiders and the Tim Hutton co-produced pilot of the later series of the same story. The 1981 version pales in comparison and don't ge..."

I haven't yet seen the 1981 series (and I'm not sure I want to.) I can see William Conrad as Wolfe, but it sounds like they took a *lot* of liberties. Setting the show in '80's NYC, for one thing, seems like it would lose a lot of the atmosphere of the books. I think I'd rather try one of the old movies first. Not that they sound particularly faithful.


message 28: by Gary (last edited Jul 26, 2016 11:00AM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments The one movie that I have seen that does a good job was the movie with Thayer Davis as Wolfe and Tom Mason as Archie. It was a pilot for a possible series but Thayer David died. Two years later the series debuted with Conrad as Wolfe. Something got lost along the way between the two.

The radio series with Sydney Greenstreet as Wolfe is pretty entertaining.


message 29: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "The one movie that I have seen that does a good job was the movie with Thayer Davis as Wolfe and Tom Mason as Archie. It was a pilot for a possible series but Thayer David died. Two years later the..."

I'll have to see if I can find these - especially the radio series - and give them a try!


message 30: by Gary (last edited Jul 27, 2016 07:50AM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments The Thayer David Tom Mason movie is on you tube. David might have been physically light to play Wolfe, but he sure had the attitude. Tom Mason is better as Archie than Lee Horsely. Just my 2 cents.


message 31: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "The Thayer David Tom Mason movie is on you tube. David might have been physically light to play Wolfe, but he sure had the attitude. Tom Mason is better as Archie than Lee Horsely. Just my 2 cents."

Thanks! I didn't even think to check YouTube. I just looked on Amazon, and it wasn't there. (Although I did find the Sydney Greenstreet radio series on CD, it's pretty pricey.)


message 32: by Gary (last edited Jul 27, 2016 02:50PM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments James wrote: "Gary wrote: "The Thayer David Tom Mason movie is on you tube. David might have been physically light to play Wolfe, but he sure had the attitude. Tom Mason is better as Archie than Lee Horsely. Jus..."

Again You Tube is your friend. :) Do a search for Sydney Greenstreet as Nero Wolfe. There are "videos" of many of the radio episodes.


message 33: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "James wrote: "Gary wrote: "The Thayer David Tom Mason movie is on you tube. David might have been physically light to play Wolfe, but he sure had the attitude. Tom Mason is better as Archie than Le..."

Thanks again. I found both. Now all I need to do is find the time to watch/listen to them.


message 34: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments Looking forward to your take on the Thayer David Wolfe portrayal.


message 35: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "Looking forward to your take on the Thayer David Wolfe portrayal."

Pretty good. Of course I've got Chaykin's performance lodged quite firmly in my head, and I've seen Thayer David portray so many villainous characters I think that shaded how I saw him as Wolfe. And as you say, he isn't nearly large enough, physically. Overall, they gave it good go and were fairly faithful to the book, so it was interesting. And it convinced me the Wolfe stories could be done well in a contemporary setting.

I see YouTube has the William Conrad version too, and I'll probably have to check that out to see what it's like, though if it's even half the travesty it sounds, I won't be able to stand watching much of it!

As for the Sidney Greenstreet version, it's entertaining enough as an example of those pulpy old radio dramas, but it didn't really feel like Wolfe to me. I guess for 'new' adventures I'll have to stick to the Goldsborough books.


message 36: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments Chaykin is pretty much the gold standard as Wolfe. I think without a quality Archie or quality writing you get average or worse. The radio Archie is pretty average.

A pity Chaykin is dead.


message 37: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "Chaykin is pretty much the gold standard as Wolfe. I think without a quality Archie or quality writing you get average or worse. The radio Archie is pretty average.

A pity Chaykin is dead."


Indeed. And a really good Archie is vital, as important as a quality Wolfe but easy to overlook (apparently) since Goodwin's not as much of a 'character'. But he brings the life, the energy, and the humor to the stories. (IMO, of course.)


message 38: by Gary (last edited Aug 03, 2016 01:14PM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments Aside from Tim Hutton, are there any current actors who anyone could see as Wolfe and Goodwin?


message 39: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "Aside from Tim Hutton, are there any current actors who anyone could see as Wolfe and Goodwin?"

I don't watch a lot of TV or movies to know who to choose, particularly with these younger actors (and Hutton's surely too old to play Goodwin now.)

The one name that comes to mind, the actor I'd be really interested to see play Wolfe, is Michael Emerson (Lost) but of course he'd have to put on a *lot* of weight first.


message 40: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments Prior to his death I thought Larry Drake would have filled the bill as Wolfe, he sort of played him in the adaptation of the short work Help Wanted Male.


message 41: by James (new)

James | 29 comments Gary wrote: "Prior to his death I thought Larry Drake would have filled the bill as Wolfe, he sort of played him in the adaptation of the short work Help Wanted Male."

I don't know if I could've seen past the wonderfully comic 'fake' Wolfe he played in that story, but it was a coup they got him for that role, because he was perfect.


message 42: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 66 comments Drake was great in that part. I loved him as Benny on LA Law and as the vile Robert G. Durant in Darkman.


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