May 132013
 

Where There's a Will
Where There’s a Will by Rex Stout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I borrowed this from the library. Good reading, although it was amusing and confusing to see the name of the inheritor change occasionally from Karn to Kara as well as the various other typos. It was authentic to the time! The other authenticity was the vocabulary, with several words being unfamiliar to me. Even Overdrive’s ebook dictionary hadn’t a clue. But Rex Stout’s writing is such that the context helps the reader figure it out. My English prof back in university always said if you’re going to use a big word (or in this case, a word peculiar to the time) make sure the context defines it for the reader. Not everyone wants to haul out a dictionary to read a book. Fortunately, in today’s ebook insurgence (yes, I’m sure that’s how a few troglodytes feel 😉 ), a dictionary no longer has to be hauled out but simply brought up with a tap of the finger.

The plot was good. The story breezy. Archie Goodwin still young in his creation. Nero Wolfe doesn’t change a bit, really, but Goodwin does mature or move with the times as the series goes on. It’s interesting to read him as he was near the beginning.

My favourite part though was the introduction by Dean Koontz. I have been struggling with my reading since my brain injury, but I’ve also been struggling to try and make the health care professionals understand why reading — and reading voraciously and omnivorously — is so important to me and necessary, not just as a reader (I know, a few of you are scratching your heads now, wondering why anyone has to be convinced that reading a lot is normal and necessary) but moreso as a writer. Koontz wrote spectacularly well what I’ve been trying to say for so long. I want to copy it and hand it out every time someone says to me, you know, 39 books a year is fine, or I don’t read that much and I’m a reader so why you stressing over it, or I’ll look into it and a year later is still saying that, or just doesn’t get that I should be able to read at the level I’m writing. Luckily, the psychologists involved in my care understand that need to read, and maybe, just maybe their solution will work. Let’s hope. Meanwhile, Stout’s books continue to be worth reading, no matter one’s skill level.

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