Review: The Golden Spiders

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The Golden Spiders (Crime Line)The Golden Spiders by Rex Stout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can I say? I love Rex Stout books. They’re my go-to when I need something light, easy to read, but with engaging characters, a realistic plot, and a good mystery. The Golden Spiders fills the bill just as well as other Stout books that I’ve read. Nero Wolfe is in all his massive glory; the food is as important as ever; Archie Goodwin is his usual irreverent self. But there is one difference from previous books I’ve read in this series: a scene of violence.

Like with Robert B. Parker, Stout describes the scene in detail but not with graphics of squirting blood and mutilated flesh. Since Archie is the narrator, he can also allude to some of the goings on — for Archie would know what it means and expects the reader to as well (not me!) — which forces the reader to use their imagination. A good thing, I think. I’m not too in love with the current idea that all must be shown, none left to the imagination; that the writer/filmmaker must do all the imaginative work, and the reader just sits back and takes in the words.

Since this was my first time reading The Golden Spiders, I did not read the introduction. I usually peruse those on my second or third reads. I did however check out the back piece, from the Rex Stout library. This one has reproductions of foreign language covers. They were so much of their time!

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