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Rex Stout: A Biography

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hardback with dust jacket

52 review for Rex Stout: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nente

    4 stars to Rex Stout - 1 to McAleer, rounding down the average because I am, after all, rating the book not the man. Stout had certainly lived a fascinating and impressively varied life, and while I don't blame McAleer for finding it difficult to tie it all into a coherent story, he's still responsible for making it so boring to read. This book is such a jumble of random factoids! I suppose the author hated to give up any of his meticulously researched information. He overexplains every subtlety, 4 stars to Rex Stout - 1 to McAleer, rounding down the average because I am, after all, rating the book not the man. Stout had certainly lived a fascinating and impressively varied life, and while I don't blame McAleer for finding it difficult to tie it all into a coherent story, he's still responsible for making it so boring to read. This book is such a jumble of random factoids! I suppose the author hated to give up any of his meticulously researched information. He overexplains every subtlety, chews every point until nothing is left, but even so contradicts himself pretty often: when Stout's daughter and a friend plan a road trip, we're told that Stout lends his car, oversees the packing, plans the route - and in the next sentence we're told "he kept his advice to the minimum." Fine. The author also declined having any opinions on anything he's talking about, the only slender exception being Stout's position on Vietnam. I suppose the "authorization" of this biography is the reason. The prose is painful, much indulging in laboured puns and eyerolling cliches. Considering Stout's own straightforward, efficient prose style, I'm not inclined to go easy on McAleer here. So, I don't regret having read this, but if only there was any other biography available I would have chucked it long ago.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Fortenberry

    Excellent biography of an excellent writer.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    A remarkable book about a superb writer and fascinating man.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jahn O'Neill

    McAleer may put sentences on a page, but from my perspective he is simply not a writer. I started this book with great anticipation, having read most of Stout's Nero Wolfe stories. McAleer starts with fascinating genealogy. Upon arriving in early colonial North America, a female antecedent is among those attacked by natives. Severely wounded and alone for some days she survives. And somehow it is a distinct effort to make it to the end of each sentence. So disappointing McAleer may put sentences on a page, but from my perspective he is simply not a writer. I started this book with great anticipation, having read most of Stout's Nero Wolfe stories. McAleer starts with fascinating genealogy. Upon arriving in early colonial North America, a female antecedent is among those attacked by natives. Severely wounded and alone for some days she survives. And somehow it is a distinct effort to make it to the end of each sentence. So disappointing

  5. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Fleishman

    Remarkably entertaining account of one of America’s most popular writers, who was forgotten when his books aged not as well as some British mysteries. I love his detective, but also his zest for life and his defense of freedom.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steve Griffith

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shaila Halarnkar

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karen Hesson

  9. 4 out of 5

    Meg

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rich Sullivan

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bret

  13. 5 out of 5

    L. Turovich

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tracyk

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rand Gray

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

  20. 5 out of 5

    Manfred Rehor

  21. 5 out of 5

    Janine

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scott Wood

  23. 4 out of 5

    S.J.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ken Gaherty

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jane

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul Streufert

  27. 4 out of 5

    Johnnie Bell frisbie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ken

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wilson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Billy

  31. 5 out of 5

    Randy

  32. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  33. 5 out of 5

    Cyndie

  34. 4 out of 5

    Mhatchett

  35. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

  36. 5 out of 5

    Fred

  37. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  39. 4 out of 5

    James

  40. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  41. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  42. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  43. 4 out of 5

    Kira Lerner

  44. 5 out of 5

    Ranjna

  45. 4 out of 5

    Paul van Krimpen

  46. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Nichols

  47. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  48. 4 out of 5

    Lulu

  49. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

  50. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  51. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ballinger

  52. 4 out of 5

    Gooliafoolia

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