A CANADIAN, AN ENGLISHMAN, AND AN AMERICAN WALK INTO A BAR . . .

I’ve spoken before about how much I love the sense of community within this GAD blogosphere! We all work with due deliberation on our posts because a. we’ve got something to say, and b. we want to hear what others think about what we think! (Did you get that?)

Recently, my pals JJ and Noah Stewart got together over at The Invisible Event to discuss Rex Stout. It reminded me of the fun I had with JJ over Death on the Nile and He Who Whispers. And it has been too long a while since the Tuesday Night Bloggers got together to ponder an author or topic. Ah, the good ol’ days . . .

I decided to bring up the subject of a three-way tag team with JJ and Noah, and before you knew it, we were comfortably ensconced in a cozy pub, JJ with his black beer, Noah with a crème de menthe, and me with my Shirley Temple with three cherries . . .

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Only, since JJ resides in London, Noah in Canada and me in the U.S. of A., our “pub” took the form of a Messenger chat room on Facebook, where we talked about so many things I got dizzy. We talked about European GAD vs. that of the West. We talked about classism vs. racism in mysteries. We talked about organic lettuce and when to transfer in bridge! But after the metaphorical smoke cleared, we were no nearer to a topic for discussion, something large enough that each of us could cover something on our individual blogs and find more to say as visitors to each other’s domain.

And so we decided to throw it open to all of you!

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It’s not that I imagine everyone jumping up and down thinking, “Oh great! Noah, JJ and Brad are gonna go on and on about some topic. Yippee!” (Well, maybe that is how you’re reacting! I can just hear the censorious tone, so knock it off!) Just remember that whatever we write is done to generate discussion amongst the entire community. I can’t speak for the others, but I am certainly no expert on any of this – just another rabid fan who loves to ponder the esoterica of a topic that I love. And I deeply enjoy the conversation each post by each blogger I admire generates.

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So . . . if you do have an idea, please post it here. I believe Noah is going to ask the same question over at his place. (JJ is far too busy. Evidently, everyone in England has a date with the Queen.) Please do give this some thought and drop a suggestion in the comments section. Once we’ve settled on a topic – and maybe if all works out it will be the first of many; I can only hope – we’ll figure out a format and begin. And then . . . get ready to participate!!

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14 thoughts on “A CANADIAN, AN ENGLISHMAN, AND AN AMERICAN WALK INTO A BAR . . .

  1. You’ll have to cross-reference these comments to the beginning of my mental thread over at Noah’s. But you might explore why people continue to read GAD authors. Noah started me thinking about this with his posts on intertextuality and WH Auden’s essay “The Guilty Vicarage”. GAD authors set most of their works amongst the ‘comfortable class’ those at the upper level of the middle class and therefore those most likely to fear and react to something that threatened their social standing. Preserving their public image (which for many characters is a carefully constructed facade) seems to be a driving factor in many GAD works and the plot works to peel back the facade layer by layer. Even when the motive is money, it’s usually the “i need the money to maintain my position in the community…” – which is a rational, understandable motive, if not approved by society.
    Spiritualism is also good. Whatever, I’m sure it’ll be an interesting discussion.

    Regards,
    Tim Tempest

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  2. I gave this some thought and I think I may have hit upon a worthy discussion topic that makes the full use of your collective skills.

    When I think of the absolute classic locked room / impossible crime novels, this list comes immediately to mind:
    http://mysteryfile.com/Locked_Rooms/Library.html

    I’ve personally only read a handful of the titles so I’m curious about the quality of the list. There are a few books by Carr that surprise me – The Dead Man’s Knock, Night at the Mocking Widow, The Curse of the Bronze Lamp. There are a few other titles on the list that I’ve heard some bloggers speak of in less than glowing terms – What a Body, The Case of the Gilded Fly, Through a Glass Darkly. And then there are some books that I wouldn’t expect – The Caves of Steel for instance.

    So, a fun topic would be to get your overall thoughts on the list.
    – What books don’t belong?
    – What books are noticeably missing?
    – What do you make of the top 15 titles?
    – What do you make of the Carr/Christie/Queen selections?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t speak for the others, Ben, but I’m hoping to get away from a focus on titles and more into the area of ideas! I’ve read nine of the fifteen and remember six of them well enough to talk about them . . . sort of. But locked rooms aren’t enough my bag to feel up to rating them authoritatively.

      And I’m sorry if you’re hearing bad things about Through a Glass, Darkly. It’s a fine, creepy read!

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    2. There’s a rumour doing the rounds, Ben, that two GAD bloggers recently started a GAD podcast and, when they eventually find some common free time, are going to do an epidoes on the Hoch list (the top 15 titles) and look a the merits and alternatives. Don’t know how true that uis, though…

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I’ve been hearing all these good things about John Dickson Carr, I may have to try one of them. Unfortunately, his work isnt at my library so I may have to go to a used bookstore.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carr published around 70 novels and almost all of them are quite good. I’d personally suggest starting with The Problem of the Green Capsule, although there are about 20 other “classics” that you can’t go wrong with.

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  3. I’ll keep an eye out on “The Problem Of The Green Capsule”, Brad and GreenCapsule. I’ll see if I can borrow the book through interlibrary loan first.

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  4. I’d be interested in – well, anything, you guys have to say – but how about the role of the detective in detective fiction? That is, things like how does the detective affect your enjoyment of the novel or the personality of the case itself? Could you swap over detectives in certain novels and improve or not affect them ( Or create a car crash – how would Nero Wolfe deal with the Nine Tailors? Or Lord Peter Wimsey with the Maltese Falcon?) How many novels don’t have detectives at all and are they the better for it? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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