October 26th, 2007



Jeeves Takes Charge — P.G. Wodehouse

A short story relating the first meeting between Bertie and Jeeves, and the events that followed. Those events are a different set of events than what was used in the TV version of the story, although they did get used eventually in a different context. Good fun, but too short.

The Glass Key — Dashiell Hammett

I think that if I hadn't already read all of Hammett's other novels, I probably would've returned this to the library unfinished. It's mostly a matter of the style. The narration is third person objective, focusing solely on the nominal hero, Ned Beaumont, so I often found it hard to figure out what was going on since the reader isn't privy to Ned Beaumont's thoughts. For awhile I sort of suspected that Ned Beaumont was actually the murderer, and that the point of view was chosen to disguise that fact for as long as possible. I was wrong, but it still made it hard to discern the trees for the forest. It seemed like the actual identity of the murderer came out of left field. I suppose the clues are there, but even Hammett is reported to have said that nobody ever seems to see them. Then there is Hammett's quirk of always referring to Ned Beaumont by his full name. Ned Beaumont is never just referred to as Ned or as Beaumont (or even as he) by the narrator. It's always Ned Beaumont did this, then Ned Beaumont did that. It gets old by the second page. I suppose he was trying to indicate that Ned Beaumont is the focus of the narration, but there had to be a less annoying way of doing it than saying Ned Beaumont every other paragraph.