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Wilfrid1

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Yes, but where?

 

Meanwhile, who was the first super villain bent on world domination with his evil missiles, bacilli, and stealing the secret for an irresistible poison (or whatever)?

 

Moriarty would be a boring answer, because Doyle barely sketches him. Dr Nikola is the full deal, and an obvious predecessor of Carl Petersen. Moriarty precedes him by a couple of years.

 

Dracula is later, but a likely source for Dr Fu.

 

Any fully described global nasty person before Dr Nikola?

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Re-reading Sax Rohmer after many years, it’s hardly news to say that the Fu Manchu books are incredibly racist. Except that first-hand testimony is better than received opinion, because the Charlie Chan books are fervently anti-racist —and I mean the original novels by Biggers, not what Hollywood and comic books wrought with the character.

 

For anyone keeping count, John Buchan is a vile racist and homophobe. Sapper has his rough spots, but seems mainly in favor of chaps like him punching the shit out of chaps not like him, which is risky as a general proposition, but has occasionally been valid (you’d want Sapper on your side if you met up with a bunch of Nazis, which thank goodness could never happen now).

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Goddam, how could I be so slow? Tolkien lifted from Rohmer. The chase sequence with the “dacoits,” just obvious. Tolkien took the character of Bilbo Baggins from Sapper. He loved this stuff.

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Sara Roahren, Gumbo Tales, 2008.

 

Exemplary book about a city’s food. A lot of information, structured around a narrative; very well written, and aware of its historical and social context (Katrina especially in this case).

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I am.

 

older dennis johnson - seek, already dead, train dreams, the name of the world; diane williams - collected stories; grace paley collected stories.

about to start a rememberance of earth's past and helen dewitt.

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Fu Manchu not as much fun as I remembered, but probably neither is Biggles.

 

No Other Tiger by A.E.W. Mason is much better in the genre of monstrous villains and innocents in danger. And yet the two heroes, setting off to defend the maiden from a horrible fate, do stop at their club for lunch. Really.

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Well, I ended up taking a break of a few months before finishing Brothers Karamazov. Had a pleasant afternoon reading Calvin Trillin's About Alice immediately afterward, though. Meant to read it years ago but it seemed like bad luck.

 

Finally working through the Nicomachean Ethics now. Oddly I'm finding Aristotle (in the revised Oxford translation from the complete works) rather more readable than Plato (from the Hackett complete works translation).

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Rex Stout, “The Gun With Wings” from Curtains for Three is one of the more ingenious stories. As with Gambit the key to the mystery is in your face from the first couple of pages, but you don’t see it. Too obvious.

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Really got nothing.    Just need to revisit the acid humor and humanity represented throughout the "Talking Head" series.    

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Oh yes, some of those were heart-rending. You are making me want to pull up Beyond the Fringe clips on YouTube and stay up all night again.

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