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The League of Frightened Men [Paperback]

Rex Stout
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 2 1995 Nero Wolfe Mysteries
From one of America's best-loved writers, this second mystery featuring eccentric detective Nero Wolfe and his able assistant, Archie Goodwin, is deemed "the most interesting psychological study...and a treasure trove for a rich variety of Wolfean aphorism," according to Robert Goldsborough's introduction to Bantam's Crime Line edition. A group of Harvard alumni asks for Wolfe's help when one of their former classmates-Paul Chapin-appears likely to murder them all. Chapin, now a brilliant novelist, was left crippled by these men through a college hazing prank. Wolfe's insight and Archie's tenacity are enough to outwit the killer. 6 cassettes.
--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Product Description


"It is always a treat to [hear] a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore." -- The New York Times Book Review

Rex Stout's League of Frightened Men presents a fascinating new Nero Wolfe mystery read by L.A. actor Michael Prichard, who brings to life this fine story of an eccentric detective's investigation of a classmate's potential for murder. A man left crippled by a college hazing prank seems out for revenge upon his fellows in this gripping saga." -- The Midwest Book Review, August 1997 --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

About the Author

Rex Stout (1886-1975), inimitable master of detective fiction, wrote 73 mysteries. His career also included writing three novels, chairing the War Writers' Board, and mobilizing public opinion against the use of nuclear devices. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars creepy and suspenseful June 3 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
In Paul Chapin, Rex Stout created perhaps his most disturbing Wolfe villain outside of Arnold Zeck. His appearence in the novel can make your skin crawl. His unctous gratitude to the men he hates the most sets a mood that truely becomes the title. The interplay between Chapin and Wolfe is subtle, witnessed by all and contributes to this classic whodunit. There is a reason why "The League of Frightened Men" is often included on lists of the greatest golden age mysteries. Not to be missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wolfe saves a murdered who didn't murder anyone July 18 2004
A bit longer than most of Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries, but still well worth the read. This is also one of the earliest Nero Wolfe books so there are a few differences between it and later stories, which made it even more interesting.
A good read, a great story line, and great value for the money compared to the $9 or $10 for a 90 minute movie, not including the 20 bucks for popcorn and soft drink.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Overlong, boring -- avoid if not a Wolfe junkie May 15 2004
This was a disappointment. I'm a Wolfe fanatic and the author of a comprehensive webpage devoted to Wolfe, of as enormous size as Wolfe himself (see [...] ), but compared to the masterpiece published only a year earlier than _The League_, I mean the very first Wolfe novel, _Fer-de-Lance_ (1934) -- compared to that first novel _The League_ is a "wash-out", to use Archie's term: tedious, overlong, and trite. I agree with the assessment of a previous Amazon reviewer (of August 1999).
In _Fer-de-Lance_, it didn't really matter that the characters were all-new, created from scratch. You could feel the excitement of their being created, or having just been created, in Stout's prose; it was more careful and less unnecessarily verbose than in _The League_. Wolfe himself says in _The League_ that the art of writing is to leave out as much as possible without detriment to the substance: well, if _The League_ had only been 100 pages long instead of 200, it might have been entertaining!
Wolfe talks too much, and Archie describes and theorizes and worries and rejoices too much in this novel. Inspector Cramer appears for the first time in this book, but he's not really himself yet. He smokes a pipe (!) instead of chewing an unlit cigar to tatters. Neither does he talk or otherwise behave like the later Cramer we love to hate. There's no red leather chair in the office yet, neither are yellow chairs there. No one-way glass panel at the door.
As to the mystery angle in this book (a weak point in all of Rex Stout's books): the solution to the murder(s) is disappointing and can be guessed with many pages left to go. Hardly any suspense, certainly not to be compared with the likes of Agatha Christie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Nero Wolfe Mystery, well written! May 6 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
This second adventure of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, while not as compelling as the first, is nonetheless an excellent mystery with a rather sly twist at the end. While the the chief suspect, Paul, was the victim of a prank so many years before, he is not a sympathetic character at all and appears to be very bitter through his mask of friendship towards all. Paul's wife also seems to have few good qualities and does, in fact, seem to have quite a bizarre personality. Stout's stories are all well written and contribute to fast paced adventures that usually end with one character very unhappy, in this case Paul appears to be both unamused and unimpressed by Nero Wolfe's solution of the case. I storngly recommend this story to all Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin stories.
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