Nero Wolfe is "a gourmet who never walks when he can sit and never sits when he can lie down." Join Rex Stout's reclusive, overweight, orchid-loving super sleuth as masterfully portrayed by Sydney Greenstreet in this exciting radio series. Ever in search of a perfect meal and a cold bottle of beer, Wolfe often sends Archie Goodwin, his secretary and operative (played by Wally Maher, Herb Ellis, Larry Dobkin, Gerald Mohr, and Harry Bartell), in his stead. Archie, while trying to keep his well-known weakness for red heads in check, follows up on leads and does the leg work, setting up his brilliant boss to solve the case. Learn the logic of this armchair detective extraordinaire as he presides over 18 digitally remastered cases of treasure maps and love triangles, carelessness and con artists, bad business and bad medicine.
Episodes Include: "Stamped for Murder" 10-20-50, "The Case of the Dear Dead Lady" 11-03-50, "The Case of the Careless Cleaner" 11-17-50, "The Case of the Beautiful Archer" 11-24-50, "The Case of the Brave Rabbit" (a.k.a. "The Case of the Friendly Rabbit") 12-01-50, "The Case of the Slaughtered Santas" 12-22-50, "The Case of the Calculated Risk" 01-19-51, "The Case of the Phantom Fingers" 01-26-51, "The Case of the Vanishing Shells" 02-02-51, "The Party for Death" 02-16-51, "The Case of the Malevolent Medic" 02-23-51, "The Case of the Hasty Will" 03-02-51, "The Case of the Final Page" 03-23-51, "The Case of the Tell-Tale Ribbon" 03-30-51, "A Slight Case of Perjury" 04-06-51, "The Case of the Lost Heir" 04-20-51, "The Case of the Room" 304 04-27-51, "Screen Guild Theatre: The Mask of Demetrios" 04-16-45.
Public Domain (P)2011 RSPT LLC
I felt like I was taking a risk buying this recording, but it certainly paid off. The fact that it's the original recordings (or 'transcribed' they call it) gives them a certain atmosphere that helps you to really see the characters, to understand their motivations and attitudes. I don't think you get this so much with modern dramatisations, where there often seems to be a sense of 'tongue in cheek' to the performances.
Some if the stories are, to be honest, ridiculous and contrived. I expect this is down to the fact that it was a weekly radio drama and there are only a limited number of plots to go around! However, in spite of this there's much to keep the listener interested.
I'd recommend this to anyone who appreciates delving into the past, you'll discover a long-forgotten gem from the tail end of the golden age of radio.
On a practical note, for the price you get an awful lot of listening! Enjoy!
a fantastic collection of Nero Wolfe radio plays. Sydney Greenstreet is wonderful as Wolfe and the stories are filled with wit and excitement. if you are looking for deep and complex mysteries this is not for you but as 16 half hour mini mysteries they are highly entertaining. well cast, well written and well worth a listen
Listening to Syndey Greenstreet as Nero Wolfe made this audio book worthwhile to me, as he has a unique vocal delivery, timbre and diction.
The plays themselves might have made acceptable detective stories, but are so pared down that the final explanations, while consistent with the story, seem paradoxically predictable and at the same time come out of the blue. Woolfe's idiosyncratic characteristics also seem rather over the top, even for this kind of tongue in cheek detective genre.
I have not yet finished listening to all of the episodes, but I suspect that whilst enjoying the experience it will not be one I will repeat in the near future. Unless you are a big aficionado of vintage US radio detectives of this era, then there are probably better choices to make than this.
"OK Old Radio but not Rex Stout"
These stories are short radio plays *based on* Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe characters and themes. If you really like old time radio plays, you might like these as well. If you are looking for great Nero Wolfe stories, I recommend looking elsewhere. These stories are not written by Rex Stout and lack everything I look for in a Nero Wolfe story. They are too short, the characters lack the depth, subtlety and wit of the originals, Nero Wolfe’s solutions are too simplistic, and the stories lack the twist, turns and surprises of the original. The characters lack the lovable family experience of real Nero Wolfe stories. I really love the Nero Wolfe books narrated by Michael Prichard, and the narration in these radio programs is nowhere close. The sound quality is also that of old radio, which is nostalgic, but I find slightly grating. I like some old radio programs (particularly Orson Wells) but these were not worth the listen. These stories just made me want real Stout with Prichard’s narration.
"What a treat"
If you are a member of the radio generation, this series represents the VERY BEST of that generation. I read all of the Nero Wolfe series, and as a child I listened to Sydney Greenstreet. Once again, I was transported through that aesthetic distance to the never-never land of the imagination.
If you are not a member of the radio generation, try it. You might be shocked. You may find Greenstreet's renderings strange and/or wonderful. Who knows?
"MIGHT NOT BE REX STOUT, BUT"
If they were into old radio mysteries, definately
these aren't bookable - they are half hour radio programs. If you want absolute Rex Stout, definitely get the books. They are available and Michael Prichart (sorry about the spelling) is a wonderful reader. I also have those in my CD bookcase, Just got done with "Over My Dead Body". One of the great shames is that we will never have any more by Stout. I have him on CD - Kindle - paperback - cassette tape. Wonderful
Good compilation-the only reason it isn't five stars is that the writers did not do Archie justice! He is a very good detective in the books and has a steady lady friend.
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