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Summary

The most famous of all locked-room mysteries - a classic in the crime genre.

The first deadly walking of the hollow man took place when the side streets of London were quiet with snow and the three coffins of the prophecy were filled at last....

The murderer of Dr Grimauld walked through a locked door, shot his victim and vanished. He killed his second victim in the middle of an empty street, with watchers at each end, yet nobody saw him, and he left no footprints in the snow.

And so it is up to the irrepressible, larger-than-life Dr Gideon Fell to solve this most famous and taxing of locked-room mysteries.

©2019 John Dickson Carr (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Hollow Man

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obsessed with details

Difficult to follow for my lazy brain that had been softened by more accessible material .

2 people found this helpful

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The importance of narration

An ingenious story from the Golden Age, sadly squandered by poor narration. Noble's Dr Fell sounds like a schoolchild woodenly impersonating an old man, and several other characters have accents that veer so wildly I sometimes thought they were supposed to be somebody else entirely.

With such a theatrical and artificial story, a little realism in the presentation would have helped tremendously. As it was I had to struggle through the wobbly accents to follow the story beneath.

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An outstanding work of (crime) fiction

The book published in 1935 is one of JDC's outstanding works created during the peak period of his production. After 1939 the quality of his work diminished significantly.
Peter Noble's highly differentiated reading manages to create different voices that amply reflects the various vivid personalities which the author has put into little more than 200 pages. I know of no other work from 'the Golden Age of Whodunnits' which has so many credible and lively personalities in it e.g. Burnaby, Grimaud, Pierre Frey, Ernestine, Pettis, Rosette, the Irish acrobat.... not to mention the two detectives. From the side of the ever-irritable Superintendent Hadley flows a realistic stream of impatience and common-sense directed at the humane P.E. Dr Fell, a heavy drinking freelance scholar of enormous girth
This is a book about illusions and lost hopes; this is not a book with a happy ending a la Agatha Christie; the latter nearly always revolve at the end around a happy-ever-after marriage. 'The Hollow Man' shows genuine class: it is also a detective story about writing detective stories i, e. a mise en abyme (Andre Gide's phrase). That means 'a formal technique of placing a copy of an image within itself, often in a way that suggests an infinitely recurring sequence. e.g. two mirrors facing each other.
Most crime fiction fails to transcend the genre; nevertheless this text could be taken as a novel which has two murders in it. would bracket it with Graham Greene's works from the 1930s e.g. 'The Confidential Agent' (1939) another masterpiece. 'The Hollow Man' could be seen as a milieu study given the distinctive characterisations (s above).
BTW the BBC radio version of 'The Hollow Man' can now be heard on Audible. It is the only one of the eight that fully succeeds. Let's hope that more JDC masterpieces will be read and placed on Audible e,g 'The Judas Window' (1938 courtoom magic), or 'The Reader is warned' (1939!).

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  • Arnfinn Rong
  • 06-05-19

PERFECT READER for "The Hollow Man"

Peter Noble gives a perfect reading of The Hollow Man. Remember that this story is seen foremost through the eyes of Rampole, although not told back to us in first person narrative. Peter Noble takes this into consideration, and delivers a hit.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Willem Fourie
  • 09-07-20

Narrator not consistent

An interesting story, culminating in Dr Fell's explanation of how things really unfolded near the end. Unfortunately the narrator's impersonation of characters is not consistent throughout the book, which has a very negative effect on one's enjoyment of the book.

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  • peter
  • 15-12-19

COULDN'T GET THRU IT

It's a classic I know and i wanted to be engaged but somehow I wasn't. I tried a few times and will probably try again but so far I just could not get interested. Many others enjoyed it and many more will.

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  • Karoline Thorstensen
  • 22-08-19

Fantastic as always!

John Dickson Carr is truly the master of the locked room mystery and the hollow man doesn't disappoint

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  • Cliente de Amazon
  • 25-07-19

Excellent Closed Room Murder

This is a must-read for murder mystery fans. It has one of the most complicated closed room murders I've ever seen.