'The Under Groove' (1907)
- A "fix-up" novel, short stories strung together.
THE UNDER GROOVE.
By Arthur Stringer.
The McClure Co.
1907. 335 pages.
"There are two bits of wisdom which the world is fond of
bestowing on would-be authors. The young dramatist is
told that the first ten minutes of his first act must be
twaddle, because people are then taking their wraps off
and banging seats. The young story writer is told that
there is no market for volumes of short stories. The
effect on the dramatist is that he meets the demand,
and turns out twaddle. The effect on the writer of stories
is that he publishes volumes of short tales which are
bound together by the personality of a single dominating
character, detector of crime, criminal, or mere dispenser
of philosophy in dialect. From the number of such books
published in the last few years, it is to be supposed that
the device is a successful one, and that a volume of short
stories with a single hero sells more easily than a
collection of unrelated tales. But if it is true that such
books sell more easily, it is also true that they read with
increasing difficulty after the third or fourth chapter.
Even Arthur Stringer, in his latest volume, has not
escaped the pitfall of monotony, and this in spite of a
style and method incomparably superior to the average
level of craftsmanship that is brought to the writing of
stories dealing with crime and Byronic criminals. In
themselves the eight stories, with one or two exceptions,
would make good reading; the first story is excellent.
But the author has intensified the element of sameness
by resorting in them all to that familiar device of the
electric wire which, whether for telegraph, telephone,
or power current, he has employed in earlier books."
- "Current Fiction"
- THE NATION
- June 18, 1908
" 'The Under Groove', by Arthur Stringer, deals with
the methods of the professional criminal, and would
be far better if it had omitted the telepathic and
hypnotic basis on which it is constructed. The
author omits to tell us how his innocent criminal,
who becomes such in a minute, acquires his won-
derful technical knowledge of the methods of the
- "Novels and Tales"
- THE OUTLOOK
- June 6, 1908
- [Jump To page 314]
I. The Adventure of the Third Arm
II. The Adventure of the Unknown Door
III. The Adventure of the Black Company
IV. The Adventure of the Private Wire
V. The Adventure of the Time-Lock
VI. The Adventure of the Emerald Pendant
VII. The Adventure of the Travis coup
VIII. The Adventure of the End and the Beginning
- Message #30527
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