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Re: P.M. Hubbard

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  • Wyatt James
    Grafton has three entries in Barzun/Taylor. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is a good lawyer/trial book. I read it a long time ago and liked it. Could not finish
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 6, 2003
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      Grafton has three entries in Barzun/Taylor. "Beyond a Reasonable
      Doubt" is a good lawyer/trial book. I read it a long time ago and
      liked it. Could not finish "Rat...." You just never know with authors.

      --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "mike5568" <mike5568@y...> wrote:
      > I`m currently waiting on High Tide by P.M. Hubbard to arrive.
      > Haven`t read anything by him before. By the way, I`m reading now
      > The Rat Began To Gnaw The Rope by C.W. Grafton (Sue`s dad), written
      > in 1942. Has anyone read anything else by him? He seems to be a
      > pretty good writer. MikeB--- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Wyatt
      > James" <grobius@s...> wrote:
      > > "A Hive of Glass" -- just got this from ABEBOOKS after many years
      > of
      > > searching for a book that impressed me a lot when it first came out
      > > (1965). Well worth it. Here's a mini-review:
      > >
      > > Johnnie Slade, while sybaritic as to sex and food, is an obsessed
      > > collector of antique glassware (as are his closest friends). We all
      > > know how fanatical collectors behave when they sniff out a new
      > morsel;
      > > there is no surprise that this is what happens in this book. With a
      > > vengeance. One of the best efforts in the mystery genre on this
      > theme,
      > > with many scenes of gruesome violence, evil and obnoxious
      > characters,
      > > and unpleasant settings (the seaside 'village' of Grane). The
      > female
      > > co-protagonist is an excellent example of another person driven to
      > > amoral behavior and egoism (in her case, involving greed, hatred,
      > and
      > > a sexual penchant for older men). There is a scene when the hero,
      > > while driving the two of them down a dark road at night, hits and
      > > kills a deer being chased by a giant hound, and our dear Claudia
      > goes
      > > after the dog with the bloody torn-off antler, just for the
      > amusement
      > > of it. Great book.
      > >
      > > About Hubbard:
      > >
      > > P. M. (Philip Maitland) Hubbard (1910-80)
      > > Gothic Mysteries
      > >
      > > The Gothic novel is much older than the detective story, although
      > > there has always been an amount of mystery in the genre. P.M.
      > Hubbard
      > > did not have a series detective -- in fact he rarely had a
      > detective
      > > in the true sense at all, although his protagonists often made
      > > deductions -- but his books can be classified as mystery novels
      > with a
      > > large admixture of the 'Gothic', always involving greed, passion,
      > and
      > > homicide as well as grotesque horror, a tried and true amalgamation
      > > that has always been a sub-genre of mystery fiction. His greatest
      > > skill was in startling the reader by throwing in a sudden shock in
      > the
      > > midst of some clean, straightforward prose (much like LeFanu and
      > > Richard Hughes, for example):
      > >
      > > "Levinson sat at his desk in the middle of the room, looking at me
      > > with his usual small, curiously sweet smile. A thin coil of smoke
      > > wound upwards from the cigar resting on the edge of the ash-tray at
      > > his right hand. The whole room smelt of it. His hands were on his
      > lap.
      > >
      > > I said, 'Good evening,' and then saw that something was not quite
      > > right. I had moved, but his eyes had not. He was warm, composed and
      > > friendly, but quite dead.
      > >
      > > I cannot stand dead and broken things...." [A Hive of Glass]
      > >
      > > Note, as an aside, the narrator's basic indifference to the fate of
      > > poor Levinson, but rather an egoistic reaction as to how he was
      > > affected -- most of Hubbard's protagonists are basically amoral and
      > > self-centered. Another of Hubbard's characteristics is a great
      > skill
      > > in describing an outré environment, usually involving an unpleasant
      > > landscape with mud, overgrown trees, and rotting smells. In fact,
      > he
      > > overdoes that as one will find on a marathon read -- one can only
      > take
      > > so much of stinking tidal mud-flats bordered by a sinister wood.
      > And
      > > he tends to be depressing; one needs to be in the mood for that.
      > >
      > > Hubbard himself had an interesting life: winner of the Newdigate
      > > poetry prize at Oxford, member of the Indian Civil Service for many
      > > years before independence, contributor to the magazine 'Punch',
      > among
      > > other things (never a truck driver or cowhand, though). Definitely
      > one
      > > of the best of the mystery writers of the 20th Century.
      > >
      > > Although he is not strictly a detective-story writer, Hubbard was
      > > admired by critics as varied as Boucher and Barzun, and was lauded
      > by
      > > 'mainstream' critics for his wit, clean prose style, and
      > > characterization.
      > > --------------------------------------
      > > As you can see, another web page is in the works. But it will take
      > > time, because reading too much Hubbard at once is depressing.
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