W is for Wild, Wacky, and Woodbury

Walsh, Paton Jill has written several Sayers' tributes. The first based on Sayers's notes, Thrones, Dominations, is quite good. The others are . . . okay. I don't agree with her interpretation of Charles Parker, so I mostly don't read them any more (to me, Parker IS the reason to read the novels). But they are well-written and reasonably well-structured if not quite the same as reading Sayers.

Wells, H.G.: I recently started War of the Worlds and good grief, that book is violent with some of the most memorable imagery I've encountered in any book. I never thought I would say that of a nineteenth century text (I read Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and didn't blink an eye). I'm not sure what I think yet . . . Verne is much easier to handle.

Westlake, Donald: I've read a few Donald Westlake novels. He tends more to the action rather than cerebral side of mystery fiction; I prefer the "locked room" problem to the "how can I prevent these five guys from beating me up" problem (yet another reason I don't much care for mafia stories).

Wharton, Edith: I had to read Wharton in high school. I loathed Ethan Frome. I quite like the short story "Roman Fever." I mostly remember Wharton because when I was growing up, my family would visit her home, The Mount, in Massachusetts to watch Shakespeare plays on the lawn.

White, T.H. wrote the amazing Once and Future King. I often reference the first part, Sword in the Stone, for examples on analogy: Merlin teaches Arthur about leadership by having him experience life as different animals.

Wilder, Thorton: Generally speaking, I've stayed away from plays in this A-Z list, but I have to mention Thorton Wilder for Our Town. I have just started The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

Willig, Lauren: I have read several of her Pink Carnation books. Lots of fun! Like many series, I was ready for Jane's book much sooner than it was actually delivered.

Willis, Connie: One of my favorite science-fiction writers and a great short story writer. I have mixed feelings about her latest, the two-part time-travel books about World War II. Willis often utilizes a motif--the seeming randomness of events prevents easy solutions--that has merit but gets a tad overworked in Blackout and All Clear. However, I read both novels in record time; I couldn't put them down! My favorite Willis novel is Passage which utilizes the Titanic as metaphor. 

Wodehouse, P.G.: I wish I liked Wodehouse's writing more; there are so many books!  I do greatly enjoy the BBC series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry (see below).

Woodburys! There are lots of us writers in the Woodbury clan, including my sisters Beth Hart and Ann Moore. Eugene Woodbury's books can be located at Peaks Island Press (and yes, I have read them and yes, I recommend them!).

Wroblewski, David: I read the entire The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, the whole thing! Truth is, I usually pass on books over 300 pages. The Story is 566; I suppose that says something.

3 comments:

FreeLiverFree said...

Donald Westlake is one of my favorite writers. I much prefer that type of story to the traditional lockroom mystery. I can do enjoy Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr, and really love the Sherlock Holmes, but generally I prefer the tougher sort.

Katherine Woodbury said...

I have a soft spot for tough guy Sam Spade (a la The Maltese Falcon) although how much of that is Humphrey Bogart and how much Dashiell Hammett . . . I couldn't say.

FreeLiverFree said...

It's weird how we think of Bogart when we think of Spade. The novel character was described as a tall, blond, satan. Bogart is short and dark. (People also forget that the novel is i third person not first. But that's because people get Hammett mixed up with Chandler.)