[PDF] ✩ Hamlet, Revenge! ✭ Michael Innes – Writerscompany.co.uk

Hamlet, Revenge! Innes takes his time setting the stage, introducing us to most of the cast of characters in what is essentially an English country house murder mystery with a twist, as Scamnum Court is closer to a castle than a house and the Duke and Duchess of Horton have over 200 house guests with associated servants The pace picks up considerably once the murder occurs during an amateur performance of Hamlet , and Inspector Appleby is sent to investigate by none other than the Prime Minister himself as Innes takes his time setting the stage, introducing us to most of the cast of characters in what is essentially an English country house murder mystery with a twist, as Scamnum Court is closer to a castle than a house and the Duke and Duchess of Horton have over 200 house guests with associated servants The pace picks up considerably once the murder occurs during an amateur performance of Hamlet , and Inspector Appleby is sent to investigate by none other than the Prime Minister himself as there is the possibility of espionage Only hours after arriving, Appleby is confronted with a second corpseInnes writing style is a bit dry with a hidden wit it might not be to everyone s taste but I like it an author who can refer to Conrad s Lord Jim and P.G Wodehouse s Lord Emsworth on the same page and make sly references to Agatha Christie s Hercule Poirot is my kind of guy As Appleby says at one point in the investigation Order, method the little grey cells and later, one of the house guests suggests the Duke send for a real detective There is a very good man whose name I forget a foreigner and very conceited but, they say, thoroughly reliable This is a greater tribute than it might appear at first sight Hamlet, Revengefirst was released in 1937 so Poirot was not nearly as well known as he is today My biggest complaint is that things got pretty convoluted towards the end, although the ultimate solution was satisfying and unexpected at least by me At Scamnum Court, Seat Of The Duke Of Horton, The Lord Chancellor Of England Is Murdered At The Climax Of A Private Presentation Of Hamlet, In Which He Plays Polonius To Solve This Crime, Inspector Appleby Pursues Some Of The Most Famous Names In The Country, Unearthing Dreadful Suspicion I recently read the first book in this series, which I liked so much that I decided to read this book as well Unfortunately, although the criminal mystery is very good, I did not like this book as much as the previous one.To begin with, I had a big problem with getting into the story This is a fairly short book, but the beginning is really long and extensive The author devotes a lot of time to outline the background of the whole situation, individual characters and relationships between them I recently read the first book in this series, which I liked so much that I decided to read this book as well Unfortunately, although the criminal mystery is very good, I did not like this book as much as the previous one.To begin with, I had a big problem with getting into the story This is a fairly short book, but the beginning is really long and extensive The author devotes a lot of time to outline the background of the whole situation, individual characters and relationships between them Unfortunately, it wasn t so interesting for me In the first book, the action of the book begins with finding a corpse and this format suits me much better Here I was close to leaving this book unfinished And even when there is a murder finally, in my opinion, the action does not pick up the pace much The whole story became really interesting to me only somewhere around 40%.Too long introduction to the story made me easily distracted, I did not pay proper attention to all characters This took revenge on me later when I couldn t fully distinguish all the characters It s my fault, really And there are a lot of characters In my opinion a little too many I admit that sometimes I found it hard to distinguish them It only made itdifficult for me to fully enjoy this book.The plot is very good Although it seems to me that in the first book it was a bit better, but it is possible that it is only a matter of the fact that the first book was generallyinteresting to me Anyway, the whole intrigue is multithreaded and complicated Of course, there are many suspects, as well as motives Definitely a very good story.The writing style is as floral and erudite as in the first book For a person like me for whom English is not a native language, this creates some problems But either I have already got used it after the first book, or this book is written a little simpler, whatever the reason, it was easier for me to read this book than the previous one People who like such a beautiful language in their reads will not be disappointed.Although it probably took me three or four months to read this book, I don t regret it Still, I admit it was an effort for me and I won t read another book in this series soon But I do not rule out finally reading one, because I like the main character, and the mysteries in these stories are really worth it While there s a reasonable story buried in this book, my summary word is indulgent It reads as if the author is playing a lengthy parlour game with a small group of friends and letting the narrative emerge from the game The lengthy first chapter, setting the scene appears designed to eliminate readers without a textual interest in Shakespeare s plays I persevered, mainly because I wanted to see if Appleby rescued the book.Partially he did He is a skillfully drawn character and the police p While there s a reasonable story buried in this book, my summary word is indulgent It reads as if the author is playing a lengthy parlour game with a small group of friends and letting the narrative emerge from the game The lengthy first chapter, setting the scene appears designed to eliminate readers without a textual interest in Shakespeare s plays I persevered, mainly because I wanted to see if Appleby rescued the book.Partially he did He is a skillfully drawn character and the police procedures restored some interest enough, at least, for me to finish reading The narrative, however, became increasingly convoluted and tiresome In the end I didn t care in my view a bad outcome for an author to achieve.Innes can write Appleby is testimony to that This book would have benefitted substantially from an application of writerly discipline and craft A wealthy duchess has decided to host a large scale house party during which a semi amateur performance of Hamlet will be produced She has assembled a crowd of relations and friends, plus one professional actor and Britain s Lord Chancellor, to carry it off Before the performance, there are various warnings that all is not right in the state of Denmark uh, Surrey anonymous warning messages, strange doings in the garden at night, tensions under the surface But when a death occurs, it s time f A wealthy duchess has decided to host a large scale house party during which a semi amateur performance of Hamlet will be produced She has assembled a crowd of relations and friends, plus one professional actor and Britain s Lord Chancellor, to carry it off Before the performance, there are various warnings that all is not right in the state of Denmark uh, Surrey anonymous warning messages, strange doings in the garden at night, tensions under the surface But when a death occurs, it s time for Scotland Yard s most promising and most socially acceptable detective to be summoned to the scene.This is a house party mystery with a strong academic undertone Characters debate ad nauseam for some readers the rival merits and interpretations of various historical productions of the play literary allusions and sophisticated banter fly The brutality of the crime and subsequent crimes sit oddly in this context, and are treated as a game or an inconvenience by many of the characters This much is business as usual for many British mysteries of the era it was published in 1937, though it feels closer to World War II , but the author takes the norms to his own extremes deliciously or tediously, depending on the reader s taste.Michael Innes and his real world counterpart, J I M Stewart is one of my favorite authors I love the challenge of following his erudition, learning new vocabulary especially in the Stewart novels set in academia , and watching an able mind at work That s not, I realize, what everyone looks for in a murder mystery and if it s not, this book might not be for you It is intricately plotted, with many twists both foreseeable and not There is a plethora of characters perhaps a few too many , and there s a sufficiency of police procedure Characters the key to my enjoyment of a mystery are well drawn and engaging The d nouement is long and complex, with plausible cases being made for a whole series of perpetrators I knocked off a star or perhaps part of a star for the fact that the final solution seemed to me the least plausible among the possibilities A feast of the logorrheically inclined As with all detective novels, the solution to the central puzzle of Hamlet, Revenge is somewhat arbitrary, the mystery itself merely providing a context for the author to show off his ingenious plotting Unlike most detective novels, Hamlet, Revenge offers character portraits so complex and sharply observed that the mystery becomes secondary to the thrill of discovery of a world muchsophisticated and witty than everyday reality Occasionally offending with anachronistic colonialisms an As with all detective novels, the solution to the central puzzle of Hamlet, Revenge is somewhat arbitrary, the mystery itself merely providing a context for the author to show off his ingenious plotting Unlike most detective novels, Hamlet, Revenge offers character portraits so complex and sharply observed that the mystery becomes secondary to the thrill of discovery of a world muchsophisticated and witty than everyday reality Occasionally offending with anachronistic colonialisms and ultimately disappointing in its plot because of its limited scope, Hamlet, Revenge nevertheless rewards our attention with line by line subtlety and sharpness that few mainstream literary novels ever approach He thinks he won t but he will This statement by a female character said about the male detective s probable bias is typical of how insightful Michael Innes is In a recent book by Michael Lewis, the Undoing Project, Lewis discusses emerging evidence that people are highly controlled by their preconceptions even in the face of overwhelming statistics Innes figured this out 80 years ago As a Scotsman writing about English high society, Innes has just enough objectivity and familiarity to wri He thinks he won t but he will This statement by a female character said about the male detective s probable bias is typical of how insightful Michael Innes is In a recent book by Michael Lewis, the Undoing Project, Lewis discusses emerging evidence that people are highly controlled by their preconceptions even in the face of overwhelming statistics Innes figured this out 80 years ago As a Scotsman writing about English high society, Innes has just enough objectivity and familiarity to write an incredibly accurate depiction of the motivations and hidden lives of English high society of the late 1930 s The twin tensions of murder and a world on the brink of war are expertly woven through this mystery The setting is a lavish country estate that is staging a production of Hamlet Innes is it at his best here, weaving together two stories in which human motivation remains constant We are always impersonating our own idealized image of ourselves our persona, is it called in order to shine in our own eyes or in other peoples Or we are shamming something quite false in order to get something that our real self wants Having recently read Good Old Neon by David Foster Wallace this passage struck me particularly hard Not my cup of tea This is my first Innes novel, and it ll be a struggle for me to return I love classic mysteries, but this one just seemed off.First, the text is full of what a previous reviewer called anachronistic colonialisms the first chapter was almost impossible to read from my standpoint, with scattered characters speaking in phrases and dialects that I simply could not grasp When an entire conversation occurs in which you can t parse the meaning of a single sentence, something ha Not my cup of tea This is my first Innes novel, and it ll be a struggle for me to return I love classic mysteries, but this one just seemed off.First, the text is full of what a previous reviewer called anachronistic colonialisms the first chapter was almost impossible to read from my standpoint, with scattered characters speaking in phrases and dialects that I simply could not grasp When an entire conversation occurs in which you can t parse the meaning of a single sentence, something has gone wrong The obscene number of suspects also makes this a tough read, even for a complex murder mystery, and I felt as if this book was almost a private joke for Innes and a few stuffy, well educated friends to pore over.The puzzle is certainly ingenious, and as a Shakespeare nut I highly enjoyed the diverse and complex thoughts, discussions, parodies and references to the Bard Clearly my negative response to this book is a personal conflict with the author s aims, and shouldn t be taken as indicative of the book s general quality Yet just not for me Hamlet, revengewas first published in 1937, and while it conforms to the conventions of the Golden Age crime novel, with a series of murders committed during a weekend house party in an isolated country home, the concept seems subverted through exaggeration For Scamnum Court is built on a scale that dwarfs Blenheim Palace, with an extensive staff and a large number of guests There are threats, all unclear and undirected, quoting lines taken from Shakespeare or referring to his plays And the Hamlet, revengewas first published in 1937, and while it conforms to the conventions of the Golden Age crime novel, with a series of murders committed during a weekend house party in an isolated country home, the concept seems subverted through exaggeration For Scamnum Court is built on a scale that dwarfs Blenheim Palace, with an extensive staff and a large number of guests There are threats, all unclear and undirected, quoting lines taken from Shakespeare or referring to his plays And then the first murder, committed during an amateur staging of the play Hamlet, at the moment when Hamlet runs a sword through Polonius, concealed behind a curtain in the Queen s room The actor playing Polonius is shot, so that the stage and backstage areas define a contained space that limits the possible suspects But Hamlet is staged with an extensive cast and so 31 suspects remain Continued Marry, this is miching mallecho it means mischief Shakespeare.And so it was And Inspector Appleby arrives to find a man dead on the stage of a private production of Hamlet What does it mean Why Why in those circumstances Is it spies or a very private sort of revenge I loved this book It starts slow, and I wish I d re read Hamlet before hand, but when Appleby arrives en scene, the book becomes compelling.This is my sort of mystery Very cerebral, very puzzle driven, a smart, calculati Marry, this is miching mallecho it means mischief Shakespeare.And so it was And Inspector Appleby arrives to find a man dead on the stage of a private production of Hamlet What does it mean Why Why in those circumstances Is it spies or a very private sort of revenge I loved this book It starts slow, and I wish I d re read Hamlet before hand, but when Appleby arrives en scene, the book becomes compelling.This is my sort of mystery Very cerebral, very puzzle driven, a smart, calculating, inventive bad guy, where the clues are scarce on the ground and the only way to solve it is by deep thinking.Definitely continuing this series


About the Author: Michael Innes

Michael Innes was the pseudonym of John Innes MacKintosh J.I.M Stewart J.I.M Stewart He was born in Edinburgh, and educated at Edinburgh Academy and Oriel College, Oxford He was Lecturer in English at the University of Leeds from 1930 1935, and spent the succeeding ten years as Jury Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, South Australia He returned to the United Kingdom in 1949, to become a Lecturer at the Queen s University of Belfast In 1949 he became a Student Fellow of Christ Church, Oxford, becoming a Professor by the time of his retirement in 1973 As J.I.M Stewart he published a number of works of non fiction, mainly critical studies of authors, including Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling, as well as about twenty works of fiction and a memoir, Myself and Michael Innes As Michael Innes, he published numerous mystery novels and short story collections, most featuring the Scotland Yard detective John Appleby.


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