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Would you listen to The Secrets of Great Mystery and Suspense Fiction again? Why?
I would so listen to this again. It was interesting and informative and I liked the narrator's personal views on certain subject matters. This lecture has turned me on to new reading possibilities that I would never have known about if not for this lecture. It made my work day more enjoyable as I listened while at the office.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secrets of Great Mystery and Suspense Fiction?
When Professor Schmid spoke of the Native American mysteries it perked up my ears. It sounded fascinating and now I'm interested in reading some of the books that were mentioned. I also liked when he talked about the Cozy Mysteries and how professor Schmid didn't find them low brow as some critics have stated. I like thrillers and suspense but a cozy mystery is very comforting to read and immensely enjoyable. Critics be damned but I am with Professor Schmid when it comes to the Cozy Mysteries.
Which character – as performed by Professor David Schmid – was your favorite?
There were no characters as this was a lecture and not a book. I liked the Professor's style of lecture. It wasn't wooden or pretentious. There was warmth and insight and knowledge and passion in what he had to say.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
This was not a book but a lecture and so it mainly fascinated me.
Any additional comments?
I thoroughly enjoyed this lecture by Professor David Schmid and will be interested to listen to other lectures by him as I enjoyed the sound of his voice, the cadence in which he spoke, and his passion for the subject.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
This course might have been better off with 30 or even 24 lectures instead of these 36 too-often painfully repetitious segments. Although the course outline looks like it would be inclusive and stimulating, in fact many of the lectures sound the same. I quit listening to several of them when what I thought was going to be a new and interesting topic became a reiteration of previous material.
Not that there aren’t some enlightening and interesting lectures on a couple of unexpected topics such as "Latino Detectives on the Border" and "The American Dime Novel," but for the most part Professor Schmid keeps returning to a few favorite themes.
The first and most repeated theme is the foundational (the professor is fond of such adjectives) roots of mystery and suspense fiction, which he attributes to Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie. It would be pretty hard to argue with these choices, but their work (especially Poe’s "The Murders in the Rue Morgue") is referred to so often, and usually using similar words to make the same points over and over, that I began to wonder whether we’d make it into the 21st century. We do in fact get there, and in the process spend a lot of time with The Private Eye, another pet topic--again a fair choice that I thought it was overemphasized.
This is definitely a college “lit” course, of a type that emphasizes subjective analysis ("why does Dashiell Hammett tell us that Sam Spade's eyes 'burned yellowly'?") and literary criticism ("The noted critic xxx zzz has proposed that...."). It’s also a very academic presentation, heavy on the "here’s what I’m about to tell you, I’m telling you this, here’s what I just told you" formula. For what it presents, it is authoritative, and I did learn some interesting things, but it did not inspire me to explore the work of any of the new-to-me authors, or to try my own hand at mystery and suspense writing (at which I admit I would be awful, so that last is probably just as well).
44 of 52 people found this review helpful
What would have made The Secrets of Great Mystery and Suspense Fiction better?
Shorter more focussed course or a wider choice of examples.
I reached the stage of gritting my teeth every time he mentioned Edgar Allen Poe. It felt like every few minutes. Whilst I grant the man the innovation in the genre he only wrote three stories !! I cannot see mysteries about crazed orangutans getting very far nowadays
Would you listen to another book narrated by Professor David Schmid?
What character would you cut from The Secrets of Great Mystery and Suspense Fiction?
Edgar Allen Poe
Any additional comments?
I really wanted to enjoy this
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Fantastic listening to these lectures. Provided great insight into the history and how great mysteries are written. will enjoy them much more now. only thought is that he missed a section on medical mystery stories.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful