Mystery and Its Fictions: From Oedipus to Agatha Christie by David I. Grossvogel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This books has a good premise but didn’t really deliver on it as well as it could have. If it were a little more ambitious, and maybe either a lot longer or a lot clearer, it could have fulfilled its thesis of literature (especially mystery literature), as broad subject, in relation to the human mystery under such auspices as the Oedipus myth and the plight of Job in the face of Divine Impenetrability, and the shades in between as far as where the human confronts its limitations and injunctions. As it stands, it simply brought up a group of authors and works that it too often glossed over with what seemed like an expectation that the reader already knew enough about them that it only needed to cover its own particular interest in the writing, and gave scarcely and background or introduction to provide context so a reader unfamiliar with the works discussed will be left struggling not to be simply glossing over this book itself. However, some chapters are worth looking into and I’ll probably come back to those for some topics, especially the chapter devoted specifically to Sophocles’ Oedipus, Agatha Christie, Dostoevsky, Camus, and the Epilogue which focuses on the Book of Job.
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