This early novel by Rex Stout follows two men and a woman on a vacation in the Andes . . . a vacation which takes them to a lost world beneath the mountains!
eneral sigh of satisfaction and appreciation came from the throng as she disappeared within her compartment. I turned to Janvour.
"Who is she?"
"What?" he exclaimed in surprise. "But my dear Lamar, not to know her argues one a barbarian."
"Nevertheless, I do not know her."
"Well, you will have an opportunity. She is going to America, and, since she is on this train, she will, of course, take the same boat as yourself. But, my friend, beware!"
"But who is she?"
BEGINNING THE DANCE.
It developed, luckily for me, that my lawyers had allowed themselves to become unduly excited over a trifle. A discrepancy had been discovered in my agent's accounts; it was clearly established that he had been speculating; but the fellow's excessive modesty and moderation had saved me from any serious inconvenience or loss.
Some twenty thousand or so was the amount, and I did not even pu
Horrible. Stout definitely Jumped the Shark on this one. If you are a huge fan of Nero and Archie, like me, don't read this one. It's a big letdown.
La acción es constante, pero la historia es demasiado fantástica para mi gusto.
Rex Stout (1886-1975) is most famous for his fictional detective, Nero Wolfe, but in 1914 he wrote Under the Andes, a “scientific romance” of the pulp adventure variety.
Though the book is rather tame by modern standards, the innuendo of the travails of the heroine at the hands of a dwarf Incan king in a subterranean kingdom were quite shocking for the day.
Independently wealthy Paul Lamar and his not-so-bright brother, Harry team up with femme fatale Desiree Le Mire to tour the world. Ending up in the Andes, they get lost in the Cave of the Devil where they encounter the aforementioned dwarf Incans. Thousands of them.
Of course, one has to suspend a lot of belief for this story. One must believe nobody ever dies from hypothermia in caves especially when they are wet and naked and even where the sun never shines, your eyes will eventually become accustomed to the total absence of illumination and you can actually see, though dimly.
The story is actually a fun read, but the ending is a cheat. If Stout had stopped before the chapter entitled Conclusion, the result would have been a mildly entertaining journey into pulp fiction. Instead, the reader will feel rather cheated if s/he reads all the way to the end.
This is an adventure novel of the H Rider Haggard and Doc Savage tradition -- where the men are burly and masculine and the women are pale and dangerous. Pardon the sexism and the racism of the time and it can be an entertaining, if very light read. The writing style is quite different from the Nero Wolfe stories, with very little of the humor of the popular detective series.
Cool adventure novel. The survival abilities of the main characters at the end are a bit ... erm ... hard to believe. But hooked I was, the full length. It's the early bird of an author better known for his 'Nero Wolfe' books.