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Where Was Rebecca Shot? Puzzles, Curiosities And Conundrums in Mo: Puzzles, Curiosities and Conundrums in Modern Fiction [Paperback]

John Sutherland
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Sep 1998
From the novel of the best selling Is Heathcliff a murderer? an ingenious book of puzzles in 20th century fiction. The novel is today stronger than it ever was. 'Classics', boosed by a hugely successful string of TV and film adaptations, now enjoy a mass readership. The aim of this book is to offer sophisticated and readable literary criticism which will sell as well as good fiction and good biography. The book will deal with canonical and popular 20th century literature from Virginia Woolf to J.G.Ballard. Pursuing puzzles, conundrums and anomalies in our favourite fiction and most revered narratives, from high literature to pulp fiction, Sutherland offers an extremely refreshing way of looking at novels which gets 1 closer to the magical ways in which fiction works.


Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (14 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297841467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297841463
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

From the author of the bestselling Is Heathcliff a Murderer?, an ingenious book of puzzles in twentieth-century fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having recently read Rebecca I was interested in what moments of doubt or plot holes John Sutherland could discern in this, the latest of his literary `detective' series. Maxim de Winter is named, as is the late Mrs de Winter, but why are the new Mrs de Winter's first name and maiden name never mentioned? Ms du Maurier forbore to ever answer that question, as did Alfred Hitchcock when it came to publicity for the film - in a way the nameless new Mrs de Winter is something of a vacuity altogether, as she seldom asserts her will over anything. As with almost all books that are filmed, there were changes made to the plot. But sticking with the book, the biggest question in my mind was why Max de Winter took a gun to the boat house, shot his wife, then locked her in the cabin of her boat while he scuttled it, whereupon it sank to the bottom of the sea only to be discovered when another boat is wrecked on the same patch of sea. Some of the answers are suggested by John Sutherland, one or two of them most ingenious. But no one satisfied my demand to know how he got away with it.

I was also interested in what Sutherland had to say about the use of fire and the science of optical conflagration in William Golding's Lord of the Flies. It could never have happened as it does in the novel. Piggy is short-sighted (he speaks of "blurs, that's all. Hardly see my hand") The fire raising scene is therefore impossible because the lenses to correct myopia are diverging lenses and will not bring the rays of the sun to a focus in order to produce fire. However, it seems a pity to place too much emphasis on this mistake, for if Piggy had been long-sighted he would have been wearing glasses capable of focusing light to a point.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Literary detective moves to modern works 7 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Imagine a 'movie bloopers' approach to classic literature: finding, and trying to explain, the continuity errors and technical mistakes of famous authors. Professor Sutherland's fourth excursion into this territory has a slight change of direction as he shifts to modern fiction - Rambo, Trainspotting, cyberspace, Morse novels - and its relationship to movie adaptations. He's as entertaining as ever, but I noticed a few mistakes this time. For instance, in one chapter he confuses TNT (solid) with nitroglycerine (liquid), and says in another that William Golding doesn't specify Piggy's eye problem in "Lord of the Flies" (in fact, the novel mentions myopia more than once). These are nitpicks; but Sutherland's books are nitpicks about other works, and factual errors undermine his cred. I'd advise him to get more technical advice if he tackles scientific topics again! Still, an excellent book overall.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pot calling kettle black 30 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Imagine a 'movie bloopers' approach to classic literature: finding, and trying to explain, the continuity errors and technical mistakes of famous authors. This is Professor John Sutherland's fourth excursion into this territory, with a slight change of tone as he shifts to modern fiction - Rambo, Trainspotting, cyberspace, Morse novels - and its relationship to movie adaptations. He's as entertaining as ever, but shows signs of slipping standards. For instance, in one analysis he confuses TNT with nitroglycerine, and claims in another that William Golding doesn't specify Piggy's eye problem in Lord of the Flies (it's actually myopia). These are nitpicks; but Sutherland's books are nitpicks about other works, and factual errors undermine his cred.
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