Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Thief

Title: Extraordinary Adventure of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief
Author: Maurice Leblanc
Publisher: Penguin Classics (2007)
ISBN: 9780143104865
Pages: 279 pages
First Published: 1907

Thanks to Detective Conan series, I got acquainted with this character, a gentleman thief that could change his names, looks and personalities with ease. So, I was provoked to read this book (and the others). It was a delightful experience.
For some parts I thought it was a little dull and predictable, but then again, it was written on early 1900s, so whenever I thought I read those tricks somewhere before, it might had been that this is the book inspired them.
For next time, I wish to read a longer cases -not a short stories like this one- where he could battle with Insp. Ganimard or Herlock Sholmes more viciously. *_*

Title: Arsène Lupin Vs. Herlock Sholmes a.k.a The Blonde Lady
Author: Maurice Leblanc
Publisher: Wildside Press (2001)
ISBN: 9781587154645
Pages: 288 pages
First Published: 1908

On the first series, I thought I wanted a longer stories. Well, I got them in this second installment. But somehow I felt some disapointment. It's not as bang bang as I'd imajined. Sholmes/Shears/whatever was not as sharp and wit as it should be, Wilson was needy and uninteligent, and even Lupin was not as smart and playful as he promised. Ganimard...uh... yeah, better not started talking about that guy.

The Blue Diamond was mediocre. Ruined my imajination by leaving a death body in the process. A gentleman thief should be a smooth seamless thief, not a semi-murderer robber for whatever reason. The captured of Sholmes was predictable (well, at least it should be predictable if he's the real Sholmes!). The comeback was slightly better. And the escape was quite fun. That's the only thing that saved the whole story.
One last thing, the telephone for the seamstress as a code, I remembered the same trick was being used again by Agatha Christie (don't remember which, the man with brown suit or they came to baghdad or ???). I still think it's very clever one!

The Jewish Lamp was ok. The trick with the newspaper messages was savvy, and a score for Sholmes to figured it out. The story line it self was puzzling and interesting, the turn off was how Sholmes could not realizing the culprit until the very end!

I keep on wondering why stories of Arsene Lupin was being told in other people perspective. Sholmes' perspective. Instead of pinpointing the greatness of Lupin's characters, these stories was better showing the incredulity of this Sholmes' version of investigation methodes.

Maybe I just hoping too much from AL, having formed an idea from Detective Conan's Kaito Kid, the gentleman thief (which drawn from AL). I could get --and admire-- the big picture of him, but I still feel the tartness of the details and characters.

No comments: