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A bluff! Some of my friends secured that old unused van and wished to make the attempt. But I considered it impractical without the concurrence of a number of unusual circumstances. However, I found it useful to carry out that attempted escape and give it the widest publicity. An audaciously planned escape, though not completed, gave to the succeeding one the character of reality simply by anticipation. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (8)
Just as Sparkster-chan did, I discovered Arsene Lupin and his many adventures through the detective conan manga. However, I also discovered Lupin through a certain master gentleman theif that has been stealing anime fans hearts for a very long time. Yes, I'm talking about Lupin III. I higly reccomend this tale. It is charming, funny, and not as stiff and serious as your typical Sherlock Holes read. Lupin is, after all, on the wrong side of the law. ^_^
I found out about Arsene Lupin through the Detective Conan manga, where the creator showcases a different detective/mystery character each volume. In the last one, he talked about Arsene Lupin. He also drew Lupin wearing a top hat, which, if you know Detective Conan, is something the character Kaitou Kid wears (Kid is also a thief). Kid is my favorite DC character, and I had to see exactly who this Lupin guy was.
This book is excellent. Reading through Lupin's exploits, seeing him execute a heist, talk his way out of anything, it's a blast. And I laughed and smiled much more than I did reading the Sherlock Holmes stories. Lupin's stories seem to focus a little more on humor, and all the while never lose their momentum.
If you've seen Lupin the Third (an anime that stars Arsene Lupin's grandson) or Detective Conan's Kaitou Kid, you definitely owe it to yourself to pick this up. The similarities are amazing, and even though I've been through this book twice and know all the outcomes, I'm reading it a third time. It's just that good. One thing, though... if you go looking for it in a bookstore, don't be surprised if they don't have it in stock. Amazon's probably the best way to go.
Arsene Lupin - robs the rich and gives to the reader.
Published in 1907, Maurice leBlanc's book introduces Arsene Lupin, the gentleman burglar: thief of exquisite country houses; master of disguise; friend to the royal and rich; a man of impeccable taste who will only snatch items of 'artistic value', and from those who can afford it. His wit, style and daring make him the unquestioned hero of the book, easily out-dazzling his two detective rivals, the plodding Ganimard and the brilliant logician Herlock Sholmes. Safes, secret passages, jewels, high windows, impenetrable castles, 'impossible' prison breakouts, sensational coutroom dramas, romances on luxury cruises, nocturnal murders, chases through forests and empty streets - so many crimes and incidents and personae proliferate, Lupin seems to become omnipotent.
Although these nine loosely-connected mysteries are pure fantasy, their detail and context open out the Belle Epoque milieu in which they are set. One of the major themes is that the 'respectable' bourgoisie Lupin robs are often as dishonest and even criminal as he, indulging in the illegal speculations/swindles rife at the time or organising elaborate charades to conceal financial decline. The invidiousness of social inequality is a factor in Lupin's psychological make-up. The antiquity of French history and national character is in conflict with the disruption of modernity (telephones, photographs, automobiles etc.). The vulnerability of the bourgeoisie contrasts with a democratising popular press avidly chronicling Lupin's every move, making him 'our national thief'.
I don't want to get too solemn, such is the breezy pleasure of this book, but I believe 'Lupin' is more than simply an engaging riposte to Sherlock Holmes; Lupin is more than someone who pilfers from the rich. Whereas most crime literature seeks to re-order a violated society through a central, reliable, narrational consciousness embodied in the figure of the detective, 'Lupin' disrupts order at every opportunity. Lupin's facility with disguise is matched by his disruptions of the text, which changes narrator and point-of-view without warning, Lupin himself often betraying the reader's trust by assuming the first-person on false pretences. With wit, playfulness and a light touch, leBlanc undermines our certainties as readers, just as Lupin does his victims, filling each tale with alternative narratives, jarring tones, shifting modes, unfulfilled expectations. Lupin is always taking his bow, leaving the stage and slipping away, as terrified by his own lack of a recognisable identity as he terrifies everyone else. For omnipotence and fame come at a price - existential dread and sexual impotence: the penetration of homes and homosocial company must substitute for failed relationships with women.
Pity the English readers
After reading the whole series in both Chinese and French, I pity the English readers who miss out on the Arsene Lupin series.This series israted in Europe/Asia at the level of the Sherlock Holmes series.If youcan find a copy, read it.It is simply excellent for any hardcore mysteryfan.
steal this book--please
Reminded me of an episodic TV detective show--interesting premise (gentleman burglar) executed poorly, without much verve. Leblanc is more interested in going on and on about how great his hero is--a matter ofreputation--than in showing us how he works in any sort of interestingway--a matter of dramatic tension. Most of these tales have the transparentdramatic devices (how many "It's Lupin in disguise!" tricks canyou pull in one book?) and anti-climactic conclusions of Grimms' fairytales. Usually it's more important to Leblanc that Lupin did a crime thanit is HOW he did it, which isn't nearly as interesting. There are a fewexceptions, but basically this is thin melodrama, striking concept thoughit may be.--J.Ruch
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