Title: Extraordinary Adventure of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief
Series: Arsene Lupin #1
Author: Maurice Leblanc
Publisher: Penguin Classics (2007)
Pages: 279 pages
First Published: 1907
Title: Arsène Lupin Vs. Herlock Sholmes a.k.a The Blonde Lady
Series: Arsene Lupin #2
Author: Maurice Leblanc
Publisher: Wildside Press (2001)
Pages: 288 pages
First Published: 1908
Extraordinary Adventure of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief
The suave adventures of a gentleman rogue—a French Thomas Crown
Created by Maurice LeBlanc during the early twentieth century, Arsene Lupin is a witty confidence man and burglar, the Sherlock Holmes of crime. The poor and innocent have nothing to fear from him; often they profit from his spontaneous generosity. The rich and powerful, and the detective who tries to spoil his fun, however, must beware. They are the target of Arsene’s mischief and tomfoolery. A masterful thief, his plans frequently evolve into elaborate capers, a precursor to such cinematic creations as Ocean’s Eleven and The Sting. Sparkling with amusing banter, these stories—the best of the Lupin series—are outrageous, melodramatic, and literate.
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. V(*_*)V
The Blonde Lady
LeBlanc's creation, gentleman thief Arsene Lupin, is everything you would expect from a French aristocrat -- witty, charming, brilliant, sly... and possibly the greatest thief in the world. In this classic tale, Lupin comes up against the only man who may be able to stop him... no less than the great British gentleman-detective Herlock Sholmes
Who will emerge triumphant?
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 (S)Holmes!). 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 methods.
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.