By John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922).
Harper & Bros.
1899. 171 pages. $1.25
Chapter IX: "Sherlock Holmes Again."
Online HERE and HERE.
There is a diversity of opinion as to what constitutes humour, and two persons do not always laugh at the same joke. John Kendrick Bangs proclaimed himself a humourist a few years ago, and in this light he is regarded by the average reader who does not question too closely into what humour really is.
To be quite candid, The Enchanted Type-Writer is neither funny nor humorous, although one feels conscious of the effort that Mr. Bangs has made to amuse. The type-writer is the medium through which we learn of the doings of various world-renowned characters in Hades.
Here is a specimen of the humour which pervades the book:
"I understand, Mr. Lohengrin," I said, "that you have a fine span of swans."
"Yes," he said; and I was astonished to note that he, like my client, spoke in musical numbers. "Very. They're much finer than horses, in my opinion. More peaceful, quite as rapid, and amphibious. If I go out for a drive and come to a lake, they trot quite as well across its surface as on the highways."
"How interesting!" said I. "And so gentle the swan. Your wife, I presume—"
Hamlet kicked my shins under the table.
"I think it will rain to-morrow," he said . . .
"I think so, too," said Lohengrin, a lowering look on his face. "If it doesn't, it will either snow or hail or be clear."
But the fact remains that one person may be put to sleep by the very passage which another finds excruciatingly funny. And there are many readers who will encourage Mr. Bangs to retain his position as a humourist. — "Novel Notes," THE BOOKMAN (January 1900)Other detectival spoofs by John Kendrick Bangs:
~ MRS. RAFFLES: BEING THE ADVENTURES OF AN AMATEUR CRACKSWOMAN: NARRATED BY BUNNY (1905), online HERE and HERE.
HERE and HERE, reviewed HERE.
HERE and HERE, reviewed HERE. (Per Wikipedia: "After the House-Boat was hijacked by Captain Kidd at the end of A House-Boat on the Styx, the various members of its club decided that in order to track it down, a detective would have to be called in. So they hired Sherlock Holmes, who, at the time of the book's publication, had indeed been declared dead by his creator.")
- A Wikipedia article ("John Kendrick Bangs").
Category: Detective fiction