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The Case of the Transposed Legs
by Harry Stephen Keeler, Hazel Goodwin Keeler | Mystery & Thrillers
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 7/9/2007
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Fuzzmom): travelling


9 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, July 09, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I thoroughly enjoyed Keeler's The Riddle of the Traveling Skull, and wanted to sample more of his weird and lively writing. While many of Keeler's books - both the original editions and the modern reprints - are a bit pricey, I found this fair-condition paperback for a not-too-steep price and couldn't resist. [This is one of the RambleHouse editions - old public-domain paperback copies were basically scanned in and reprinted, with new covers created via laser printer and assembled by hand. The book's original cover is reproduced on the back, and the new cover art is just as bizarre as the original - you can see them both here.]

What's it about? Well, it's seldom much use asking what a Keeler book is about, exactly, what with the digressions and flashbacks and general weirdness, but this is what the jacket blurb says:

Warden Westman Pembroke has been warned. Someone is trying to get him fired and if Big Rudy Uberhulf, the meanest inmate at the prison, escapes, the warden’s job is history! But if the warden can pin Rudy with that weird murder of a guy who had his legs cut off and sewed back on —transposed left and right! — then all will be hunky-dory again at the prison. But why does Rudy want to read a short treatise on cats written by banned author Harry Stephen Keeler? Why, indeed!?


[For more on Keeler and his work, see William Poundstone's Keeler site.] 


Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, February 22, 2008

7 out of 10

I didn't find this book quite as much fun as the giddy Traveling Skull, possibly because it was not told in the first person and the bouncing from character to character detracted from the glibness. But it was still very amusing, especially by the last half of the book. [In the beginning, it takes Keeler a LONG time to explain what's going on, with lots of repetitions and Keeler-esque digressions and such, and I admit there were times when I began to wonder if I wanted to keep going. But it picked up after a bit.]

One of the amusing bits about this book is the recursive aspect; one of the plot elements centers on books by Hazel Goodwin Keeler and her husband Harry, whose books are forbidden to the prison inmates (!). The tales-within-tales are amusing in their own right; Hazel's contribution is a short story about an Eskimo brigand who's trying to steal the supplies (and the captain's daughter) from an Arctic-exploration ship, and it plays out like a rather effective melodrama. And the banned-from-the-prison-but-somehow-in-there-anyway book by Keeler is all about cats - a charming recounting of dozens of cats that he'd known, with details that I couldn't help finding amusing even though I suspected he'd constructed that story by taking elements from many other popular cat-memoirs. The very fact that these works are reproduced in the text entirely, even though that isn't required by the plot, tells you a lot about how Keeler likes to put books together!

Another aspect of this book that I got a kick out of was the "C.S.I." section. This book was written in the '40s, but there's a section about a recently-discovered corpse (the one with the transposed legs) in which more than one character goes into considerable detail as to the nature of decomposition under different circumstances, even unto different temperatures and the presence or absence of insects!

Another key plot element is the prison library, complete with what seems to be an elaborate system of rules, and which has a "Reading Counselor" on staff to rate a convict's reading ability and suggest alternate reading based on the books he checks out. [Did prisons do this back then, I wonder? Do they do it now?] As often happens with Keeler, this aspect of the story takes up a lot more time than is strictly necessary, but I admit I found it rather fun - especially when one convict spots The Man in the Iron Mask on one of the recommendation lists and muses that it must be about some wrestler, Victorious Hugo or some such...

The resolution comes quickly, and more or less out of left field, but it's quite satisfactory anyway.

Now: of all the other Keeler titles out there, which one should I look for next? 


Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, August 28, 2008

This book has not been rated.

I thought I'd offer this very quirky book for a book ring; see the forum post here.

The book is a small softcover that weighs under 7 ounces, so postage shouldn't be too bad even for international mailings, and I'm willing to make it an international ring if I get enough participants who are able to mail internationally. Please post a reply in the forum thread or PM me if you'd like to participate, and include any mailing restrictions you may have.

Bookring instructions:

When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book.

Note: even if you've sent books to that person before, please PM them before mailing this one, to confirm that the address is correct and that they're able to take on a bookring book at this time.
Try and read the book promptly - ideally, within a month of receiving it. (If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you about the bookring, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the book and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through it, I'd appreciate an update in its journal entries or on your profile, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.)

When you're ready to pass the book along, please add your comments about the book and indicate where you're sending it, either through a journal entry or through the new controlled-release-note option. If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the book as originally agreed, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out!

Participants, in mailing order:
dunzy [Canada]
bookpatch [CA]
Llednyl [OH]
Scoobs-buddy [KY]
NMReader [NM]
sunfi [OH]
...and back to GoryDetails [NH]. 


Journal Entry 4 by wingGoryDetailswing at Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Tuesday, September 02, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (9/2/2008 UTC) at Vancouver, British Columbia Canada

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I sent this book off to BCer Dunzy in Vancouver to kick off the book ring. Hope you enjoy it! 


Journal Entry 5 by Dunzy from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Friday, September 12, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Thank you for keelerizing me again, Gory. Now that Harry's missis has lavished three introductory chapters on that "single sheet of unprinted foolscap" transfixed by the warden's frowning gaze(!), my bearings have already slipped out from under me.

The book's palm-sized format is so friendly that it's hard to put down, even fleetingly. But put it down I must, forsooth, with no buts (other than the "but" that began this sentence, upon which the grammatical purist will gaze frowningly.)

 


Journal Entry 6 by Dunzy at Lakewood, California USA on Monday, September 22, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (9/22/2008 UTC) at Lakewood, California USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

A claustrophobic Keeler -- not that there's anything wrong with that, given the Big House setting :) I didn't enjoy it as much as the skull's travels, but it was zany enough to please. (The embedded tales of icecap follies and feline friends defy adequate description; the last-line revelation about the eponymous legs was outrageous yet strangely appropriate.) Ah, those juggled phone-calls...sheer nostalgia by now in the e-age.

For cat-loving BXers who may wander by, here's Big Rudy's take on the beasts: "Who wants a cat for a friend? He ain't no different than a phoney crip beggin' jitnies on a main stem.". Those insightful words [or woids] could profitably be pondered, albeit imperfectly understood.

Gory's copy -- much appreciated -- is now legging it to bookpatch, the next ringer. 


Journal Entry 7 by bookpatch from Lakewood, California USA on Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This book has not been rated.

At first I was rather much puzzled by this wonderful little package, received today. It was almost exactly the size of a CD, but I didn't remember ordering any CDs from Canada lately...Ah ha, mystery solved...at least the first one...when I opened to find The Case of the Transposed Legs!
Of course the second mystery is the who and why of the Legs, and whether Mr. Keeler will be as wildly generous with his exclamation marks as he was in The Travelling Skull. I can hardly wait to find out! Thank you for sharing with me. 


Journal Entry 8 by bookpatch from Lakewood, California USA on Sunday, October 19, 2008

This book has not been rated.

I have to agree, not quite as much sparkle (or exclamation marks) as The Travelling Skull, but still that same wonderfully Keeleresque way with memorably named characters (can you say "Kinkella MacCorquodale" three times fast?) And, yes, the odd tangents that make the read an uneven patchwork...but an interesting uneven patchwork.

I spent probably too much time wondering about the discussion in the Keeler household that led to the preface note: "The two collaborators in this novel have wisely refrained from getting in each other's hair in its writing..."
...hmmm, glad they worked it out so we could enjoy this odd but pleasant journey.

Have PM'd Llednyl -- the legs are ready to travel again.


 


Journal Entry 9 by bookpatch at postal mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, October 25, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (10/25/2008 UTC) at postal mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Off to Llendnyl! 


Journal Entry 10 by Llednyl from Richwood, Ohio USA on Monday, November 03, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Came in the mail today - thanks for including me, I'm really looking forward to reading this! 


Journal Entry 11 by Llednyl from Richwood, Ohio USA on Sunday, November 16, 2008

7 out of 10

I only reiterate what most of you have said: not quite as exciting as Riddle of the Traveling Skull, and took a little longer to get into, but still a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed Hazel Goodwin Keeler's short story as well as "Kats I Have Known," partly because their inclusion wasn't necessary to advance the plot.

As someone who enjoys writing, I must say that I find Keeler to be rather inspirational. After reading his books, I say to myself, "See! Anyone can write a novel!" It's not that his books are poorly written - they aren't. It's just that you can tell he must have had enormous fun being so outrageous :)

I have Scoobs-buddy's address and will send this off sometime during the week. 


Journal Entry 12 by Llednyl at -- BookRing, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (11/19/2008 UTC) at -- BookRing, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent off to Scoobs-buddy today. 


Journal Entry 13 by rem_XDP-320934 on Monday, November 24, 2008

This book has not been rated.

safely in hand--thanks! 


Journal Entry 14 by rem_XDP-320934 on Tuesday, December 09, 2008

7 out of 10

Not quite as much fun to read as *Riddle of the Traveling Skull* but still a highly entertaining book- thanks so much for sharing it. I have NMReader's address and will have it on the way to her in a day or two 


Journal Entry 15 by rem_XDP-320934 at -- Mail or by hand -rings, RABCK, meetings, Kentucky USA on Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (12/10/2008 UTC) at -- Mail or by hand -rings, RABCK, meetings, Kentucky USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

sending to nmreader 


Journal Entry 16 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Wednesday, January 07, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Not sure when this arrived but I finally got itfrom the person who had my mail.

Thanks looking forward to reading 


Journal Entry 17 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Monday, February 02, 2009

This book has not been rated.

GoryDetails has granted me some extra time to read this book. Thought I would journal here so everyone knows the book isn't lost or stalled 


Journal Entry 18 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Saturday, February 07, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I am about 1/2 way through the book. My plan is to finish it this evening.

I have been enjoying the book and the note at the beginning makes much more sense now then when I orginally saw it.

 


Journal Entry 19 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Sunday, February 08, 2009

9 out of 10

I enjoyed the book much although I had a hard time getting into it.

I enjoyed the stories inside the story. I was worried for the warden although I really don't know that I liked him.

I am very curious about the Travelling Skull after hearing so much about it in the journal entries.

Thanks for including me. I will mail today. 


Journal Entry 20 by NMReader at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, February 08, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (2/8/2009 UTC) at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I will be posting this with any number of other books that need to be mailed today.

Delivery Confirmation #: 0308 0070 0000 7646 0362 


Journal Entry 21 by sunfi from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Just caught this one in the mail today. Thanks to NMReader for sending this to me and GoryDetails, I'll contact you. 


Journal Entry 22 by sunfi from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Sunday, April 05, 2009

5 out of 10

I tried to get into this one and I just couldn't, I'm sorry for holding onto it for so long. Gorydetails, I'll get this one out in the mail to you in the next couple of day. 


Journal Entry 23 by sunfi at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Ohio USA on Monday, April 06, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (4/6/2009 UTC) at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Ohio USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

It's on its way home, it should be arrive in the next couple of weeks. 


Journal Entry 24 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, April 11, 2009

This book has not been rated.

The Transposed Legs have arrived home again safely; thanks, everyone! 


Journal Entry 25 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, January 05, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (1/5/2012 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I've decided to let this book go traveling again! It's going into bookstogive's Making New Friends bookbox, which will be on its way to the next stop today. Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 26 by wingbookstogivewing at Springville, Tennessee USA on Monday, February 27, 2012

This book has not been rated.

This book returned in the Traveling and Making Friends Bookbox, thanks for including it! I have not read it before so onto MTR it goes. 


Journal Entry 27 by wingbookstogivewing at Hesperia, California USA on Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (7/24/2012 UTC) at Hesperia, California USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sharing my books with another OBCZ
To the finder of this book:

Welcome to BookCrossing, a unique community of book lovers, who are sharing their libraries with the world. This book is now yours to read, enjoy, keep or pass on to another reader.

The BookCrossing ID, which you entered in the "Enter a BCID" box on the website, is unique to this copy of this book. We would be delighted if you would make a journal entry to say you have found the book. It is fun for other readers of this book to see where the book has traveled-sometimes around the world!

BookCrossing is free to join, completely confidential, and you may remain anonymous (you are known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address) and a great deal of fun. If you choose to join please consider using meBOOKSTOGIVE as your referring member.

 


Journal Entry 28 by Fuzzmom at Department of Mobility in Black Rock City, Nevada USA on Thursday, August 02, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (8/27/2012 UTC) at Department of Mobility in Black Rock City, Nevada USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

This book has been to a very Special City. Black Rock City, Nevada is a modern day "Brigadoon". It exists for only one week every year, the site of The Burning Man Art festival , the largest Leave No Trace event in the world. This year BRC will be a city of 60,900! When the event is over, every trace of the city will be erased and the surface of the alkali dry lake bed where it is held will be returned to it's natural state. So I hope you will take it home, and enjoy it as you help it along on it's travels!

To the finder of this book:
Hello and congratulations! You have not only found yourself a good book, but a whole community of booklovers dedicated to sharing books with each other and the world at large. I hope you'll stick around a bit and get to know BookCrossing --maybe even make a journal entry about this book. You may choose to remain anonymous or to join (its free!) And if you do choose to join, I hope you'll consider using Fuzzmom (that's me!) as your referring member. Feel free to read and keep this book, or to pass it on to a friend or even set it out "in the wild" for someone else to find like you did. If you do choose to join and journal, then you can watch the book as it travels- You'll be alerted by email each time someone makes another journal entry. It's all confidential (you're known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address), free, and spam-free. Happy reading! 


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