One Across, Two Down

One Across, Two Down

One Across Two Down Two things interest Stanley Manning crossword puzzles and the substantial sum his wife Vera stands to inherit when his mother in law dies Otherwise life at Lanchester Road is a living hell For Mr

  • Title: One Across, Two Down
  • Author: Ruth Rendell
  • ISBN: 9780375704949
  • Page: 343
  • Format: Paperback
  • Two things interest Stanley Manning crossword puzzles, and the substantial sum his wife Vera stands to inherit when his mother in law dies Otherwise, life at 61 Lanchester Road is a living hell For Mrs Kinaway lives with them now and she will stop at nothing to tear their marriage apart One afternoon, Stanley sets aside his crossword puzzles and changes all thei Two things interest Stanley Manning crossword puzzles, and the substantial sum his wife Vera stands to inherit when his mother in law dies Otherwise, life at 61 Lanchester Road is a living hell For Mrs Kinaway lives with them now and she will stop at nothing to tear their marriage apart One afternoon, Stanley sets aside his crossword puzzles and changes all their lives forever In One Across, Two Down, master crime writer Ruth Rendell describes a man whose strained sanity and stained reputation transform him from a witless loser into a killer afraid of his own shadow Mischievously plotted, smart, maddeningly entertaining, One Across, Two Down is a dark delight classic Rendell.

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      Published :2019-04-19T23:19:13+00:00

    363 Comment

    a Rendell specialty: ironic downward trajectories and the banality of drab lives. as always, she resists easy condescension. fascinating and darkly-hued, but at times the bleakness becomes almost formulaic. the "protagonist" Stanley is an often mordantly amusing creation, by turns sympathetic and repulsive. he is surrounded by women who are almost caricatured gargoyles. there is barely a mystery here, but rather a grim, non-thrilling psychological thriller. this early work by the author clearly [...]

    My favorite Rendell read thus far, no small accomplishment, because I like her other books, but this one just hit a new note of excellence as far as psychological thrillers go. There once lived a family in an old shabby end of terrace house, a profoundly unhappy family and, as per Tolstoy's sage quote, unhappy in their own way. Quietly struggling ona pathetic no good husband, a beaten down (worn out not punching bag style) wife and her difficult, overbearing mother. Enter a possibility of inheri [...]

    In this book, Ruth Rendell perfectly captures what it must feel like to do something horrible spontaneously and then spend a huge amount of time and energy covering it up and worrying about being found out. The anxiety is overwhelming and blots out any benefit one might have expected to receive. Super fast and engaging read with a satisfying ending.

    I'm a huge fan of Ruth Rendell's suspense novels (as opposed to her Inspector Wexford mysteries, which I don't read as often) and always enjoy her crisp prose and wit. But this novel, from the 1970s, isn't as good as most, perhaps because none of the main characters are compelling. The main protagonist is Stanley, a no-good husband who wants his mother-in-law dead so he can finally put his hands on her money. These two enemies spar humorously, neither of them attractive to the reader, while Vera [...]

    Sometimes it's nice to go to something early by a writer to remind oneself that the two of you did get on and it is only in more recent times that there has been a need to part.The idea itself is nice: as Stanley descends into his breakdown, the only thing that keeps his tic at bay is crosswords. He is a ghastly creep for whom one nonetheless can't help feeling a little sorry. Rendell's good enough to do that. Read her early stuff, if you like this sort of thing, it is quite worth it.

    Compared to other crime writers, this is a great book. Compared to other Ruth Rendell books it's good, but not great. She does such a wonderful job of creating an interesting story even when there's no mystery involved; we know who did what to whom from the outset.

    I wish we had the option of 2.5 stars here. One Across. Two Down is not Rendell's best. With that said, it's still got that cozy creepiness that I love about her novels. Ne'er-do-well Stanley Manning is sick of his sad sack wife Vee (Vera) and shrill mother-in-law Maude. To make matters worse, Maude's longtime friend Ethel will be coming to stay with them, so Stanely will be subjected to a third nattering voice interrupting his already feeble concentration while he solves crossword puzzles and w [...]

    You could almost feel sorry for Stanley. His mother-in-law lives with him and his wife, Vera, in a small house, and Maud’s only goal in life seems to be to get her daughter to leave her husband. On top of that, she doesn’t lift a finger around the house, despite being in tolerably good health for her age, and she constantly reminds them of how much money she has in the bank, while contributing only meager sums to the household. But look a little closer, and maybe the cantankerous Maud is the [...]

    I have read dozens of Rendell's books, and this early novel is one of her best. In general, I find I prefer her shorter books. I have no interest in the descriptive writing she drifts into in her later works, i.e what kind of trees the characters walk past, and this engaging story is tautly written.Rendell has an uncanny ability to drill down into her characters thoughts. Many writers can do this with a single protagonist, but Rendell seems to be able to do with her entire cast. As is always the [...]

    I found the murderer's mundaneness fascinating. This is not as complex as some of Rendell's other books, but it was hard for me to put down.

    Choose this book as my 1971 birthday challenge read. It was ok, nothing great but a quick entertaining read. Not something you must read.

    This was an audiobook on cassette. I read as far as the beginning of the 3rd cassette (about 1/3 of the novel) when the tape broke. I can't say I liked the plot or (especially) the characters enough to be motivated to go out and find another version so I can finish it. I didn't like any of the characters at all. Not even a little bit.That said, the reader was very good. I probably would have finished the book just to hear him. And I gave it three stars because the writing--the wordsmithing--was [...]

    Here we have three miserable people: Vera and her husband, Stanley, plus her mother, Maud, all seemingly trapped in a house where Vera is constantly caught in the middle of the warfare between the other two. Stanley commits two murders with the aim of getting his hands on Vera's inheritance, but in the course of the story she develops a backbone and actually finds happiness in the end. Stanley becomes a basket case and gets his just desserts, as usual in Ruth Rendell's satisfying mysteries.

    TRIGGER WARNINGS: classism, misogyny, miscarriage, theft, ageism, abuse of adult-child, ableism, domestic violence, slander, violent content

    Entertaining enough, though all the characters are dislikable and miserable as hell. Stanley's descent into madness/paranoia is interesting to watch to the end.

    I was really impressed with this book. Although the quality of writing seemed a slight step down at first after spending so long on Henry Handel Richardson, Rundell provides great passages of lively vividness and psychological realism. Much of the book is similar to the film adaptation I saw a number of years ago, Arvin Brown's _Diary of the Dead_, which was released only five years after the novel's original 1971 publication. As good as that film was, much of what was different about the novel [...]

    It was OK, until the end which I found dull. Found the writing a bit amateurish but it was written in early 70s so it's dated. Felt there were some plot lines that were left hanging. Only read it because writer of another book I read recommended it as being one of his favorites and inspiration for his novel Kind Worth Killing.

    I have previously read Judgment in Stone and 13 Steps Down from Rendell, and I can say that this book was a little reminiscent of her other works, in regards to the structure of the story. I am glad I read 13 Steps Down first, as it was extremely similar but much better. Since I like La Ceremonie so much (the movie version of Judgment in Stone), I don't remember if the people going door to door to collect clothes for the church was in the book also, or just in the movie. That was one of the more [...]

    Layabout Stanley is good for nothing except solving and even composing crossword puzzles; certainly he's not good at holding down a job. He's stuck in a small house in London with his colourless wife Vera and his truly ghastly mother-in-law Maud, praying for the day when Maud will shuffle off this mortal coil and he and Vera -- which, in Stanley's mind, means just he -- can get their hands on Maud's money. On the day that Maud's if anything even ghastlier friend Ethel arrives to stay there start [...]

    One Across Two Down by Ruth Rendell is a book I picked up from a Little Free Library. Having never read anything by this famous British mystery writer, I decided it was past time to become acquainted with an author who ranks with P.D James as highly respected and influential authors.This 1971 book is a story about ne'er-do-well Stanley Manning and Vera, his subservient wife. Maud, his shrewish live-in mother-in-law and Ethel, another shrewish female relative who is coming to visit, promise to ma [...]

    Stanley Manning and his wife, Vera, live with Vera's mother, Maud, an impulsive decision made years ago and regretted ever since. There is never peace in the household: Maud and Stanley are forever at loggerheads- each annoys the other- while Vera works and barely supports the household. Maud is determined to get Vera away from her 'good-for-nothing' husband. She dreams of a happy life in the countryside, living off Maud's savings. Stanley, however, is not so pleased. For one, it means he will n [...]

    One Across, Two Down is the somewhat mundane murder mystery of a distasteful husband, Stanley, who wants nothing more than to off his mother-in-law and inherit her money; the mother-in-law, Maud, who is disagreeable and constantly tries to convince her daughter to leave Stanley; and Vera, an overworked, retiring woman besieged by both her overbearing mother and negligent husband.When Maud's friend, Ethel, comes to visit, events conspire to create a mystery that, intriguingly, does not rest on th [...]

    I picked up this Ruth Rendell because of the crossword theme which sounded interesting but actually found that the theme got a bit tedious. What was most interesting about it though was than it's now forty years old and the world has changed a lot in that time. It features one of the characters getting excited about buying her first fridge and washing machine, items I (nearly as old as the book is) have trouble thinking about living without for very long!It's not a mystery, it's one of those boo [...]

    I thought this book sounded like an interesting read (an unhappily married man who knocks off his mother-in-law to get his wife's inheritance early) but I really didn't enjoy any of it. It's not that it was necessarily poorly written, it just wasn't well written. I was bored a lot and didn't really care for any of the characters. Stanley is just such a loser, I couldn't get over it. Come on man - get a job!! And although I could see that the author wanted us to feel badly for his wife, I just co [...]

    This is one of Rendell's first books and it is fun to read the liner notes which say "Rendell is the most skillful of the up and coming crime writers". Of course, she became one of the grande dames of British mystery writers.In this compact little book, we find a clever plot which involves a man who doesn't like his wife, hates his mother-in-law who lives with them (the feeling is reciprocated), is basically a ne'er do well, and is obsessed with crossword puzzles. He discovers that his MIL has q [...]

    A typical case of crime and punishment becomes extended into a psychological treatment of drab life and failure. The dullness of the main characters, Stanley (from whose perspective most of the story is told) and Vera, as well as the long monologues that give depth to these characters are simultaneously what may appeal to the reader and cause disinterest. In general, nothing much happens. Even the deaths are either accidental or natural, although Stanley deserves to be punished for them and whil [...]

    Enjoy Ruth Rendell work. A clever theme is running through the novel with a dramatic ending. A page turner

    This book started out with great promise and I very much liked it throughout most of it, but I was very disappointed that the ending fell flat. Actually, the ending just sort of faded away with no real kick at all. The "murder" occurred early in the book, and I loved the strong development of Stanley and Vera as their relationship changed as their characters evolved their personalities due to circumstances surrounding the death. I think I'll try more from this author to see what else she has com [...]

    This book is excellent! A FANTASTIC plot which was written very well. The characters were very well created and portrayed. When I was reading the book, I found that when I would put it down I'd feel the characters still with me. Even though the reader is not supposed to like them, you can't help but want to see of them. The setting was also very well chosen. Rendell didn't fall into the trap of crime fiction, and save all the fun and tension for the last few chapters. She managed to keep me comp [...]

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