BOOK REVIEW: THE TRIUMPH OF THE THRILLER
Patrick Anderson had reviewed both fiction and nonfiction for Book World. Marie Arana, the editor of the Washington Post Book World, now wanted him to focus on crime-related novels. Why? Just look at the bestseller lists and you will see that these types of books are right there in the top ten.
The author states that over the years he has become a fan of writers John D. MacDonald, Lawrence Sanders, Elmore Leonard and several others. Growing up, Patrick read novels by James Michener, Harold Robbins and John O'Hara. Today these novelists are being replaced by books that are crime related and include hard-core noir.
The author points out that in February of 2006, nine of the ten books listed for Book World were thrillers. Shortly thereafter, the New York Times Book Review had fifteen thrillers among its sixteen hardback best sellers. That is really amazing when you think about it.
Anderson gives the reader his thoughts as to who writes the best thrillers and the worst. He has a section called "Four Modern Masters" where he details the writing styles of Thomas Harris, George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane.
To summarize, Mr. Anderson believes that the "thriller has become the mainstream of American popular fiction and why that's a good thing". The reader will have to decide whether or not they agree with Mr. Anderson. I must admit that he certainly provides some food for thought and I do agree that the reading habits of people have certainly changed over the years. I have noticed that several times when I look at the bestseller lists. The author also gives us his reasons as to why he believes the public is now reading the thriller books. Even if you don't agree with the author, you will find this book an interesting and entertaining read.
REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON
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