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Calling enthusiasts of crime fiction!

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 08:07 am
@djjd62,
Quote:
an odd blend of detective and fantasy


Quote:
Synopsis:
Inspector Tyador Borlú, of the Extreme Crime Squad in the European city-state of Besźel, investigates the murder of Mahalia Geary, a foreign student found dead with her face disfigured in a Besźel street. He soon learns that Geary had been involved in the political and cultural turmoil involving Besźel and its twin city of Ul Qoma. His investigations start in his home city of Besźel, lead him to Ul Qoma to assist the Ul Qoman police in their work, and eventually result in an examination of the legend of Orciny, a rumoured third city existing in the spaces between Besźel and Ul Qoma.


Sounds quite unusual, dj!
I've heard of China Mieville but have not read any his writing.



msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 08:27 am
Just before I head off to bed ... it's late.

I blundered onto this short piece about the differences between US & UK crime fiction just now. (Actually I was wondering, given that the treatment of crime in tv serials between the two countries seems so different ... not that I'm any expert, mind. Smile )

Does this seem to you to be a reasonably accurate description of the two?

Quote:
British & American Crime Fiction

We all know that there is a difference between British crime thrillers & American crime thrillers. The simplest outline of the difference is in how the victim dies: a quiet death by poison or a brutal murder usually in a hail of bullets. I don't think you need to be told which is which.

Recently I read a long article about the American crime-fiction writer Dashiell Hammett written by the great contemporary Canadian authoress Margaret Atwood. Within the article is a brilliant comparison of American & British crime writing.

In American detective fiction “There were more corpses, with less importance bestowed on each: a new character would appear, only to be gunned down by a fire spitting revolver." This is so true of American detective stories. By the time it is over anywhere from five to ten people have been killed and they have all been gunned down by a fire-spitting revolver . In British crime fiction one death is more than enough. They'll spend 200 pages tracking down this vicious killer -- and along the way there might be bash on the head, or an almost death. In American crime fiction there are many people who die and "less importance is bestowed on each." Since we hardly know these people, what is one, or ten, more dead.

As Margaret Atwood goes on to say, British crime novels are clues novels: Who was where is very important. We are following small, but very important clues, not a trail of dead bodies. To continue to quote Atwood, in American crime fiction “The action was dispersed, not sealed up in a nobody-leaves-this-house puzzle: dark mean streets were prowled, cars were driven at speed, people blew in from elsewhere and hid out, and skipped town."

What a great analysis of the differences. Yes, that's American crime fiction: cars are driven at speeds, dark mean streets are prowled, people blew in, skipped town. The nobody-leaves-this-house crime fiction is quintessentially British. In America we leave the house and blow up the house with everybody else left inside the house. We blow things up, speed away in fast-flashy cars. They stay in the house and follow a trail of clues.

Finally, what marked out American crime fiction for Margaret Atwood was that "there was a lot of drinking, of substances I had never heard of, and a great deal of smoking." Again, how American: drinking, lots of it, exotic drinks, and plumes of cigarette smoke. Tough guys smoke cigarettes. They aren't afraid to die; they love to smoke and drink.

How different the two are, and what a brilliant short analysis: lots of corpses, lots of drinking, lots of smoking -- and fast cars as people come in & out & die in bunches. And then there is the no one leaves this house, lets follow small clues, who was where when. No one is saying one form is better than the other. All we are saying is that the forms are radically different.


http://www.henryandjacqui.com/Radio/UK-US/CrimefictAmerUK.htm

Then I stumbled on a comparison of UK & Canadian crime fiction!
But figured things were complicated enough already!
But, I'm interested, do you think there are distinctive national "styles" of crime writing, as this article suggests?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 08:30 am
OK, thanks for your suggestions, all.
Much appreciated.
Feel free to talk or argue amongst yourselves if you'd like to. Smile

Night night.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  3  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 08:38 am
I like Raymond Chandler.
He appeals to me because his detective, Phillip Marlowe(a man who walks the "mean streets" with a sense of honor and a notion of justice, who neither wears them on his sleeve nor allows them to be corrupted) is an example of the contradictions found in men who balance masculinity and romance.

I would suggest as a starting point Chandler's critical essay "The Simple Art Of Murder" in which he reviews the crime fiction works of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Chandler was not a big fan of English crime writers. He complained:(They are)..preoccupied with "hand-wrought dueling pistols, curare and tropical fish."
And:"The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers."
As Izzie astutely pointed out, when Chandler narrates his fiction through Marlowe's eyes it fundamentally changes the crime novel.
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 10:56 am
@msolga,
I'm quite enjoying Canadian author, Louise Penny.

I can highly recommend her A Trick of the Light and Still Life, so far.

And, of course, anything by Agatha Christie.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:14 pm
@panzade,
Quote:
I would suggest as a starting point Chandler's critical essay "The Simple Art Of Murder" in which he reviews the crime fiction works of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Thanks for that suggestion, panz.
Will do, if I can track it down.

Quote:
"The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers."

Ha!
The English might not agree! Wink
You are obviously a big Chandler fan.

Thanks, too, for your suggestion, Irishk .
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:15 pm
I have quite a list of suggested authors now.
I'll print off this list & go searching!:

Arthur Conan Doyle
Ngaio Marsh
Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
Dorothy Sayers
P. D. James
Sue Grafton
Raymond Chandler
Phillip Kerr
Barbara Nadel
Jacqueline Winspear
Donna Leon
Henning Mankell
Agatha Christie
Sara Paretsky
China Mieville
Louise Penny.

Which authors & what books I end up reading will depend on availability, from pre-loved sources & also my local library.
Also based what I call the "readability test" ... meaning a few sample reads, at various random pages here & there, for any book I'm considering reading.

Thank you very much to all of you! Smile
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:17 pm
@msolga,
Oh, wait, that's me.

I have as usual many opinions. Back later.

I may need to interview you, as one of my enthusiasms is crime fiction from around the globe.. re what areas interest you.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:21 pm
@ossobuco,
I'll agree first with Roberta on Sjovall and Wahloo.

I've read all the brits at length, and they are not my present interest at all, but, that withstanding, they give a good foundation for the genre.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:26 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
Oh, wait, that's me.

I have as usual many opinions. Back later.

No problem, osso.
Take your time. I'll certainly keep reading any late posts. I'm sure quite a few others will, too.

Quote:
I may need to interview you, as one of my enthusiasms is crime fiction from around the globe.. re what areas interest you.

OK, we'll appoint a time that suits then! Smile
I'd be very interested in what you have to say.
But, as I say, no rush, OK?

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:30 pm
@ossobuco,
Spueing names, I like Mankell, and Rankin, and before all that liked at least two japanese writers, one netherland person, one belgian, a turk in germany, and a psychologically oriented writer from brazil. Oh, and whatsisname from italy, Carafiglio, in the order he wrote the books.

I like the whole Soho Crime series, well not all of the books but most. I can never throw them out so I have about sixty. The base of the series is lucid writing.

Do not wave a book with food or pets as the trick in front of my face.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:38 pm
@ossobuco,
Msolga, I'd mail you my soho crime books but it would cost too much to either of us to do that.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:44 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
Spueing names, I like Mankell, and Rankin ....

Ian Rankin certainly rings a bell, osso!

Inspector Rebus!
Regular Oz ABC Friday night fare!



Writing Scotland:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/arts/writingscotland/writers/ian_rankin/works.shtml
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:46 pm
@ossobuco,
I know you would if you could, osso. Smile
Damn postage costs!
The last book I posted o/s ... the postage fee cost more than the book!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 06:57 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
Do not wave a book with food or pets as the trick in front of my face.

Laughing
OK, I won't do that then, osso.


Updated list:

Arthur Conan Doyle
Ngaio Marsh
Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
Dorothy Sayers
P. D. James
Sue Grafton
Raymond Chandler
Phillip Kerr
Barbara Nadel
Jacqueline Winspear
Donna Leon
Henning Mankell
Agatha Christie
Sara Paretsky
China Mieville
Louise Penny
Ian Rankin
Henning Mankell
Gianrico Carofiglio



Gianrico Carofiglio:
http://italian-mysteries.com/GCAap.html

-
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 07:22 pm
@msolga,
I'll be obnoxious and give my present takes on all those, not meaning to offend anyone, much less the authors. I'll have to work up categories.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 07:26 pm
@ossobuco,
By all means.
Feel free to comment on any of the authors.
Same goes for anyone else who's interested.
We might end up having a debate on our hands!
That'll liven things up a bit! Wink
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 07:35 pm
@ossobuco,

Arthur Conan Doyle - foundation reading
Ngaio Marsh - foundation reading
Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo - got my interest early and well. I remember mentioning it on abuzz or a2k and Walter telling me how wrong I was.
Dorothy Sayers - foundation reading
P. D. James - foundation reading
Sue Grafton - pabulum, I dare you to read every one
Raymond Chandler - classic, here I bow
Phillip Kerr - not clear if I've read him, will now remember the name
Barbara Nadel - I loved the first one of hers I read and got less enthused with the next, and so on
Jacqueline Winspear - not a name I know
Donna Leon - I've read most of those, am fond, but finally not that engaged, though naturally I like the surroundings
Henning Mankell - yes
Agatha Christie - I'm sure I've read all of them, but it was a long time ago. I think of these as having the pinpoints of excellence re brit mysteries and all of the failures.
Sara Paretsky - eh. Woman romps on rooftops, or whatever. Ok, a good way to spend an hour or two.
China Mieville - don't know
Louise Penny - don't know
Ian Rankin - know well, biased for
Henning Mankell - know well, biased for
Gianrico Carofiglio - the writer is a man that interests me.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 07:36 pm
@msolga,
I've a lot of other names.

Will post some soon or tomorrow.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2012 07:38 pm
@ossobuco,
Ok, I'll leave for the evening with one name, Joseph Kanon.
0 Replies
 
 

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