“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Crimes Against Crime Fiction # 2,102: The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph ran a feature on Saturday entitled ‘50 Crime Writers To Read Before You Die’, and we’re still not sure if we should laugh or cry. Yes, we’ve always had a sneaking fondness for GREAT EXPECTATIONS as a noir-ish tale – but Charles Dickens as a crime writer? Hmmmmm ... Happy days for The Artist Formerly Known As Colin Bateman, who gets the following entry: “Any appearance by Bateman’s regular protagonist, journalist Dan Starkey, heralds the imminent death in amusing fashion of half the population of Belfast. Comic thrillers that are actually comic and thrilling.” Hurrah! Okay, now for the crying bit: the list of 50 does not – repeat not – include James M. Cain, Ross Macdonald, John D. McDonald, W.R. Burnett or Horace McCoy. Seriously. But it does – repeat, does – include Benjamin Black. Wot? Benny Blanco? ARE YOU FRICKIN’ KIDDING US?????

4 comments:

Uriah Robinson said...

Dec believe it or not Mr Mckie of the Telegraph panel commented on Crime Scraps that P.D James, Baroness James no less, degrees coming out of her ears PD James, President of the Society of Authors, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts,OBE can't write!!??

Peter said...

Oh, boy, are those Telegraphers rubbing their hands with glee at the debate their list is generating! One would almost they think they threw in a few outrageous choices and made some provocatively silly remarks just to spark discussion, thus engaging in a practice seen by some as the curse of blogging. But would an organ of the respectable press do that?
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Declan Burke said...

Uriah - Sadly, I can't comment, having never read any of PD James' novels. Yes, I'm wearing a pointy hat as I type ... Peter - How cynical, sir. Anyone would think you work in the newspaper industry ... But seriously, folks - no James M. Cain or Ross Macdonald? Criminal ... Cheers, Dec

Uriah Robinson said...

He didn't think Colin Dexter or Tony Hillerman could write either, but then they aren't Dames of the British Empire.