“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.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Crime Times

Hoo-rah! The Times wades into the escalating war on who the greatest crime writer might be, producing its own list of the Top 50 ‘Greatest Crime Writers’, producing something of a shock-horror (appropriately enough, given her subject matter) with its nomination for the greatest, Patricia Highsmith (right). The CAP panel of judging elves would very probably have plumped for Leonard, Chandler and Ellroy for their Top Three (the order depending on how hard they’d been hitting the Elf-Wonking Juice on any particular afternoon), but no one ever listens to the elves, so who gives a rat’s caboodle? Anyhoo, The Times publishes its Top 50 list tomorrow, but we have a sneak preview at this very link right here courtesy of the ever-friendly Times folk, where they’re also promising “explanations of how the list was created, who was on our judging panel, and some fun little sidebars about translating Crime Fiction to TV and Film, etc.” Without further ado, albeit with a tiny little trumpet parp, herewith be the illustrious Top Ten:
1. Patricia Highsmith
2. Georges Simenon
3. Agatha Christie
4. Raymond Chandler
5. Elmore Leonard
6. Arthur Conan Doyle
7. Ed McBain
8. James M. Cain
9. Ian Rankin
10. James Lee Burke

4 comments:

Mikey said...

Nice work buddy!

Kerrie said...

It is an interesting list which I have commented further on in my blog. I don't think I've read enough of Highsmith, but I thought the order was a bit odd.
There are some notable exclusions too - no Australian or Canadian authors that I could see, despite some possible contenders.
It seemed too that it might be a list influenced by an author's influence on other media particularly film and television.
Nevertheless it will point people in good directions

Declan Burke said...

The whole point of these exercises being to get people nit-picking and wibbling about why their favourites have been left out, the Grand Vizier wants to know how come Horace McCoy never seems to feature in these lists. And, even though Edward Anderson only had one novel to his name, it's still such a seminal piece that it seems bonkers to leave him out. Any takers? Cheers, Dec

cfr said...

I felt I came late to Michael Connelly; net friends had been reading him for years before I finally listened and read my first. And then my second. And then - you get the picture. I consider it a crime that he's not on the list.

But, all in all, a good list, well prepared and explained. Odd though, that Harlan Coben is on the list as Berlins ruled out thrillers and surely Coben is more of a thriller writer than a crime writer? It just shows the boundaries blur...