Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “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.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why Women Read Crime Fiction

I got a press release during the week - I don’t think it’s fair to mention the publisher, nor the writer it was plugging - that offered the following reasons as to why women are hooked on crime fiction:
1. Our relationship with the prospect of danger; from a young age women are primed to expect fear.

2. Escapism; pure enjoyment.

3. Anti-romance.

4. Possibility of learning survival tips to use if we’re kidnapped.
  All three regular readers of CAP might want to believe that I inserted # 4 just to make sure they were paying attention, but I’m afraid not: somebody, somewhere, believes women are so thick - or perhaps just the ones that read crime fiction? - that they read crime novels for survival advice.
  As for the other reasons: aren’t men primed from an early age to expect fear? Don’t they read for escapism and enjoyment? Aren’t men - historically, fatally - anti-romance?
  Honestly, folks, some days you wonder why you do it …