Monday, November 17, 2003

Literature isn't dead, it's just resting 

Time Magazine features, as Mark Sarvas says, the obligatory "Literature is Dead" stuff & nonsense. This mantra does seem to sound every few years or so, and instead of writing articles about it, how about reading some wonderful new authors? Let me suggest some additional folks that fulfill the criteria of "carefully, lovingly grafting the prose craft of the literary heap onto the sinewy, satisfying plots of the trashy one to produce hybrid novels that offer the pleasures of both." There's Michael Collins, whose latest book LOST SOULS perfectly straddles the literary and thriller world. Robert Clark's MR. WHITE'S CONFESSION is another great example of a literary thriller. Caleb Carr's THE ALIENIST and THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS are often mentioned, but I'd also like to add Lisa Appignanesi's PARIS REQUIEM, Andrew Taylor's THE AMERICAN BOY, and Elizabeth Redfern's THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES to the "literary historical thriller" ranks. Finally, I just want to beat the drum of one of my all-time favorites, Irish author Eoin McNamee, who also writes Alistair MacLean-style thrillers under the pseudonym John Creed. His prose makes my jaw drop on a constant basis, and his writing is as tough as it comes. Some of you know RESURRECTION MAN but it would be a shame to miss out on the rest of his novels (and he has a new one, THE ULTRAS, coming out in the UK in March.)

Point is, it would take a whole hell of a lot to kill literature. But it's nice to get pessimistic once in a while, I suppose.

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