Thursday, 28 October 2021

Mini Review: The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction


What's not to like about the Rough Guide series of books designed to give an introduction to a subject? I've already got several of these books in my collection - Blues, Elvis, Western Movies, Poker, The Beatles, Wine. And as soon as I saw this new volume, edited by Crimetime boss Barry Forshaw I wasn't long getting to the checkout.

The books starts with an introduction by crime master, Ian Rankin and then after a brief preface we're quickly into the meat of the volume. It's split into sections covering classics, the Golden Age, PI's, Hard-boiled, Cops, Amateurs and others making this an exhaustive study of the world's most successful literary genre and its'  sub-genres.

There are numerous lists of books to read in the various sub-genres and the foreign language crime list was especially welcome with its pointers towards crime classics from non-English speaking countries which have been translated into English.

This book is great for crime buffs and newcomers alike and each section features potted review of must read books in that particular sub-genre. For instance in the hard-boiled section the book heavily recommends The Asphalt Jungle by W R Burnett,The Postman always Rings twice by James Cain, Chandler's The Big Sleep, No Orchids for Miss Blandish by James Hardley Chase, Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammet, Kiss Me Deadly by the late great Mickey Spillane and several pulp classics I'd never heard of but will be checking out.

An excellent referance work.

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