Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    New Favorites | November 25, 2014

    Powell's Staff: IMG Our Favorite New Favorites of 2014



    Every week, we gather together a small pile of newly released titles that we agree should be on everyone's radar. We deem these titles our New... Continue »

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks, and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction

by

The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks, and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction Cover

ISBN13: 9780345481238
ISBN10: 0345481232
All Product Details

 

Review-A-Day

"The Triumph of the Thriller is full of interesting trivia and analyses for genre fans — who may find new titles they'd never heard of (while, perhaps, bristling at certain omissions) — and it also works as a terrific primer for those who haven't glanced at crime fiction since their brief, preadolescent Agatha Christie phase. It doesn't exactly break new ground in its assertions, but it provides absolution to thriller fans who no longer want to feel guilty for their reading pleasures." Chris Bolton, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

There's been a revolution in American popular fiction. The writers who dominated the bestseller lists a generation ago with blockbuster novels about movie stars and exotic foreign lands have been replaced by a new generation writing a new kind of bestseller, one that hooks readers with crime, suspense, and ever-increasing violence. Patrick Anderson, the Washington Post's man on the thriller beat, calls this revolution "the triumph of the thriller," and lists among its stars Thomas Harris, Michael Connelly, George Pelecanos, Dennis Lehane, Sue Grafton, and Elmore Leonard.

In his provocative, caustic, and often hilarious survey of today's popular fiction, Anderson shows us who the best thriller writers are — and the worst. He shows how Michael Connelly was inspired by Raymond Chandler, how George Pelecanos toiled in obscurity while he mastered his craft, how Sue Grafton created the first great woman private eye, and how Thomas Harris transformed an insane cannibal into the charming man of the world who made FBI agent Clarice Starling his lover.

Anderson shows Scott Turow inventing the modern legal thriller and John Grisham translating it into a stunning series of bestsellers. He casts a cold eye on Tom Clancy's militaristic techno-thrillers, and praises Alan Furst and Robert Littell as world-class spy novelists. He examines the pioneering role of Lawrence Sanders, the offbeat appeal of Dean Koontz, the unprecedented success of The Da Vinci Code, and the emergence of the literary thriller.

Most of all, Anderson demands that the best of these novelists be given their due — not as genre writers, but as some of the most talented men and women at work in American fiction. Don't trust the literary elites to tell you what to read, he warns — make up you own minds. The Triumph of the Thriller will convince many readers that we've entered an important new era in popular fiction. This book can be your guide to it.

Review:

"The reader who isn't a thriller fan but is curious about this enormously popular genre couldn't ask for a better introduction than Anderson's lively and informative survey. Anderson, the Washington Post weekly thriller reviewer and self-described 'middlebrow,' explains why the genre has come to dominate bestseller lists in recent years: 'Decades of war, recession, and political and corporate corruption have made Americans more cynical — or realistic — and thus more open to novels that examine the dark side of our society.' Then he quickly covers the 19th-century pioneers (Poe, Collins, Conan Doyle) and the early 20th-century greats (Christie, Hammett, Chandler). The book hits its stride with a chapter on the modern thriller's birth in the 1980s. The author champions such contemporary writers as Thomas Harris, George P. Pelecanos, Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane, but isn't afraid to condemn the work of such bestsellers as James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell. While the generous plot descriptions might spoil a novel like The Silence of the Lamb for those who have never read Harris, this personal, opinionated guide will satisfy even those well versed in the genre. Anderson is also the author of The President's Mistress and eight other novels." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'It is not true ... that the populace prefer bad literature to good, and accept detective stories because they are bad literature. ... Many good books have fortunately been popular; many bad books, still more fortunately, have been unpopular. ... The trouble in this matter is that many people do not realize that there is such a thing as a good detective story; it is to them like speaking of a good... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"The book suffers from way too much plot summary (spoilers galore!), which slows the otherwise jaunty pace, but that aside, Anderson offers an informative and insightful guide to the world of thrillers." Booklist

Review:

"Anderson has a great subject, but this lazy compendium of picks and pans barely scratches its surface." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[S]ometimes [Anderson] gets in the way of himself as a critic in the larger sense of the word....It would be a shame, however, to let the sometimes awkward relationship between the book's thesis and its contents undermine his ultimate authority on the topic." Art Taylor, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Whether one agrees with his selections or not, no one can dispute Anderson's premise that the thriller has become the heart of mainstream fiction." Library Journal

Review:

"Considering the thriller's cultural pervasiveness, its newfound sales and quality, it deserves a more rigorous workout than this walk-through." Newsday

Review:

"After reading it I know more names of thriller writers than I could previously recite, and have a small list of writers I'd like to check out...but I am no closer to knowing 'how cops, crooks, and cannibals captured popular fiction.'" Luc Sante, The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Patrick Anderson is the weekly thriller reviewer for the Washington Post. He is also the author of nine novels and three previous works of nonfiction and was at one time a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Al Gore, and others. In addition to the Post, he has reviewed books and written articles for the New York Times Book Review, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Playboy, the Washingtonian, and other publications.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

barbaral51, February 17, 2007 (view all comments by barbaral51)
I don't need absolution to enjoy a well-written thriller, but nice to see the "genre" recognized as a source of excellent writing.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345481238
Subtitle:
How Cops, Crooks, and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Anderson, Patrick
Subject:
General
Subject:
American fiction
Subject:
Detective and mystery stories, American
Subject:
Regional, Ethnic, Genre, Specific Subject
Subject:
Crime in literature
Subject:
Violence in literature
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Copyright:
Publication Date:
February 6, 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.64x6.24x.91 in. 1.15 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Reference and Criticism
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks, and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 288 pages Random House - English 9780345481238 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The reader who isn't a thriller fan but is curious about this enormously popular genre couldn't ask for a better introduction than Anderson's lively and informative survey. Anderson, the Washington Post weekly thriller reviewer and self-described 'middlebrow,' explains why the genre has come to dominate bestseller lists in recent years: 'Decades of war, recession, and political and corporate corruption have made Americans more cynical — or realistic — and thus more open to novels that examine the dark side of our society.' Then he quickly covers the 19th-century pioneers (Poe, Collins, Conan Doyle) and the early 20th-century greats (Christie, Hammett, Chandler). The book hits its stride with a chapter on the modern thriller's birth in the 1980s. The author champions such contemporary writers as Thomas Harris, George P. Pelecanos, Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane, but isn't afraid to condemn the work of such bestsellers as James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell. While the generous plot descriptions might spoil a novel like The Silence of the Lamb for those who have never read Harris, this personal, opinionated guide will satisfy even those well versed in the genre. Anderson is also the author of The President's Mistress and eight other novels." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The Triumph of the Thriller is full of interesting trivia and analyses for genre fans — who may find new titles they'd never heard of (while, perhaps, bristling at certain omissions) — and it also works as a terrific primer for those who haven't glanced at crime fiction since their brief, preadolescent Agatha Christie phase. It doesn't exactly break new ground in its assertions, but it provides absolution to thriller fans who no longer want to feel guilty for their reading pleasures." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "The book suffers from way too much plot summary (spoilers galore!), which slows the otherwise jaunty pace, but that aside, Anderson offers an informative and insightful guide to the world of thrillers."
"Review" by , "Anderson has a great subject, but this lazy compendium of picks and pans barely scratches its surface."
"Review" by , "[S]ometimes [Anderson] gets in the way of himself as a critic in the larger sense of the word....It would be a shame, however, to let the sometimes awkward relationship between the book's thesis and its contents undermine his ultimate authority on the topic."
"Review" by , "Whether one agrees with his selections or not, no one can dispute Anderson's premise that the thriller has become the heart of mainstream fiction."
"Review" by , "Considering the thriller's cultural pervasiveness, its newfound sales and quality, it deserves a more rigorous workout than this walk-through."
"Review" by , "After reading it I know more names of thriller writers than I could previously recite, and have a small list of writers I'd like to check out...but I am no closer to knowing 'how cops, crooks, and cannibals captured popular fiction.'"
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.