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The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction (Rough Guides Reference Titles) Paperback – 7 Jun 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 1 edition (7 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843536544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843536543
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 1.5 x 16 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 161,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Barry Forshaw reviews crime fiction for The Independent and The Express, and edits Crime Time magazine

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a useful book for both crime afficionados wanting tips on some more obscure new directions and for newcomers who just want to know where to start.

Each chapter recommends and reviews a selection of crime novels (over 200 in total) and there are the usual Rough Guide boxes and sidebars on related areas such as films, author profiles and crime genres. The chapters are organised thematically and range from the origins of crime fiction (Edgar Allan Poe, Conan Doyle) and the 'golden age' (Christie, Allingham, Sayers) through hard-boiled (Chandler, Hammett, Thompson) to more contemporary genres such as police procedural, espionage, serial killers, organized crime etc. The reviews maintain a fine balance between criticism and enthusiasm and cleverly avoid the 'spoiler' pitfalls of revealing too much plot.

The book is much stronger on contemporary writers and most of the selections are books published in the last 30 years so if you want lots of recommendations for 'classic' golden age novels then you would be better served looking elsewhere. Despite the focus on the contemporary, the book has several flaws - it is fairly weak on foreign fiction despite there being one chapter devoted to this and contains nothing on important writers such as Jean-Patrick Manchette, Peter Hoeg, Jo Nesbo, Ake Edwardson, Janwillem van de Wetering, Manuel Vazquez Montalban, Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, Massimo Carlotto, Jose Carlos Somoza etc. There are also a number of important contemporary writers who are also absent (the outstanding John Franklin Bardin, Don Winslow, Jonathan Lethem, Christopher Fowler, Andrew Vachss, Jeff Lindsay, Reginald Hill, Ken Bruen, Shane Stevens etc).
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Format: Paperback
I thought I had read a lot of crime novels, but this review of the genre opened up many new areas.I intend to work my way through the books recommended,as many authors were unknown to me. Some reviews I agree with, others I don't- makes life interesting!
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Format: Paperback
I purchased 'The Rough Guide To Crime Fiction' after seeing it in a local library. I found the broadening of my knowledge of crime writers very useful and, having read the review of Martin O'Brien's Jacquot series very interesting and got all four books out from the local library. Two read, on the third, and absolutely brilliant. So anyone remotely interested in crime fiction shouln't be without 'The Rough guide To Fiction'.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author displays his knowledge of the genre in a pocket-sized reference work. Don't get too excited about the Ian Rankin Foreword , it is only four paragraphs long. The layout is a series of chapters on sub-genres such as, inter alia, 'serial killers', 'organized crime' and 'espionage'.

The attraction of thse reference works is the pitching of ones own opinions against the author. This extends to the classification of some 'crime' writers as well as the Amazon-review-size comments on individual books.

If you are thinking of buying this please note Mr Forshaw's own Introductory comments, 'It covers everything.....although a larger emphasis is placed on contemporary writers'. This is an understatement. The real appeal of this book is for those interested in the last decade. As such, this 2007 edition could already do with a reprint if it is to continue to play to its strengths.
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