The Twenty-Year Death (Hard Case Crime) (Hard Case Crime Book) Paperback – 1 Aug 2013
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"Bold, innovative, and thrilling - The Twenty-Year Death crackles with suspense and will keep you up late." (Stephen King) "It's a virtuoso act of literary recreation that's both astonishingly faithful and wildly, audaciously original. One hell of a debut." (James Frey) "The Twenty-Year Death is a bravura debut, ingenious and assured, and a fitting tribute to the trio of illustrious ghosts who are looking - with indulgence, surely - over Ariel Winter's shoulder." --John Bonville
One of the most original works of fiction I have read in any genre. --Pop Mythology
About the Author
A long-time bookseller, Ariel S. Winter is also the author of the forthcoming children's picture book One of a Kind (Aladdin) and of the blog We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie. His writing has appeared in The Urbanite and on McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and in 2008 he won the Free Press ""Who Can Save Us Now?"" short story contest. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't familiar with the writers being pastiched directly, but can see the influences of the decades in which each separate section was set shine through to make a compelling addition to the narrative than runs through each.
It's slightly difficult to review this book (books?!) without mentioning the general concept and format, but it's entertaining throughout. What is refreshing is that because the plot is driven by murders, instead of the modern police procedural approach, the period style writing of each decade means that the psychological aspects of the detectives and the crimes come to the fore, instead of the boring data cruching of modern thrillers, or just sitting back and watching an impossibly competent detective do his or her thing.
The Twenty Year Death is a big book and can seem a bit daunting, but definitely rewards the effort of diving in and immersing yourself in the different decades and styles and stories being told.
The first story, Maliniveau Prison follows a police detective trying to solve a murder in a small town in France.
The second, The Falling Star, follows a private detective who has been hired as protection for a movie star.
The third, Police At The Funeral, is about a man who goes to hear the reading of his ex-wife's will and accidentally kills his son.
Each story has a simple beginning which is interesting enough, but is expertly written up into something much more complex. The dust jacket is covered with quotes from people saying things about how the author manages to summon up the writing style of other great authors. This may be true, unfortunately I don't know who any of the other authors are. HOWEVER, I found while reading each story I was instantly able to conjure an entirely different picture in my mind.
The book is massively entertaining. I had decided by early on in the third story, that the second story was my favourite. The whole thing was really well written and I could all but hear a saxophone soundtrack in my head. Then I got to the later chapters of the third book and I was back to being torn. It's always nice when you read a particularly intense scene in a book and you feel yourself reading faster as the pace picks up!
I would recommend this to anyone! Definitely 5 stars.
(Full disclosure: I received this free from the publisher to review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not altered by this. In this case I would quite happily have paid for it!)
"In the style of" writing ultimately doesn't often deliver the same punch as an original in any art form, and that includes literature in all its variations. Each of the three novelettes in "The Twenty-Year..." has some good moments, but overall, it somehow it lacked plot and character vitality. I also found that the connection between them wasn't particularly convincing. That commonality was supposed to be in the person of a Frenchwoman whose life moves from tragedy to tragedy. Somehow though, the character never fully materializes, or least not enough to make the transitions believable.
Ariel Winter seems capable of producing a good, original book in his own style and I hope that he will.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Three books, written in three different styles but involving the same central characters. The problem is that the style of the last story grates harshly, making it very difficult... Read morePublished on 15 Feb. 2014 by Hugh Sedon
this book was a gift and the receiver likes it so it hit the spot, buts its a crime novelPublished on 3 Feb. 2014 by faraway
I do love a good crime novel and the chance to have 3 in one book wet my appetite even more.
I'd never heard of the author up to this point and noticed he'd only wrote a... Read more