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Murder and Other Acts of Literature Paperback – January 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 345 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes Noble Books; First edition. edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760712468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760712467
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,151,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YAAA collection of short stories by authors not usually associated with the mystery genre. Though the stories certainly qualify as murder-mystery tales and have their share of criminals, they would not be considered "high crime." Haunting images can be found in William Trevor's "The Hotel of the Idle Moon," in which an elderly servant and mistress are reduced to garret-living in her beautiful country home after stranded travelers fast-talk them out of their residence. In Naguib Mahfouz's "By a Person Unknown," the director-general of a locality, frustrated by the inability of the police to catch a serial killer, decides that if the killings are no longer mentioned in the media, life can return to normal. Alice Walker's "How Did I Get Away with Killing One of the Biggest Lawyers in the State? It Was Easy" is one of those delicious, savory tales of ironic justice. The works of 22 other authors, including Isak Dinesen, A.A. Milne, Rudyard Kipling, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, and James Thurber, can be found in this stellar collection that beautifully blends literature and murder.APam Spencer, formerly at Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Veteran anthologist Slung avoids the stuffiness attendant on her most distinguished predecessors in the crime-fiction-can-be- literature-too genre (Ellery Queen's Poetic Justice and The Literature of Crime) by loosening her definitions of both crime fiction and literature. Edith Wharton's nightmarish ``A Journey,'' Rudyard Kipling's decorously chilling ``Mary Postgate,'' and John Cheever's deceptively casual ``Montraldo'' are only marginally crime stories; only by stretching a point could the Waspish anecdotes of Evelyn Waugh and A.A. Milne, or the backstage fustian of Louisa May Alcott, be called literature. Yet the two dozen stories she's collected--which also include unexpected entries by W.S. Gilbert, T.H. White, Isak Dinesen, Eudora Welty (an exceptionally creepy little tale), William Trevor (ditto), Patrick O'Brian, Nadine Gordimer, Gabriel Garc¡a M rquez, Muriel Spark, Paul Theroux, Naguib Mahfouz, Alice Walker, Isabel Allende, and Fay Weldon, as well as chestnuts by William Faulkner and James Thurber--however uneven in their melding of literature and crime, are never, ever boring. Though a better title might be Famous Authors Try Their Hands at Crime (Anthony Trollope?! Virginia Woolf?!), Slung's collection is a revelation in more ways than one. (Book-of-the- Month Club main selection) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked up this little gem at a used bookstore--and what a pleasure! Editor Slung has taken a slew of great, classic authors (Cheever, Welty, Milne, Thurber, Walker, Faulkner, Woolf, just to name a few) and found within each one's portfolio of works a short tale exemplifying some type of crime (mostly murder). These clever, thought-provoking--usually deceptive-- tales prove that great authors are great for a reason--and that one does not have to be known for (or locked into) a specific genre; the truly greats can (and often do) "switch-hit" so to speak. All stories within this tome are remarkable--but those of Allende ("An Act of Vengeance"), Waugh ("Mr. Loveday's Little Outing"), Dinesen ("The Fat Man") and Marquez ("Miss Forbes's Summer of Happiness") particularly stand out. So...fetch a drink, draw the drapes, sit back and relax (if you can!)--you are about to embark on a journey of mystery and suspense comparable to anything offered by Poe or Lovecraft...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a fan of mystery story anthologies. That said, I also have to say this was not the best one out there. This type of book should be for our short reading times when we do not want to wade into a full length novel and just enjoy a brief sojourn into imagination land. These stories are hard to digest and are not quick, dark or fun trips. JMO But, you have been warned.
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