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The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction 1 (Rough Guide Reference) Paperback – July 16, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1843536543 ISBN-10: 1843536544 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Rough Guide Reference
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 1 edition (July 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843536544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843536543
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 0.6 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,309,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like crime fiction. The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction by Barry Forshaw, therefore, is right up my alley. Although designed as a reference text, it is only adequate in that respect. What it is better at, however, is giving mystery fans new directions to go in.

After a brief preface, Forshaw divides most of the rest of the book into different crime fiction subgenres such as cop fiction, private eye fiction and historical fiction. In each one of these chapters, he has a brief introduction and then provides a sampling within that category. For example, under "Hardboiled and Pulp", his recommendations (alphabetical by author) include The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett, Kiss Me Deadly by Mickey Spillaine and The Bride Wore Black by Cornell Woolrich. There are also occasional pictures and sidebars, either about a particular author or a movie based on a book.

Overall, this a decent enough book but also imperfect. Those familiar with the books mentioned will find occasional errors (for example, he seems to refer to James Bond villains Dr. No and Goldfinger as being associated with SPECTRE; in fact, they worked with SMERSH). Also, although there are some exceptions, Forshaw tends to focus mostly on recent material (2000 or later). There seems to be a bias to include more English authors than probably merited, and any crime fiction fan will find numerous omitted authors (including Ridley Pearson, Randy Wayne White, Ken Follett, David Morrell, Stephen White, Richard North Patterson, Faye Kellerman, Vince Flynn, T. Jefferson Parker and John Katzenbach).

Of course, a book like this is very subjective, but I think Forshaw could have done a better survey of the genre.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By yardbird on May 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Rough Guide series is generally quite informative, but this entry is completely useless. There are many things such as omitted authors and merits of top five lists with which I disagree, but these are purely subjective, so can obviously be forgiven. The real problems are as follows:
1. Hopeless editing, with a massive number of typographical and more substantive editing errors, some of which lead me to question if the author even read the works upon which he is commenting (for instance, the Kenzie/Genarro series by Dennis Lehane);
2. No attention to thematic detail, rendering the attempt to divide the works into sub-categories meaningless. Dave Robicheaux is a cop, not a P.I. Easy Rawlins IS a P.I., yet appears nowhere. Serial killer books are not thematically represented properly, and so on.
3. It seems as if the author is not really a fan of the genre, but was working to fulfill a contractual obligation, and his heart was not into his work. Any true fan of the genre with a computer and spellcheck could have done a better job.
In short, a complete waste of time and money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Watson McFestus on September 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book just plain looks good. Not that is why you might be interested in this title, but the graphic design and layout is very impressive. Its a short guide - about 300 pages, but very small pages with (thankfully) full sized print. Forshaw breaks Crime Fiction down into 15 subgenres, including Classics, Golden Age, Hard Boiled, Cops, Psychological, Serial Killers, Organized Crime, Criminals in general, Espionage. The choices of titles recommended or discussed leans towards the well written and eclectic. By no means are these lists complete and authoritative. Still, the titles listed were usually uniformly ones that I enjoyed or that I was curious about. I wouldn't run out and buy this book today, but I enjoyed persusing most of the sections and found it quite readable. Plus it easily fits in your pocket or purse.

Often these books are either American-centric or British-centric. I found this one to be evenly balanced all the way around.
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