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A Catalogue of Crime: Being a Reader's Guide to the Literature of Mystery, Detection, and Related Genres Hardcover – November, 1989

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 952 pages
  • Publisher: Harper & Row; 2nd (rev & enlarged) edition (November 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060157968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060157968
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 6.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hans Castorp VINE VOICE on February 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Here are over 5,000 mystery titles briefly noted, each in about one paragraph. Alphabetically arranged by author and title, each short comment can guide you right thruough to which books may be worth your time. True, not all the comments are subjective, and you may disagree with many, as I feel they underrate SS Van Dine and JD Carr, and overrate Christie and Sayers. Rex Stout is among Prof. Barzun's favorites, a good pick, and many lesser known authors are given a royal treatment.S. Grafton is noted, with the conclusion that followups to "A is for Alibi" may never go to 26 titles ! All in all , one of the best browsers and references on this subject!
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Format: Hardcover
A Catalogue of Crime has been my companion in reading mystery and crime literature for over 20 years and it has been an indispensable guide to reading the best of such works. As anyone who reads mystery and crime fiction knows, for every Sayers or Christie, there are 20 or 30 others whose works are formulaic, unimaginative and a waste of your time. Barzun and Taylor's book has been the means to separate out the worthwhile from the incredible amount of dross out there.

It is important to understand that A Catalogue of Crime is no more readable as a book than a dictionary or an encyclopedia. It is a reference source. It is especially handy to have with you in a used book store. The book has helpful lists of especially good mysteries and worthwhile authors can also be found by browsing through the entries.

The major shortcoming of the book is that it hasn't been updated in decades. In the meantime, the output of mysteries and crime fiction has been, if anything, more prolific than ever. Unfortunately, most of the output seems to be poor, which was probably true of most of the output of the 'golden age' as well.

If you're a fan of well-crafted, well-written mysteries, A Catalogue of Crime is a must.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"~Be warned: this is not an anthology of short works. It is a very extensive listing of crime fiction spanning 125 years."~ literature of Sherlock Holmes: studies and annotations of the tales, nonfiction parodies, and critical pastiches
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was astonished by the breadth of coverage, and though I don't agree with some of the individual judgements, they are generally fair.
It was surprising that some books chosen as classics by other experts in the field don't even rate a mention!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
oldies but goodies
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