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Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads Hardcover – July 5, 2010
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
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"This is an essential reference book."
"It reminds us all of the sheer excitement and dazzling scope of the genre. A treasure!"
--Christopher Reich, New York Times best-selling author of Rules of Deception
"The ultimate thriller resource. A fantastic reading list with a 'Who's Who' of contributors."
--Brad Thor, New York Times best-selling author of The Apostle
"Some of my favorite thriller authors writing about their favorite thrillers. This epic view is itself a must-read."
--Kathy Reichs, New York Times best-selling author of Spider Bones
USA BOOK NEWS BOOK OF THE YEAR
DARK SCRIBE MAGAZINE’S BLACK QUILL AWARD
FOREWORD MAGAZINE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Top Customer Reviews
Morrell and Wagner offer up scores of books and authors likely to delight fans of the thriller genre. They have enlisted top thriller writers to polish those gems by discussing what makes them work and why they may have pushed the genre in a new direction.
My advice: Enjoy reading the essays about the books you have already read and make a list of those books you will want to read; return to those essays later. But don't make the mistake of skipping books that have been made into movies or TV shows you've already seen. You might be surprised to find them a delight not only for their prose but also for their plots.
Case in point is Morrell's own "First Blood." I know that movie so well ("He could eat things that would make a billygoat puke") that I was reluctant last year to read the novel, which Morrell published a good 10 years before Rambo first hit the screen in the 1980s. Turns out, the novel is different from the film in so many ways that it was exciting on an entirely unexpected level. (By the way, "First Blood" holds up quite well as a thriller that also says something about human beings, a Morrell specialty.) I suspect that other thrillers recommended in this book offer similar unexpected delights.
The essays collected here err at times by telling a little too much about the story, and some are a bit superficial. Those are minor flaws for such a collection. At its best, which is far more often than not, "Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads" is like having coffee with a good friend who tells you, "Hey, you gotta read this!"
Both of these contributions, as well as the other 98 essays that comprise THRILLERS: 100 MUST-READS, are relatively short (a few pages each) and do exactly what needs to be done, which is to send the reader to new and, in some cases, unexpected places. There is a touch of continuity that flows from essay to essay: each includes some biographical information about the subject, backstory on the creation of the book, a summary and commentary concerning the book (and establishing its bona fides for listing), and some personal comments about what the book has meant to the author of the essay. The selection of titles is excellent, while the pairing of each book with each essayist is in all cases thoughtful and, in some, the stuff of genius. Think of J. A. Konrath writing about THE GREEN RIPPER by John MacDonald, or COMA examined by C.J. Lyons, or Lee Child's KILLING FLOOR discussed by Marcus Sakey, and you'll get the idea.
Those of us who have enjoyed a steady diet of the genre will find some of the books included here familiar, either by acquaintance or reputation. There are also titles on the list of which you may never have heard. All the better.Read more ›
From Homer's The Illiad and the Odyssey and standard classics like Beowulf and Robinson Crusoe, Thrillers: 100 Must Reads takes you from Lee Child's Theseus and the Minotaur circa 1500 B.C. to Dan Brown's 2003 mega-hit The Da Vinci Code.
The essays highlight the essence of each book in regards to such matters as: influence, ground-breaking subject matter and enduring appeal--such as Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, which is just as relevant now as it was in 1938.
Most of the essays were well-done, succeeding in extolling the virtues of the represented works. However, a few didn't quite manage to capture the spirit of the book, nor pique my interest enough to read it--in theory.
Although I shamefully admit to only reading 12 of the 100 chosen titles (so far), the Thriller collection is the perfect opportunity to re-visit some old favorites, remember ones you forgot and perhaps make a few new discoveries.
So, in short, this is a catalogue or brochure that has helped me set up a fairly long "must read" list as I have only read 24 of the 100 included. Given that many have been made into movies (many more than once), you may have tricked yourself like me into believing you read the actual book.
Thrillers covers some classics like Beowulf, MacBeth, Robinson Crusoe, and The Last of the Mohicans ("Replace the tomahawk, bow and arrow, and the muskets with sniper rifles, Uzis, and Glocks, and the plot could have been conjured up by any of today's most successful thriller writers"). It is organized chronologically moving from Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White, credited with inventing the modern thriller to Conrad's Heart of Darkness to Fearing's The Big Clock and ending with Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
There are great stories and facts in each contribution including Douglas Preston copping to the purloining of Count Fosco for his and Lincoln Child's Brimstone (I love their whole Pendergast series), learning that Jules Verne imagined the Fax machine, aerial warfare, walking on the moon, camera phones, and text messaging long in advance of their actual introductions, and given my day job on Madison Avenue it was interesting to know that King Solomon's Mines benefited from a modern-style advertising and marketing campaign using billboards and posters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this is a great book if you're looking for historical context of the thriller genre.Published 4 months ago by Penny Crompton
This is a great book, whether you read thrillers or write them. In one hundred examples of the genre, dating back to the Illiad and the Odyssey and Beowulf, and up to the modern... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Carey
If your looking for a good reference book to read this is a good one. As an avid reader I was familiar with most of these books but I did come away with a few that I'm going to... Read morePublished 10 months ago by David B
Timely delivery as advertised. A great read through the history of thriller writing. The genre is much older than one might think.Published 19 months ago by Elaine A. Harger
My list would have been different. I had read a number of the selections and, because of this book, want to read more.Published 19 months ago by Ronald J. Leach
I was very disappointed in this book , it wasn't what I was looking for .Published 19 months ago by Wilodeen J. Sawyer
these are not the thrillers themselves, but various authors saying which thrillers to readPublished 19 months ago by Chad
Excellent guide for thriller buffs, I trying to read each recommended book.Published 24 months ago by Hannah F.