Why do people who hate crime love reading crime fiction?

July 31st, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 1 comment § permalink

I don’t like crime. I’m not even keen on reading about real crime in the newspapers. Why then, do I like crime fiction so much?

I’m not alone in this situation… I hope! It would be terrible if there were more criminals in the world than readers of crime fiction.

I don’t think many people are pro-crime » Read the rest of this entry «

Bumping into Paco Ignacio Taibo II

June 2nd, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 1 comment § permalink

It wasn’t a bit like the time I ran full-tilt into singer José Feliciano. There he was, a blind man trying to cross a foreign airport terminal and some kid comes crashing into him. I still feel bad about that. No, I’ve never encountered Paco Ignacio Taibo II in the flesh. Nor, for that matter, had I met any other Paco Ignacio Taibo – number one, three or whatever.

I didn’t even know PIT II, as he apparently refers to himself, existed until I sort of bumped into him by accident. » Read the rest of this entry «

Crime writer Elmore Leonard’s best book isn’t a crime book

May 19th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 0 comments § permalink

To some, Elmore Leonard is famous for writing Get Shorty. To others, he’s the cool crime writer who leaves out the parts readers usually skip. Some may even remember him for his early Westerns like Hombre. Not many will equate his name with a book that is neither Western nor crime story.

It is called » Read the rest of this entry «

Five American crime writers to read before someone bashes your head in

May 13th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 1 comment § permalink

You can start with Edgar Allan Poe if you like, but for me the story of American crime writing starts with Dashiell Hammett, who laid the egg that became the hard-boiled detective. Also he has such a dashing name, was by all accounts a noble (though often drunk) man and partner to Lillian Hellman. All good things.

Despite his historical importance, Hammett doesn’t make this list, I’m afraid. We’ll start with his first great disciple instead, the man who put crime back on the streets where it belongs, » Read the rest of this entry «

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