RARA-AVIS: Re: Definition of Thriller

From: davezeltserman (davezelt@rcn.com)
Date: 03 Feb 2009

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Definition of Thriller"

    Jim, just the messenger, not my definition--personally I like Jack's, although I'd change his to be "danger and excitement". Nothing in ITW's definition though about thrillers being mysteries. As far as the marketplace goes, publishers are labeling everything they can as thrillers.


    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, JIM DOHERTY <jimdohertyjr@...> wrote:
    > Dave,
    > Re the ITW definition:
    > "Thrillers provide a rich literary feast " the legal thriller, the spy
    > thriller, the action-adventure thriller, the medical thriller, the
    > police thriller, the romantic thriller, the historical thriller, the
    > political thriller, the religious thriller, the high-tech thriller,
    > the supernatural thriller.
    > "The list goes on and on, with new variations being invented
    > constantly. This openness to creation and expansion is one of the
    > field's characteristics.
    > "Even so, what most readers think of first is the 'thrill' in
    > 'thriller.' And they're right. What gives thrillers common ground is
    > the intensity of the emotions they create, particularly those of
    > apprehension and exhilaration, of excitement and breathlessness. By
    > definition, if a thriller does not thrill, it is not doing its job.
    > "Thrillers are known for their pace, the force with which they
    > hurtle the reader along. They are an obstacle race in which an
    > objective is achieved at heroic cost. The objective can be personal
    > (trying to save a spouse or a long-lost relative) or global (trying to
    > avert a world war) and often is both.
    > "Perhaps there is a time limit, perhaps not. Sometimes
    > thrillers begin with intrigue, building rhythmically to rousing
    > climaxes that peak with a cathartic, explosive ending. Other times,
    > they start at top speed and never ease off.
    > "At their best " this needs emphasizing " thriller authors use
    > scrupulous research and accurate details to create environments in
    > which meaningful characters teach us about our world. When a reader
    > finishes, he or she feels not only emotionally satisfied but is also
    > better informed " and hungry for the next riveting tale."
    > And Jack thinks MY definition is too long?

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