RARA-AVIS: Re: Moratorium on serial murderer mysteries?

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 18 Aug 2010

  • Next message: David Rachels: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Moratorium on serial murderer mysteries?"

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Ron Clinton" <clinton65@...> wrote:
    > Were I to compile a list of three serial-killer novels that epitomize the
    > best this niche genre has to offer, I'd include THE COLLECTOR by John
    > Fowles, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Thomas Harris, and BY REASON OF INSANITY by
    > Shane Stevens. There are other good ones, to be sure (and I'm probably
    > unaware of a number of them since I swore off serial killer novels some time
    > back) and certainly many more bad ones, but these exemplary three approach
    > the theme from different perspectives and illustrate the fact that serial
    > killer novels don't have to be a tired retread of one another...a fact too
    > often ignored by the glut of titles that substitute prurient thrills for
    > substantive literary worth.

    It seems that authors, when they write this type of novel, feel the need to explain why the murderer acts the way he or she acts. But isn't explanation the kiss of death for most fiction? I don't want the characters explained, I want to see what they do and say. A piece of fiction is not a lecture. Can you imagine Westlake/Stark trying to explain why Parker is the way he is? It would blow the series.



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