Blood, Bedlam, Bullets, and Badguys: A Reader's Guide to Adventure/Suspense Fiction

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Hooked on adventure and suspense fiction? This comprehensive guide of over 2,000 annotations addresses the genre and its subgenres and includes titles published between 1941 and 2004. Each annotation describes and evaluates the best and most popular titles in the genre indicating the titles that are highly recommended and providing icons denoting the books that have been turned into films. A concise history and detailed guidelines for advising readers are included, along with subgenre definitions and related critical literature. Indexes let readers browse and search by author and title, subject, main character, page-turner, and works-to-film. Grades 6-Adult.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This premiere guide to a popular yet ephemeral family of adventure/suspense genres is an important addition to the growing range of readers' advisory handbooks. Gannon (branch manager, Anne Arundel Cty. PL, Annapolis, MD) lists some 3000 titles (2000 of them annotated) published between 1941 and 2003, arranged under 16 headings such as Spies and Secret Agents, Disasters, and Legal Thrillers, with brief discussions of each subgenre's definition, appeal, and history. There is a thorough bibliography and extensive author/title and subject indexing, as well as an index to film and TV adaptations, a brief glossary, lists of core authors, and recommended titles colored by Gannon's own tastes (e.g., 33 serial killer titles vs. three legal thrillers). Unfortunately, the volume has some serious flaws. Although it claims to cover suspense and thrillers, it is seriously lopsided, entirely ignoring psychological, romantic, and mainstream suspense novels, crime and literary thrillers, and noir. Even within the scope that Gannon defines, there are some glaring omissions: Bernard Cornwell and Charles McCarry. The book's organization is somewhat arbitrary and confusing, with wildly divergent styles heaped together under such headings as "Nazis," "Asia," and "Russia." On the whole, the text suffers from a subject-based approach that makes scant distinction among pacing, style, and qualitative appeal of authors as unlike as Robert Ludlum and John le Carr and suggests advisory interviews along the lines of, "Do you prefer earthquakes, hurricanes, or volcanoes?" While a necessary purchase for exhaustive collections, libraries pinching their pennies may want to wait for the revised, expanded edition.-David Wright, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563087325
  • Publisher: Libraries Unlimited
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Series: Genreflecting Advisory Series
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.22 (w) x 10.26 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL B. GANNON is Branch Manager at Anne Arundel County Public Library, Annapolis, Maryland, and winner of the 2003 PLA Allie Beth Martin Award.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
1. "Licensed to Kill" 1
2. What Else Can Go Wrong? 31
3. War Is Hell 49
4. Man, Woman, and Machine 65
5. Order in the Court! 89
6. The Buck Stops Here 115
7. Stalking the Predators 125
8. "Dr. Frankenstein, I Presume" 155
9. From the Ridiculous to the Sublime 185
10. Things That Go Bump in the Night 207
11. On the High Seas 217
12. From the Ashes of the Third Reich 241
13. Land of the Silken Dragon 261
14. Communist Comrades and Capitalist Criminals 273
15. Exploding Sands 287
16. Male Heroic Adventure Series 299
17. Professional Resources 319
Appendix A Film and Television Movie Versions 327
Appendix B Authors for Core Collections 337
Glossary 341
Author/Title Index 349
Subject Index 381
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