Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Cinema Retro; Mystery Reader
One of the finest movie genre magazines being published. The cover tells you just HOW good it really is. ON SALE NOW.
A while back I heard from a guy I knew at college. He wrote to tell me that he thought crime novels were great but that mystery novels were trash. I'm not exaggerating when I say that he was always a snob. His taste in cars/suits/girls/pubs/music etc. were always indisputably the best and if you disagreed he would go a long way at hinting you were stupid. We were never friends, in fact I dimly recall getting into it with him one night and telling him just how much we weren't friends.
But time goes on and most of us are forced to grow up a little even if we don't want to so I replied that yes, there are indeed many fine crime novels currently being written and published but that I didn't agree that mystery novels were trash. In fact, I said, here's a list of mystery writers I think are excellent writers in all respects.
Well he responded by saying yes, but none of these people are writing lasting literature. I responded by saying who knows what will last. To quote Joni Mitchell, I've seen a lot of hard hard places (fall?) to smoke and ash. I can't give you a figure but I doubt more than 2% of any generation's fiction writers last. And I mean genre writers as well as literary writers.
I snarled enough in the letter to insure I wouldn't hear back from him.
But he raises a point I hear more and more these days, that the mystery is inferior to crime novels. Maybe so. As I've said many times you read what gives you pleasure. Mysteries inferior? I don't know and I don't really give a damn. I still read a lot of mysteries, even a number of cozies, and I plan to continue on, blissful in my stupidity.