Thursday, May 24, 2012

Forgotten Books:1001 Midnights edited by Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller

1001 Midnights: The Aficionado's Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction

For what to me are obvious reasons I've never been a particular fan of the famous Jacques Barzun mystery list. I find his writing pedantic and his selection of books sometimes questionable. I'm sorry--it's just the reaction I've always had to it. I'll take H.R.F. Keating's 100 Mystery novels any day.

So I've had to look elsewhere for lists to help rubes like me find treasures I'd never come across otherwise. My favorite book is 1001 Midnights edited by Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller. I've read at least forty of the novels recommended in this massive compendium. And sometimes for pleasure I just pick it up to read it.

Every genre is covered here. So are writers great and small. And who are some of the reviewers recommending books? How about Max Collins, Crider, George Kelly, John Lutz, Barry Malzberg, Robert Randisi, Art Scott and Julie Smith? Among many, many others including the Mulzinis themselves. (I have two reviews in here myself.) You can share the pleasure they have in touting overlooked books. And in a few cases downgrading a book that was so fashionable a few decades back.

God I love this book and you will too.

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