I was delighted when David Morrell and Hank Wagner asked David Montgomery, Larry Gandle and I to contribute to the ITW 100 Thrillers collection. I have been friends with Larry and David for many years as all three of us are big Thriller Fans and Reviewers for various print and online media. Over the years we have been judges for various literary awards, such as the Barry Awards, The Thriller Awards, The Gumshoe Awards. The CWA Daggers and others. I must admit, the 'inner fan-boy’ in me was very flattered to find my name rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in the world of Thriller Fiction.
The photo above is of the three of us thriller reviewers relaxing at the inaugural Thrillerfest held in 2006 at The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix Arizona.
Over at Shots Ezine, we have a competition running to give away three copies of the ITW 100 Thrillers book, as well as a bonus essay by Thriller Writer Shane Gericke available for download – Click here for details
I am delighted to see that the ITW 100 Thrillers is getting a lot of media attention; as anything that can help combat illiteracy must be applauded, and Thrillers are a good way of promoting reading and getting people to read books.
Michael Dirda at The Washington Post has an excellent review / feature –
With his very first novel, David Morrell created an iconic character, now as famous as Tarzan or James Bond: "His name was Rambo, and he was just some nothing kid for all anybody knew, standing there by the pump of a gas station on the outskirts of Madison, Kentucky." So begins Morrell's electrifying and morally unsettling "First Blood." Some of his other books include the horror classic "The Totem" and one of the most exciting Ludlumesque thrillers I've ever read, "The Brotherhood of the Rose."
Hank Wagner may not write novels, but he certainly knows modern horror, fantasy, mystery and science fiction. He's the co-author of "The Complete Stephen King Universe" and of "Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman." His articles have appeared in publications ranging from Cemetery Dance to Mystery Scene to the New York Review of Science Fiction.
Both novelist and critic are members of the six-year-old International Thriller Writers organization. Its goals "include educating readers about thrillers and encouraging ITW members to explore the creative possibilities of the form." To this end, the group decided to compile this annotated guide to essential thrillers. Enjoyable in itself, the book also offers 100 possible answers to that perennial summertime conundrum: What book shall I pack for the beach?
"Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads" opens with the Greek legend of Theseus and the Minotaur and, by fudging the supposed cutoff date of 2000, closes with Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code." Each of the chosen titles -- one book per author -- is accompanied by a brief biographical note, followed by a two- or three-page essay of reminiscence, analysis and appreciation by a member of ITW. Among the essayists are Lee Child, Sandra Brown, James Grady, R.L. Stine, David Baldacci, Katherine Neville and F. Paul Wilson.
No one could seriously argue with the recommendations up to the mid-1970s. Here are Wilkie Collins's "The Woman in White" (1860), Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1901), John Buchan's "The Thirty-Nine Steps" (1915), Eric Ambler's "A Coffin for Dimitrios" (1939), and even what is, arguably, the single most famous adventure short story of all time, Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" (1924). Moreover, the editors' definition of the thriller is a capacious one that embraces horror (Bram Stoker's "Dracula," 1897), science fiction (H.G. Wells's "The War of the Worlds," 1898) and romantic suspense (Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca," 1938).
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More Information on ITW 100 Thrillers including the competition and free .pdf Download of Shane Gericke’s look at John Sandford’s RULES OF PREY is available here