Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads” as Want to Read:
Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  196 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The most riveting reads in history meet today's biggest thriller writers in Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads.

Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner, Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads examines 100 seminal works of suspense through essays contributed by such esteemed modern thriller writers as: David Baldacci, Steve Berry, Sandra Brown, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Heather G
Hardcover, 378 pages
Published July 5th 2010 by Oceanview Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Thrillers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Thrillers

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  196 ratings  ·  41 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads
Jack Heath
5 Stars. Technically I am not finished! And not sure I ever will. Why? Because the essays reviewing 100 great thrillers are so well written and so enticing, that I'm going to make an effort to work through as many as possible of the recommended titles. And every time, before I start one, I will surely read its review by one of these great authors! Speaking for myself, I can occasionally see some books in our favourite category, mysteries and thrillers, as straight-forward: "who-dun-it?" or "How ...more
Arun Divakar
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The overall premise of this book was something I immediately latched on to : a thriller writer recommends one book from the thriller genre that he/she considers a must read. Nothing could shine more light into the inner workings of the genre than having authors with working knowledge of the tradecraft talking about books that inspired, amazed or astounded them. Thrillers are dime-a-dozen in the book market and it is for this same reason that I liked this book for it helps to filter out some of t ...more
Armand Rosamilia
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not only are the 100 books interesting and literature I need to read, the authors writing the chapters are as well, offering personal insight about the book and what it means to them as a writer. To me (because I'm a writer) it was the best part of the book.
Collection of essays by members of the International Thriller Association presenting their selections of the 100 best thrillers of all time. Some rather out there picks (I never thought of Summer Lightning by P.G. Wodehouse as a thriller) but overall an enjoyable read and I added many new books to my TBR. Probably should be either avoided or just skimmed by those who are spoiler sensitive. ...more
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a great source for librarians or anyone looking for new authors to read. Each of the 100 entries has a short background on the author and then a 2-3 page essay on the chosen book that is written by another esteemed author or book critic. Definitely led me to some new authors and titles, and perhaps most importantly these books were chosen because of their influence on others' writing style as well as the publishing industry.
Robert Carraher
Jul 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
"The Thriller is the oldest kind of story - rooted in our deepest hopes and fears, for ourselves, those we love, and the world around us."

Whether you are an aspiring author, a seasoned veteran of the New York Times Best Seller lists, whether your books have been turned into multi 100 million dollar movies or you are just an avid reader, creative writing major, history student or just want to know more about what makes a thriller popular and good, this book is indispensible and should set on you
Sheila Beaumont
A couple of weeks ago, I happened upon a complete list of the writers contributing to this book, and couldn't resist getting myself a copy. I'm glad I did! Thriller fans will delight in this book, in which many of today's top writers of the genre tell us about their favorite thrillers and why they're important. By the time I finished this book, I had quite a long list of must-reads (and must-read-agains). I did notice some sloppy copy editing, along with a couple of glaring factual errors, but o ...more
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Terrific! I wasn't paying attention when I chose to read this book; I thought it was comprised of today's thriller writers each contributing a new short story. In reality, it's a series of extremely brief essays (on average only two pages long) lauding 100 of the best thriller stories of all time.

Ack! I need to quit my job and read full-time.
Mike Violano
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mike by:
Discovered a few thrillers that I'll likely read based on the descriptions and reviews by other thriller authors. Some mighty odd and quirky choices but that's what makes books of this ilk fun to browse.
Bill reilly
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a young man I read novels at a 50/50 rate with non-fiction, but now at sixty I am at a 1/99 percent ratio, half of which are of the true crime genre. Hannibal Lector cannot compete with Theodore Robert Bundy. The Silence of the Lambs is good, but The Stranger Beside Me is great. Misery is the Stephen King novel chosen here, but I would have chosen The Stand. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road should be on the list, and where is Crime and Punishment? Steinbeck, Dostoyevsky, John Irving and Stephen Kin ...more
Quick impressions: A nice collection of short essays about books in the thrillers genre. From ancient times looking at books such as The Odyssey to The Da Vinci Code, we get short essays on 100 selections. Each short essay is written by other authors in the genre. Morrell, the editor, is the author of First Blood (the basis for the film that went on to spawn the Rambo franchise). There may be one or two titles you may wonder if they are really thrillers, but that is part of the appeal. Overall, ...more
James Hold
Oct 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF. Just what the world needs: one more book telling people what they MUST do rather than letting them follow their own interests to wherever it leads them. So is my life really going to suffer because I missed out on what somebody else thinks is a great book? I think not.
Sahar Sabati
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a writer – well, fine, as a wannabe writer – one of my dreams has always been to meet a favourite writer of mine and chat up a storm. One of the things we’d talk about, apart from the weather, the awesomeness of Canada, and the many ways to enjoy chocolate would be a piece of literature we both particularly like. We wouldn’t only talk about why it’s our favourite piece of literature; we would also talk about its various themes and subthemes, its philosophical implications and the impact it ha ...more
This is a great anthology for anyone interested in adding to your list of must-read authors. It includes 100 essays written by current authors discussing 100 different selections in this genre that go back to Greek mythology and forward through 2003. Each essay includes a small bio on the author whose work is the subject of the essay, as well as a bio on the writer of the essay. I discovered that I had many of the works discussed in my personal library (some already read, some not) but many I ei ...more
Alexander Shay
I was thinking this book would be more of an anthology of listings of titles, like the official 'genreflecting' titles. But this book actually uses reviews from well known authors, more or less asking them what their favorite thriller is and getting them to give a summary of what intrigued them about it. Some of the reviews are helpful, though most of them don't actually describe the plot of the book being reviewed which was the reason why I wanted to read the book in the first place.
I was also
I rate this book 5 stars and would like to own it for reference.
So far I read P G Wodehouse's story analysis by R L Stine. Then, I got distracted and searched out R L Stine. His books might be good but not for me. If you're curious of what makes a thriller a thriller, you'll get good pointers in his analysis of Wodehouse's
The next analysis I read was Agatha Christie's And then there were none. Excellent analysis.
Today I am reading the analysis of Brian Garfield's Death Wish. (1972) Wow. Brian G
David Ward
Mar 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Thrillers: 100 Must Reads edited by David Morrell & Hank Wagner (Oceanview Publishing 2010)(809.3872). This volume "...examines 100 seminal works of suspense through essays contributed by esteemed modern thriller writers." The book features plot summaries, reviews, and accompanying essays on 100 books "deemed must-reads by the International Thriller Writers Organization." What does it mean? It means I can read the summaries of works ranging from Theseus and the Minotaur to Macbeth through Robins ...more
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book.. set me off in many directions! It almost became a full quest to reading an essay.. and then.. going and finding the book that the essay was about! If one is a Lit major.. I HIGHLY recommend.. that this book could almost become a core class at the 0400 level to graduation! For the layman.. this book.. shall broaden your horizons in ways you can't even begin to imagine. You just feel smarter.. having completed it! This book shall prepare you for any intellectual conversation in any set ...more
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I found this to be an interesting read. Selecting 100 must read thrillers stretching from 1500 B.C. to 2003 must have been quite the daunting task. Yet this collection of truly great authors have pulled off what basically amounts to 100 book reviews in one book. The reviews are done by some of the finest of the craft. Where I did get annoyed was that in some, not all mind you, of the reviews the reviewer got so damn excited that they spilled the beans on the whole book. This is not cool without ...more
Jill Hutchinson
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is a compilation of short sections by current authors, reviewing their favorite "thriller" book. I put "thriller" in quotation marks because there are several books included that don't seem to fit my definition of thriller. Certainly such books as, The Woman in White, The Lodger and Rear Window fit into what I think are thrillers, but I'm not sure how The Last of the Mohicans or The Sea Wolf fit that category. But the authors used "thriller" in a broader sense and the list is very dive ...more
Tim Randall
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Thrillers or Lists
The book, Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads, was a fascinating list/description of 100 of the best thrillers in history. The book begins and ends with an overview of what makes a book a thriller, and then explains what it took for a book to make this list. Within the body of the book itself was a list of the 100 thrillers, along with a brief biography of the author, and a description of the book by a current author. Beginning with Theseus and the Minotaur, written around 1500 B.C., and described by Lee ...more
Patricia Gussin
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The 100 Essays and Essayists in this book have been carefully chosen and matched. It's obvious that the editors, David Morrell, of Rambo fame, and Hank Wagner, an accomplised reviewer, put a lot of thought into the selection and organizationa to ensure the quality of each essay. But the excitment about this book is the recollection of the Must-Reads that you have read, and the enticement to read those which you've missed along the way. Also this book serves as an introduction to the hottest thri ...more
Incredible reference and a great read even if you're not usually a fan of "thrillers."

All I know is that, of the 100 noted within, I already read 18, had 14 more on to-read lists for a while now, and I added another 24 to said list from the 100 noted.

And then I added another 31 more books just from the authors who wrote about the 100 thrillers as their books also sounded interesting and worth reading.

So, 1 book read, 55 more added to the interminable to-read list. I'd fret about never finishi
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction-read
I love books about books and I love lists so this book is a great combination. I have a very long list of books on GoodReads that I want to read and the list is always growing. This book has significantly increased my list because I really like most thrillers. The only ones I don't care for are spy/political thrillers. I mostly skipped over those ones. I enjoyed the book reviews and also found some new authors to read due to the short bio included about the person who wrote each review.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a good book with fun essays tracking the 100 must read thrillers from Beowulf and the Illiad through The Da Vinci Code (2000 was the cut off). They do a good job at getting to the different types of thrillers. The essays are written by thriller authors themselves so they bring good insight into the essays.

Happy to have read 49 of the 100 and looking forward to reading some more.
Marguerite Czajka
Aug 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Well, I was going to give this two stars, but gave it three because part of my thinking "it was okay" instead of "liked it" was my fault. I judged a book by its title and downloaded it to my Kindle thinking it was 100 thrillers. It's a nice collection of mini-reviews and blurbs about the reviewers that can lead to a list of "want-to-read"s.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's just essays from other authors judging other works, such as Shelley's "Frankenstein," to Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" and others throughout the centuries. A must read for someone that likes to get a perspective on how others take on another author's work.
Oct 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: thriller, nonfiction
I should have read the one essay by Allison Brennan and returned the book. This is the reason I hate non-fiction books. It was so BORING. But in my mind, I read the whole thing, so I can properly mark it off my list. :-)
Read it - short blurb and accolade for all 100 of the choices.
Oh, no . . . 98 more books to go on my to-read list.
Great selection of choices and reviews - some unknowns that are now high on my list.
Read in 2010.
Nadirah Khalifah
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read. Each chapter is written by an author so the tone and voice of the book changes with each chapter. Reading this book is a fun way to explore various books throughout the history of the Thriller genre.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Black and Blue (Doug Brock #3)
  • A Crack in the Edge of the World
  • Hanging Woman Creek
  • River: Where Faith and Consecration Converge (Muddy #2)
  • Hondo
  • Doll-baby
  • Poetic Justice
  • Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley's Curious Collection
  • The Killing Curse (An Omar Zagouri Thriller)
  • After Sundown
  • The End of the World and Beyond
  • Muzzled (Andy Carpenter #21)
  • The Button War
  • The Buffalo Hunter (Gunsmoke Western)
  • Her Hesitant Heart
  • The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's America
  • The Witness
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice
See similar books…
David Morrell is a Canadian novelist from Kitchener, Ontario, who has been living in the United States for a number of years. He is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become a successful film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. More recently, he has been writing the Captain America comic books limited-series The Chosen.

Related Articles

The prolific and beloved author John Grisham, known for his courtroom thrillers, is back this month with a new pageturner, A Time for Mercy,...
33 likes · 6 comments