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Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  158 Ratings  ·  36 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
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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
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.
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
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.
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.
Dec 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very good reference.
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
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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 Ro ...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
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
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
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.
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I thought this was 100 short stories by David Morrell and 99 others, but it is a synopsis of 100 famous classic thrillers by current authors. After I got over my initial disappointment, I did find value and interest in learning about the authors who wrote the famous books and about the stories behind the classics. For example, who was Edgar Rice Burroughs and how did "Tarzan" come to be?
Copyright 2012.
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.
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.
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.
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
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. :-)
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good referance book.
Oct 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Put me onto some new books to read and reminded me of some books that I need to re-read.
Sep 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to C. by: Goodreads
Tim Smith
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You can read my review at
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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.
More about David Morrell...

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