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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine (christineoftroy) | 1 comments Hi everyone! I'm new to this group and the whole spy thriller genre in general. I'm wondering if you guys can tell me some of your favorite and most-frequented blogs/review boards for the genre? [other than goodreads, of course!]


message 2: by Charles (last edited Mar 19, 2013 10:53AM) (new)

Charles Ameringer (cda1) | 25 comments Christine wrote: "Hi everyone! I'm new to this group and the whole spy thriller genre in general. I'm wondering if you guys can tell me some of your favorite and most-frequented blogs/review boards for the genre? [o..."

Hi Christine: Welcome to the group! If you'd like to get started with a good spy novel, check out the discussion: "THE OLD SPOOK gathers stars" I think you'd be pleased. Best wishes[bookcover:The Old Spook|17311146] The Old Spook by Charles Ameringer

message 3: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Oct 16, 2014 09:45PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1165 comments Mod
Chat about adventure, mystery, and spy novel *early* origins:

message 4: by Feliks, Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1165 comments Mod
South American espionage and intrigue:

message 5: by Feliks, Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1165 comments Mod
musing on the differences between 'thrillers' and 'works-of-suspense' (good discussion in another GR group)

message 6: by Matt (new)

Matt (theboardrider) | 46 comments Hi Christin!

I don't read a lot of blogs. But I'd be happy to recommend some authors for you.

I started a thread yesterday titled "Favorites of the genre/Discuss, List, Debate...whatever." I list some of my favorites to start discussion.

But if I were recommending to any new reader of this genre. And could only recommend 3 authors they would be:

Vince Flynn (Not even all that close, he passed away last year at age 47. So sad, because he had a lot of story left to be told. Kyle Mills has been signed to write 3 more about his lead character.)

Nelson DeMille (A great talent, may not be "pure," of the genre. His books cross with detective fiction and others.)

Ben Coes (probably my controversial pick in a list of best 3. He's very new and only has 4 books written. But he's coming on strong, and in years, he may have the reputation and clout of Vince Flynn or DeMille)

Brad Thor/Brad Taylor/Daniel Silva/Barry Eisler/Alex Berenson would be some others.

message 7: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Oct 08, 2014 05:24PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1165 comments Mod
I'd like to see someone start a list of the authors currently-being-harped-on-by-Madison-Ave (Baldacci, Preston & Child, whoever wrote the Bone Collector) and state their dislike; for a change. And also state 'why'. Reasons for antipathy are more compelling and dissect-worthy, than unreasoning affection.

I mean, when i'm on the subway and I see a lurid book promo poster featuring a seaplane and a man hanging off the bottom pontoon...and a blurb which reads something like, "Jeremy Thong and Brenda Chasm, two former government agents, find themselves in their most daring exploit yet as they follow a trail to SE Asia.." --there's no way I'm gonna go out of my way to read it. Similarly for all plots involving secret freemasons within the US Govt.

message 8: by Matt (last edited Oct 08, 2014 09:36PM) (new)

Matt (theboardrider) | 46 comments How about this Feliks.

I will state and explain my distaste for two popular authors. John Grisham and James Patterson. I will admit, I am a positive person, and find something I like in almost every movie or book I read. It's rare that I don't finish a book I start. Marc Cameron is another author that I wanted to like, after running out of the guys I've mentioned above. But I got 110 pages into the first Jericho Quinn book and was bored to tears.

John Grisham is, to me, sophomoric. I have enjoyed some of his books, namely The Firm and The Runaway Jury. However I haven't read The Firm since high school and my expectations and taste has changed. I might not like it now. I used to read many of his books, althoughI was never a huge "courtroom," guy. But I read the more recommended one's. But then I discovered Phillip Margolin and Richard North Patterson. Once I started their books, I just couldn't stomach Grisham. His stories are often far-fetched, and the prose feels like it's written with the audience being who I was when I read The Firm, a high schooler. I don't see how adults are that intrigued by him, except that he's popular and probably many that enjoy the genre have never taken the time to read a book by Margolin, North Patterson or Steve Martini (I've read a couple by Martini, and would read more). The complexity of Grisham's characters is not deep, they often seem like caricatures of themselves. And honestly, you reach a point where if you've read one of his books about a lawyer, you've read them all.

Which brings me to James Patterson...are you kidding me? I don't see how this guy made a living. I enjoyed Big Bad Wolf emmensely, as well as thought okay of The Trial of Alex Cross, but the thing with the second is that Alex Cross the character of the other books and title character, pleasantly wasn't in it. I also read Private Berlin, which was okay; and The Murder of King Tut (which I wanted to like) but found dreadful.)

Alex Cross is such a bore to me! My wife and I grabbed a book on tape to take on a trip with us, and we got so tired about reading about "Nana Mama," that we didn't finish it. Doesn't she eventually die in the books? Well it couldn't come fast enough. Cross isn't deep or particularly interesting. And I see why these books are made into movies, because the stories are simple and easy to move to the screen. I've never read a Patterson and thought, "he really brought those 3 or 4 different storylines to an exciting and unpredictable conclusion."

In fact both authors had many movies made. The Firm had a complicated story and it made a bad movie because they butchered it because it was complex. But overall, both authors make books that adapt easily to movies for two reasons. They have no depth, simple storylines and surface characters. And the majority of humans just aren't that smart. So the basic style of their books appeals to a wide audience. As I said, written with a junior high or high schooler in mind. That applies not only to Grisham, but to Patterson as well. (I don't mean to insult the dead...may he rest in peace.)

For much the opposite reasons, I also get bored and lose focus with most Clancy books. They're too intricately detailed on technical specifications and it's like he's showing the readers that come from that background in real life, that he's done his research and knows what he's speaking of. But for the layman that wants to be taken to another world and inserted in to the story. They get bogged down and I start being distracted by the pretty girl that walks by or the shiny thing I notice out of the story of my eye. To be honest, I've skimmed some of his books and felt like I missed nothign. I just look for quotations and read those parts, and skim the in between. I stay invested better that way.

I did love Without Remorse. It's one of my top 10 books ever. And I liked Rainbow 6. But after WR, I added a bunch of the following books that had John Clark in them and after Rainbow, I went in and deleted them. I may give more of the books with Clark/Kelley in them a chance if someone recommended them.

I read the first Op-Centre book and it bored me. And honestly Ranbow 6 is one I got through using my "skim," technique. Without Remorse though is a book I read every word of, and would read again. Without Remorse was a great story, but often I feel like Clancy is showing off. (again...much respect Mr. Clancy and may you rest in peace)

message 9: by Matt (new)

Matt (theboardrider) | 46 comments I want to add. That I know many very intelligent and capable people that read these authors and enjoy them. I'm not suggesting you have to be a simpleton to read and get a kick out of them. I like and respect my taste, but it's just that...mine. It could be a matter of such.

Some people may also be very busy and not quite enjoy reading as much. (Not Clancy fans, you're a smart dude or lady if Clancy is always your bag). But some I know that read Grisham and Patterson aren't really "readers." They read books when they can, but may take months to finish one, because they have other hobbies, and preclude reading. I have other hobbies too, but I read at night, in the restroom, bathtub, back porch, laying out, beach, while kids play at park, and my DVR will fill up with my favorite shows when I discover a new author and spend a month or two catching up on everything he's ever written.

I say he, because sadly, and don't think I'm a chauvenist. But I don't typically read women authors. I enjoyed some of the Kay Scarpetta novels by Patricia Cornwell. But as a rule, when the groups I'm a part of choose a women author to read for BOTM. I'm out...

I'm sure I'm small minded and missing out. But I've tried it over the years and 80% of women authors didn't keep my attention. I do however enjoy some with women heroine's. Greg Iles writes some great books from the perspective of women.

message 10: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Oct 09, 2014 08:41AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1165 comments Mod
Wow. Excellent remarks, Matt!

Really, exemplary dissection. What a boon. Lots to ruminate on there. I hope other members follow suit.

It's like I said: more people should break down (aloud) reasons why they turn away from this-or-that product. In exposing your reactions openly, we all learn something and we all get to know our own preferences better.

I think maybe in this day and age, everyone is so worried about offending someone listening in the audience around them. I don't know where this comes from. Me, I go around any web site's forum and will skewer 'sacred cows' left-and-right. Its the worst course-of-action for us all to walk around on tiptoe with our lips buttoned.

You did great stuff here Matt.

message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljcrow) I read a lot of different stuff, but more Spy/spec ops than anything else. In the Spy/Spec Ops arena, there simply are not any major female writers that I'm aware of.

NYT Best Seller list is filled with female authors but few of them are interesting to me.

The only genre I read regularly that has female authors that write in a way that I don't care/notice the gender is in Sci-Fi and Fantasy. There are several very good female authors in those genres.

message 12: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Oct 09, 2014 07:25PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1165 comments Mod
Ha. Agreed. I've often had to defend my views of women authors; which many people are too quick to pounce on--and in so doing, mistake me.

I stand by my general viewpoint that there are some genres which women writers simply don't 'excel' at. This is not an absolute statement: for I can certainly name some decent 'exceptions' I've come across. But I've never seen a female author who can consistently write well in either military or spec/op books. Or really even, hard-boiled action. They just don't come off convincingly to me.

I don't think it should be taken by anyone as a demerit to recognize that women are not necessarily facile at everything which men are; after all men certainly are not superb at every thing which women succeed in. No shame.

Society lately is in a craze for a phony kind of androgyny...a veneer for the sake of political-correctness...but the genders nevertheless are different; with differing strengths and weaknesses.

Two other female authors are in my top five author rankings (world-wide/all-time). I just wouldn't go out of my way to read anything by a woman author in the thriller or espionage genres. Something about their style when attempting these types of books, just doesn't ring true to my male ear. I think that on certain topics: men speak to other men, best.

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