Over in the 'What makes a Book a Thriller' there's a post quoting a book that compares mysteries to suspense novels. It includes a whole bunch of 'rules' including:

"Mystery endings must be intellectually satisfying. Suspense endings must provide emotional satisfaction."

I think I've figured out why that one in particular bugs me ('cause, you know all rules bug me). Literature used to lead. The movies and TV followed. Movies are based on books - I know, I know, there are 'novelisations,' and some are very good, but usually that's the way it goes. Envelopes are pushed in books.

So, would a mystery novel (or suspense or thriller or even crime novel) ever have an ending like The Sopranos? Or like the end of my personal favourite, Season Two of The Wire? Even a few old Law and Orders ended with bad guys walking away free.

In the fifties movies and TV operated under a "volunteer" production code that included things like couples sleeping apart in single beds, and a lot more morality stuff (the thirties and forties were quite different, before HUAC, the Hollywood Ten and allthat), so books were where all the good stuff happened.

Are we now also falling into a kind of "volunteer" code where potential saleability of manuscripts affects the content/ Are we following too many rules?

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I agree. With considerable jealousy. :) Hey Vicki.


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