What are some examples of crime fiction that have pushed the boundaries of literary style?  In What way? Examples?

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But that's hardly impressive. O r very literary.

Granted, IJ. Still thought it showed creativity.


Should I rather have mentioned the uniquely written A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, where Burgess wrote in a whimsical abstract first-peron style, using lingo unknown to anyone else? That was surely pushing the boundaries of crime writing...


I'm not sure you need to push the boundaries, though some of that is certainly fun and a little dangerous.  It's really a matter of having story, theme, character, format, and style all above the norm and all working together perfectly.

In the very early 90s it was fasionable to write books of short stories where each story stood alone but when read together are a novel, but each chapter with a different POV, sort of cubist in the effect. 


I thought Denis Johnson's "Jesus' Son" collection of stories, though not specifically crime, do have many elements of crime fiction (robberies, hold ups, drug dealing, and murder).  These stories had something very new.  More from William Burroughs than Graham Greene, but as one reviewer put it "These stories read like ticker tape from the subconscious," which is exactly how they read.  They actually put the reader inside a schizophrenic mind drug addled mind and make him see the world through those eyes.  I fyou haven't read them I highly suggest it, they are also very funny, and for all their darkness they are filled with the light of humanity.  His novel "Nobody Move" is a noir novel, and is very good, though I doubt he will ever top "Jesus' Son". 


I like that idea.  I write my series so that all the books taken in sequence describe one man's life, and those of the people around him.  It would be fun to do a few from another character's perspective.
Patricia Highsmith comes to mind---her "Ripley" novels, in which the protagonist is the villain, and the reader is effortlessly drawn into his mind and his chilling but seductive moral climate.  There is nothing really unusual about the style, as I recall---no special  tricks; it's just Ripley's own POV.   Often, it seems to me, writers who push the boundaries do not make a big deal of doing so: it just happens---as though they are not really trying. So the prose is never belabored.
Now I haven't been able to read RIPLEY at all.  In spite of thye fuss that's being made about it.

I'm not saying  really liked them---:)---but I think they did "push" the boundaries of crime fiction, and some consider her work to be "literature."  She writes very well.    Naturally I think Ruth Rendell has pushed those boundaries too---especially with the Barbara Vine novels---and I like her work far more than I do Highsmith's.  But I think Highsmith might have crossed into that territory first with Ripley.   I think as "mystery" readers we still prefer the moral camp of the detective...it can make one a little queasy to stay too long inside the mind of a killer!  A glimpse is one thing---I don't want to make it a lifestyle! :)

Stephen Hamilton's, The Lock Artist, is not only pushing the boundareis but also setting new ones.  He's pulling crime fiction into the mainstream literary market via YA, and I think that's positively genius, not to mention deliciously wicked. 


Rather than regurgitating the examples, here's the link with my parsing of his brilliant use of multiple literary tropes.  www.buzzardbone.blogspot.com

Oh, how have we not mentioned Declan Burke's new book, "Absolute Zero Cool"?




'Absolute Zero Cool is unlike anything else you'll read this year...laugh-out-loud funny...this is writing at its dazzling, cleverest zenith. Think John Fowles, via Paul Auster and Rolling Stone...A feat of extraordinary alchemy.' --Ken Bruen


'A genuinely original take on noir, inventive and funny...a cross between Flann O'Brien and Raymond Chandler.' --John Banville


I really love Dec's writing. Must figure out how to get "Absolute Zero Cool" as it isn't published here in the States.
Early Andy Vachss...Blue Belle, Hard Candy...


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