A self-published author has put himself on the hotspot today by criticizing Frank Bill's Crimes In Southern Indiana: "From what I could tell," writes John H. Byk, "Crimes in Southern Indiana, is to crime fiction what the film, Saw, is to horror movies — a mindless string of sensationalism connected by the thinnest of thematic threads. I felt insulted as a reader by the clipped, non sequitor dialogues and two dimensional characters that reminded me of porn stars. Yet this tripe attracted the attention of a major literary agent and secured Mr. Bill a contract with a giant in the publishing industry (FSG). Congratulations to him and sour grapes to those who embrace this new trend.
"These authors, who write like Bill and who are featured in popular crime fiction ezines across the web, don't have the stamina to write a full length novel because there is no suitable framework to contain continuous splashes of blood on page after page. But a society numbed by violence feeds upon these stories like frenzied sharks or masturbatory adolescents unable to control their urges or to satisfy their needs.
"Sex and death. That's always what sells. Ask any freshman Marketing student."
My question for fellow CrimeSpacers: Violence can be overdone, sure, (I don't think so in this case from what I've read of Frank's short stories) but is there anything else to write about but love and death? Mr. Byk keeps deleting the angry comments, but his whole blog post is here.
The threat of capture can be just as important bearing in mind that in the real world people have killed to avoid what can appear to be insignificant embarrassment. Note the people who spent money to create alibis so as to avoid a three point speeding fine - often resulting in serious prison terms. Threat is what it is all about - threat or vengeance. Take the Girl who upset the washing or whatever its called, or the woman in the Danish sweaters. How many books use both or either of those precepts.
:) I love it when critics quote.