Rating thrillers

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Jorn Barger

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Jun 23, 2004, 2:24:16 PM6/23/04
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Last year I proposed a nine-dimensional rating scheme for thrillers (etc)
and summarised 20+ authors using this scheme.
http://groups.google.com/groups?th=1c4f959429607d1

Below I've added two new dimensions (originality and structure), four
dozen new authors, and refined the ratings a bit. (Yes, I'm a double
Virgo... with Moon in Gemini, no less.)

'Pageturner' and 'readability' are rather close, as are 'texture'
and 'realism'. Because sociology is my favorite form of infotainment,
these two also overlap.

I've included my favorite non-thriller writers in the first section.
More: http://www.robotwisdom.com/jorn/favorites.html
The number in parens is approximately how many titles I've read by each
('all' is also approximate).

Some I've had to omit because it's been too long since I read them:
John Cheever (3), Tim O'Brien (3), Wright Morris (4), Larry McMurtry
(lots), Tom McGuane (3), Geoffrey Household (3), Robert Ludlum (3),
Minette Walters (1)

Fun genre authors to check out: Connelly, Browne, Perry, Vincent, Deaver,
Dunning, C Wilson, RA Wilson

Names you might not but should know: O'Brian, James, Bowen, 'Box' (Gore
Vidal pseud), Kostoff, Dunne, Just, Wharton, McElroy, Boyd, Bourjaily,
Jim Harrison

Names you ought to know well: Stone, Murdoch, le Carre, Higgins, Leonard,
Wolfe, Percy, Nabokov

Too individual to rate: Joyce, Pynchon, Flaubert, M Amis, Brodkey, Renata
Adler

Dimensions:
pageturner (zippy-sloggy)
infotainment (educational-familiar)
sociology (insightful-banal)
originality (creative-rote)
structure (elegant-messy)
style (artistic-clumsy)
texture (rich-flat)
realism (convincing-incredible)
soul (compassionate-satanic)
humor (funny-grave)
readability (easy-hard)
style
structure | texture
originality | | | realism
sociology | | | | | soul
infotainment | | | | | | | humor
pageturner | | | | | | | | | readability
| | | | | | | | | | |
Robert Stone (all) A/C A A A A A A A A B D
Iris Murdoch (all) C C A A B A A A A B C
Patk O'Brian (all) A/B A A A A A A A A A C
John leCarre (all) A/B A A A A A A A A B D
Geo V Higgins (all) A/D B A A B A B A A B B/F
Blanche Boyd (all) B B A A A A B A A A B
Walker Percy (all) C C A A A A A B A A B
Joseph McElroy (all) F C A A B A A B A B F
Vlad Nabokov (all) D D C A A A B B D B F
Leo Tolstoy (2) B A A A A A A A A C B
H Melville (1) B A B A A A A B A B C
P Dickinson (all) B A B A A B C B A B A
Wm Wharton (all) B A A A A B B A A B A
Ward Just (all) A/D C A A A A A A A B C
Graham Greene (all) A/D B A A A A A A B D B/C
JD Salinger (4) C C A A A A A B B A B
Colin Wilson (all) B C B A B B B D B C A
Robt A Wilson (all) B B B A B B B C B A A
Tom Wolfe (2) A A A A B D B B C B A
Joseph Heller (1) B D B A A B C D B A A
Jon. Franzen (1) C B A A A B B A B B B
V Bourjaily (all) B A B B B B B B A B A
Dom'ck Dunne (3) B B A A A B B A B B A
Jim Harrison (2) C B A A B A A A A A B
Mary McCarthy (all) B C A B B B B A B C B
M Smartt Bell (1) B B A A B B A A B B A
Michael Knight (1) B D B A B B B B A A A
Robert Graves (5) C A C A B C C C B C C
Gore Vidal (4) C A A A B B B A B B B
Wm Gibson (2.5) B B A A B A A B B B B
Iain Pears (2) F A B A D A B B B C D
Alice Adams (4) C C B C C B B B B B B
Armist. Maupin (4) B D A B C C B C B A A
C. McCullough (2) B D C D C C B C B C A
James Michener (1) C B C C C C D D C D B
| | | | | | | | | | |
pag inf soc org str sty tex rel sou hum red
| | | | | | | | | | |
Elmore Leonard (all) A C A A A A A A B A A
M Connelly (7) A C C C B B B C B D B
Thomas Perry (all) A C C B A B C B B D B
Jeffery Deaver (all) A F F D A D D F F F A
Lindsey Davis (10) B A B A B B B B B B A
Steven Saylor (1) C A B B B B B B B C B
M Cruz Smith (all) B B C A B B B B B C A
Scott Turow (all) C B B A B B B B B D C
Bill James (4) D C B A B A B A A A D
Peter Bowen (1) D C A A A A A A A A D
'Edgar Box' (1) C B A B C B D D C B C
Ger. A Browne (3) A A D A A C C F B C A
John Dunning (4) B A C B F C C C C D B
James Ellroy (2) C C C B D D A A F F B/F
Lynn Kostoff (2) B B B A B B B B B B B
Jim Thompson (2) A D C B B B A B D C B
Thomas Harris (4) A D D C C B B D D C A
Robert Harris (1) B A C C C C C C C C B
Carl Hiaasen (5) B D D A A C D D C A A
Dave Barry (2) B F D C C C C F C A A
SV Date (1) B F F F C C D F C C A
Edna Buchanan (6) B C C D C C C C C C A
Linda Davies (2) B C C C C C C D C D B
Patk Vincent (2) B D A B A B B B B B B
Ed Dee (2) B C B C C C C B B B B
Jimmy Breslin (1) D C A C C C D F C B C
Wilbur Smith (4) B B C C C C B C B C B
Tom Clancy (1) A A F C C F C F F D B
Robert Crais (3) B F D D C D D B C D C
Dennis Lehane (3) B F D B F C D D D B C
Kenneth Abel (1) D D D D C B C F C C C
David Morrell (2) B D F F A C D F B C A
Ian Fleming (1) B A D B D C C F C D B
E Childers (1) A B D B C C A C B C A
James Buchan (1) B D F B D C B F B C A
| | | | | | | | | | |
pageturner | | | | | | | | | readability
infotainment | | | | | | | humor
sociology | | | | | soul
originality | | | realism
structure | texture
style

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