Criminal convictions : errant essays on perpetrators of literary license /
by Nicolas Freeling.
1st ed.
Boston : D.R. Godine, 1994.
xiv, 155 p. ; 22 cm.
0879239735 :
More Details
Boston : D.R. Godine, 1994.
0879239735 :
contents note
Crime and metaphysics -- Stendhal -- Charles Dickens -- Joseph Conrad -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- Rudyard Kipling -- Raymond Chandler -- Dorothy L. Sayers -- Georges Simenon -- Apologia pro vita sua.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1994-05-15:
Freeling, the celebrated author of 30 mystery novels (e.g., Flanders Sky, Mysterious Pr., 1992), here offers reflections on, rather than criticism of, his chosen genre. He paints on a broad canvas; his assertion that virtually all major 19th-century novelists are crime writers because ``nobody had then put crime into quotation marks'' allows him to essay Stendhal, Kipling, and Conrad, among others, while leaving later chapters open for Dorothy Sayers and Simenon. His sensibilities are keen, and he calls things as he sees them. The longest chapter, on Dickens, does a dead-on job of spearing Bleak House's glaring faults while also holding it up as one of the great novels of the language. Similarly, on Raymond Chandler he writes, ``While a formidable craftsman tactically...Ray was never good at the overall strategy of a book-length narrative.'' Fun, informed, and full of personal insight, this should appeal to Freeling's many readers and to ``literary'' mystery buffs.-Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1994-05-02:
An author of crime fiction for 30 years, Freeling has won the top mystery writer awards in France, England and the U.S. His two widely praised police procedural series featuring Dutch officer Piet van der Valk with his wife Arlette and the French inspector Henri Castang, comprise more than 30 books. Here he extends the definition of crime fiction to include the works of Stendhal, Dickens, Kipling and Conrad and examines his literary predecessors with the wit and erudition that distinguish his best mysteries. There are few modulated opinions here: Margery Allingham's The Tiger in the Smoke is ``deplorable trash.'' The wide-ranging views will be appreciated most by readers familiar with the works, but Freeling's voice--as fresh, and often cutting, as a stiff breeze--will be a tonic to many. He believes the big, metaphysical issues confronting humans are most directly met in art, and in fiction, in stories that focus on crime. ``Crime is the expression of longing and losing, and what else is our poetry, our music?'' First serial to Armchair Detective and Mystery Scene magazines. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, April 1994
Library Journal, May 1994
Publishers Weekly, May 1994
Booklist, June 1994
Publishers Weekly, April 1995
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Table of Contents
Crime and Metaphysicsp. 3
Stendhalp. 14
Charles Dickensp. 26
Joseph Conradp. 58
Sir Arthur Conan Doylep. 70
Rudyard Kiplingp. 81
Raymond Chandlerp. 110
Dorothy L. Sayersp. 121
Georges Simenonp. 132
Apologia Pro Vita Suap. 143
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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