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Thrillers - 100 Must Reads Book Review

What happens when you combine one hundred of the best thriller writers with an award-winning author and a respected critic and interviewer, the last two sharing the role of editor? The answer is an extraordinary list of 100 of the greatest thrillers of all time.

Each listing is accompanied by an essay from one of the thriller writers, and a biography of the essayist. The sum total is a must read for anyone who enjoys the genre.

Thrillers: 100 Must Reads, edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner, published by Oceanview Publishing, gathers an intriguing reading list of many of the most popular thrillers into one volume.

Each chosen thriller on the list, starting with Theseus and the Minotaur (1500 B.C.) and ending with Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (2003), is supported by an essay written by a well-known author of the genre. The essays are interesting, informative, and often provide a viewpoint the reader might not have considered.

Fans of the genre will likely want to read Thrillers: 100 Must Reads if only to see which thrillers were chosen for this anthology. Some will be rather surprised the editors went back into history as far as they did. The early so-called thrillers that are listed were handed down through oral tradition for 100's of years, before they were finally written down.

Many would argue the inclusion of Theseus and the Minotaur (1500 B.C.); Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey (7th Century B.C.) and Beowulf (between 700 and 1000 A.D.); that they were not true thrillers. Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719-1722) might also raise a few eyebrows.

The editors take time to explain their decision regarding which thrillers to include, or not include, in the introduction. Readers may or may not agree to their working definition of the word. But, that is just part of the fun of reading this marvelous volume.

Besides the essay, each listing includes an interesting, but brief, biography of the essayist that gives readers a look into the lives of some of today’s top thriller writers.

The anthology provides readers with a list of thrillers they may have already read, or missed, or possibly had not considered prior to reading the essays in this collection. It's a handy checklist for those who enjoy trying new authors or reading thrillers that were written in a different era.

Whether you agree or disagree with the editors as to their choice of which thrillers to include, you will still find this book a useful reference to keep on hand. The essays are interesting and include insights into that particular thriller only another author could provide.

A special thank you goes to Oceanview Publishing for sending me a complementary copy for review purposes. Thrillers: 100 Must Reads is available for purchase at Amazon.com.

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