Crime Fiction contains an analysis of three key texts as culturally significant examples of the changes that have taken place in the crime fiction genre. Each analysis is based on Tzvetan’s Todorov’s theory about the dual narrative structure of crime fiction stories. Two chapters that deal more generally with the evolution of the genre and its conventions precede the discussion of each story. They show the dynamic nature of the genre and try to explain why readers are attracted to the genre and why it survives today as the most popular genre amongst readers. The debate about invention and convention is outlined. The book provides a history of the genre, and there are important discussion of the Golden Age, the Hard-boiled school and Post-modern crime fiction. The stories – The Big Sleep, Anil’s Ghost and The Real Inspector Hound – are discussed in separate chapters. Each chapter analyses the narrative structure in the light of Todorov’s theories and discusses the context and outstanding features as distinct examples of the evolving and dynamic crime fiction genre. At the end of each chapter is a sample essay that shows students how to synthesis information and ideas into an essay response and how to structure it. Students are given advice on how to write a crime fiction story, and several ‘A’ grade examples are provided.
This book is clearly written, makes complex ideas accessible and facilitates learning. It is ideal for a study of the crime fiction genre in the senior years of high school. It can be used either as a whole program or divided into units and dealt with separately. Each unit would be suitable to study concepts such as Justice or Power.