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Lavie Tidhar, ‘A Man Lies Dreaming’ (2014)

Lavie Tidhar has made his reputation turning genre fiction on its head. In Osama, he tackled the war on terror by imagining Osama bin-Laden as a fictional character in a series of pulp adventure books. In The Violent Century, Tidhar mapped the comic book world of Marvel and DC onto the cold war, creating a spy … Continue reading

Stephen Volk, ‘Leytonstone’ (2015)

When I was a child in the late 70s and early 80s, I was obsessed with a book called The Usborne Guide to the Supernatural World. I never owned a copy but would regularly check it out of my local library, taking it home to pore over the evocative (and, for a children’s book, somewhat gruesome) illustrations … Continue reading

Kem Nunn, ‘Tapping the Source’ (1984)

I can’t surf, but it’s one of those sports that has always held some attraction – more for the lifestyle, if I’m honest. The beach life, the partying, the clothes, the music. Especially the music. As John Williams says in his survey of US crime fiction Back to the Badlands, ‘never before or since has … Continue reading

Dashiell Hammett, ‘Red Harvest’ (1929)

‘Chandler wrote the kind of guy that he wanted to be, Hammett wrote the kind of guy that he was afraid he was.’ Red Harvest was Dashiell Hammett’s first novel, and the second that I’ve read, after The Maltese Falcon. Given its predecessor it had a lot to live up to, so it’s not surprising that it doesn’t … Continue reading