THE NEW MYSTERY by Jerome Charyn


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 A generously defined (unfashionably so) anthology of mystery stories, over a third of them (16 of 42) new. Charyn's brief introduction argues for a broadening and deepening of crime fiction since the Sixties, and if these stories are any evidence, he's right about the broadening: Where else could you find Borges, Babel, Mishima, and Garc°a M†rquez between the same covers as Andrew Vachss and Tony Hillerman? Aside from reliable standards like Sara Paretsky's Marlowe pastiche, ``Dealer's Choice,'' Sue Grafton's ``The Parker Shotgun,'' and Patricia Highsmith's ``Snail Watcher,'' the reprints tend toward the sedate, marginally criminal experiments familiar from such Ellery Queen collections as The Literature of Crime. The newer, generally more exciting, stories--headlined by Walter Mosley's ``The Watts Lions,'' Didier Daeninckx's ``Goldfish,'' Mickey Friedman's ``No Radio,'' and James Ellroy's unexpectedly funny ``Gravy Train''--are notable mainly for their demotic style, extreme compression, and emphasis on pain. Though it doesn't live up to the promise of its title, this is still the best one-volume bundle of mystery stories around.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1993
ISBN: 0-525-93516-9
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1992


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