Saturday 25 April 2009

Saving the good old British thriller?

A new group of British authors has been formed to save the classic British thriller from what it calls the 'production line' of modern american thriller fiction. The Curzon Group is the idea of Matt Lynn, Martin Baker and Alan Clements, who are concerned that the methods of Dan Brown, James Paterson and their ilk are draining the creativity from the thriller genre. They wish to see a return to the values that made British thrillers world leaders. Lynn says: "Look at Fleming, look at Len Deighton – they had a quirkiness to them. Yes they were very popular, and had elements of the formulaic, but there was an edge of originality to them."

The Curzon Group has given itself five key principles:

1. That the first duty of any book is to entertain.
2. That a book should reflect the world around it.
3. That thrilling, popular fiction doesn’t follow formulas.
4. That every story should be an adventure for both the writer and the reader.
5. That stylish, witty, and insightful writing can be combined with edge-of-the seat excitement.

It's a noble thought. But does British thriller writing need 'saving'?