Friday 19 August 2011

Just Len...

Bang! Bang!
I have eagle-eyed reader of this blog Bryan Graham to thank for spotting this article on The Guardian's website. Len Deighton is one of 16 thriller and crime writers asked by the paper to pick their own favourite writers. The article appeared last month as crime writers gathered in Harrogate for the annual Crime Writing Festival.

Len's pick is Richmal Crompton, author of the Just William books. He cites young William Brown's undaunted opposition to authority - be it the school teacher or the village policeman - is one of the characteristics of Richmal Crompton's schoolboy character that entranced him and other readers. He sees the evidence of Crompton's writing in other characters:
"It is William's spirit of upbeat anarchy that distinguishes so many British crime stories from their tough-guy American counterparts. His pronouncements are social, political and philosophical but his adventures are catastrophic. William does not recognise catastrophe. Britain's wartime slogan "Keep calm and carry on" might have been his motto. Is William English, rather than British? I think so. Is he a male chauvinist pig? Undoubtedly. Did Richmal Crompton know what she was doing? Perhaps not: but what writer does?"
Also asked to pick their favourite writers as such crime and thriller writing luminaries as Lee Child, Frederick Forsyth, Nicci French and PD James.

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