At the 2013 Bouchercon, the subject of misogyny and violence came up often. Hilary Davidson’s comments on one panel got the the attention of the Library Journal who asked her for this blog post that has been making the rounds in the Mystery community.
“Sadistic violence on the page has been on the rise for some time. I don’t think it’s fair to pin it on one book, but in my mind, there’s a divide between crime novels published before 1988 and those that came after. That was the year Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs came out. That title was brutal, but its violence was essential to the psychological underpinning of the book and to the development of its characters. Its massive success inspired imitators, but many of those seemed less concerned with psychology than splatter.”
Read the rest of the post by clicking here.
Our History Of Mystery Class moves into the ’80s with an author who would change the thriller forever, Thomas Harris. His second novel, Red Dragon, practically created a sub genre. It also gave us two characters who redefined the protagonist and antagonist in crime fiction, Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter.
Heavily researched, Red Dragon took on the procedural mystery, leaning heavily on forensics and the art of profiling. Our hero, Will Graham, is a retired FBI agent who is brought back into service to track down a killer striking families across the U.S. He is so good at getting into a murderer’s mind, he has the potential to have a psychotic break. For help he must consult the killer who put him so close to the edge, Hannibal Lecter, one of the most sophisticated sociopaths. Lecter set the standard for the serial killer after his appearance in Red Dragon and its sequel, Silence Of The Lambs.
Our discussion of Red Dragon at 6PM, Sunday November 3rd will be preceded and followed by two screenings. At 4PM we will watch Manhunter, the first film to adapt Red Dragon directed by Michael Mann. After the discussion we’ll view the pilot episode of Hannibal. Copies of Red Dragon are ten percent off for those planning to attend.
Our next discussion on December 1st will be on Elmore Leonard and Out Of Sight.