Thursday, February 14, 2019

Ten top genre-twisting novels

Alan Trotter is a writer based in Edinburgh. Muscle, his debut novel, was awarded the inaugural Sceptre Prize for a novel-in-progress. He has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Glasgow - his dissertation concerned writers making unusual use of the form of the book.

One of his top ten genre-twisting novels, as shared at the Guardian:
Blind Man with a Pistol and Plan B by Chester Himes

The earlier Harlem Detective books featuring Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are raucous, macabre fun – try All Shot Up or Cotton Comes to Harlem. But in these final two books (one unfinished) something breaks. Finally, even a chaotic version of the detective novel can’t deal with injustices as large as those Himes heaps on his two policemen – confronted with the bone-deep racism of a whole society, struggling with their own position as black men defending the white status quo. Nothing is resolved, no cases are cracked, the violence is not just brutal but shocking. It’s a fascinating, sad, disorienting conclusion.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue