The great Raymond Chandler once noted that "the detective or mystery story . . . has become so thoroughly explored that the real problem for a writer now is to avoid writing a mystery while appearing to do so." And that is precisely what the contributors in this masterful anthology have accomplished. For in The Vintage Book of Classic Crime, Michael Dibdin has assembled fifty-four of the most stylish, original and subversive examples of the literature of murder.
Whether written by eminent practitioners such as James M. Cain or Dashiell Hammett, or distinguished "amateurs" like Ernest Hemingway or Franz Kafka, the stories, essays, and novel excerpts in this volume push past their genre’s familiar conventions to explore what makes crime CRIME. Suspenseful and exhilarating, hard-boiled and high art, the result is a dazzling gallery of murder that reveals how daring and controversial crime writing can be.
Contributors and stories include: James M. Cain, "The Postman Always Rings Twice"’ Raymond Chandler, "Pick-up on Noon Street"; Anton Chekhov, "The Shooting Party"; Umberto Eco; William Faulkner, "Smoke"; Dashiell Hammett, "The Glass Key"; Ernest Hemingway, "The Killers"; George V. Higgins, "Trust"; Patricia Highsmith, "Strangers on a Train"; P.D. James and T.A. Critchley, "The Maul and the Pear Tree"; James Joyce; Franz Kafka; Elmore Leonard; Walter Mosley, "A Red Death"; Edgar Allan Poe,"The Tell-tale Heart"; Georges Simenon, "Maiget’s Memoirs"; Isaac Bashevis Singer, "Under the Knife"; Julian Symons, "The Man Who Killed Himself"; Barbara Vine, "A Dark-Adapted Eye"; James Thurber; Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray"; and Emile Zola, "Therese Raquin."