Ben over at Dead End Follies is hosting the Smooth Criminals challenge for the first time. I was actually a bit hesitant to join, because I've never read a "hardboiled" or "noir" classic before. It occurred to me, however, that I started this blog to acquaint myself with books I found intimidating, and that's what this challenge is about too.
Before I knew it, I was actually having fun finding books for all the different genres in this challenge. The difference between noir and hardboiled actually had me stumped for a while, but I found this essay which explained everything to me. (If I make a mistake while taking about hardboiled and noir classics, please blame me, and not the essay.)
- The High Window by Raymond Chandler (Hardboiled Classic) - I have never read anything by Raymond Chandler, so I'm hoping this book will be a pleasant surprise.
- The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain (Noir Classic) - Ditto.
- The Green Mile by Stephen King (Prison Book) - When I was in high school, I went through a phase where all I read were Stephen King books, and The Green Mile was my favorite. I'm going to reread this to see if it's as good as I thought it was.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray or The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (Book written by a writer who did time) - Yes, Oscar Wilde did indeed go to jail for "gross indecency" with other men.
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Book with psychopath protagonist) - To be honest, I have no idea if this book has a psychopath protagonist or not. While looking up books, I came across a Goodreads list called "books with psychopathic characters," and this book was #2. Good enough for me.
- Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (Gothic novel) - I have no idea what this book is about, but it's the shortest Gothic novel I've ever encountered. Cool.
- The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (Classic where the plot revolves around the crime) - I know only one thing about this book: It's about a moonstone which may or may not have been stolen.
- The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington (The why the hell am I doing this to myself book) - It's not about a crime or anything like that but THIS BOOK WILL MAKE MY HEAD HURT.
What are you waiting for? Go sign up for this challenge at Dead End Follies right now.