Thursday, December 8, 2011

Smooth Criminals Challenge


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.
I'm actually pretty excited about the books I picked for this challenge. There are a lot of authors in there that I've never encountered, and I'm itching to reread The Green Mile. To everyone else joining this challenge, good luck to us, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

What are you waiting for? Go sign up for this challenge at Dead End Follies right now.

    6 comments:

    Nymeth said...

    Great choices! I love The Moonstone, and Castle of Otranto is... well, unintentionally hilarious is the best way to describe it :P I enjoy classic Gothic novels, but I can't take them seriously.

    Ben said...

    Nice! Great choices Darlyn! The Castle Of Otranto is like the pimp granddaddy of Gothic

    mooderino said...

    nice selection, Chandler should be a very pleasant surprise (because he cool).

    Look forward to your reviews of each.

    mood

    Zibilee said...

    I would recommend Motor City Shakedown to you, and I happen to have 2 copies. If you are interested in reading it for your challenge, email me, and I will pop it into the mail for you!

    Brenna said...

    I'm so excited you're doing this one too! It's such a great idea for a challenge. I also chose The Postman Always Rings Twice for my noir classics.

    I've read The Moonstone twice. It's one of my all-time favorites.

    simplerpastimes said...

    This sounds like a fun challenge! I've read The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Moonstone and plan to reread both eventually. I'd like to try Chandler sometime, too.

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