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Julian Symons (1912–1994)

Författare till Bloody Murder: From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel

116+ verk 3,220 medlemmar 74 recensioner 3 favoritmärkta

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Serier

Verk av Julian Symons

Ett trepiporsproblem (1975) 203 exemplar
The Colour of Murder (1957) 167 exemplar
The Belting Inheritance (1965) 134 exemplar
Brottets bana (1960) 106 exemplar
The Kentish Manor Murders (1988) 90 exemplar
Den kusliga leken (1972) 82 exemplar
The Man Who Killed Himself (1967) 81 exemplar
Så dog Annabel Lee (1983) 77 exemplar
Verdict of 13 (1978) — Redaktör; Bidragsgivare — 71 exemplar
Death's Darkest Face (1990) 71 exemplar
The 31st of February (1950) 67 exemplar
The Plot against Roger Rider (1973) 66 exemplar
The Detling Secret (1982) 66 exemplar
The Narrowing Circle (1954) 59 exemplar
Falskt vittnesbörd (1949) 55 exemplar
A Criminal Comedy (1985) 47 exemplar
Sweet Adelaide (1980) 42 exemplar
A Pictorial History of Crime (1966) 42 exemplar
Merry Murder (1994) 40 exemplar
The Paper Chase (1723) 39 exemplar
The End of Solomon Grundy (1964) 38 exemplar
Playing Happy Families (1994) 38 exemplar
Something Like a Love Affair (1992) 36 exemplar
The Man Whose Dreams Came True (1600) 33 exemplar
The Man Who Lost His Wife (1970) 31 exemplar
The Broken Penny (1966) 30 exemplar
Döden går på vernissage (1948) 26 exemplar
The Gigantic Shadow (1823) 25 exemplar
Dashiell Hammett (1600) 20 exemplar
The Thirties: A Dream Revolved (1975) 18 exemplar
The Killing of Francie Lake (1963) 16 exemplar
A Sort of Virtue (1996) 14 exemplar
Buller's Campaign (1967) 13 exemplar
A Man Called Jones (1747) 13 exemplar
Critical Observations (1981) 13 exemplar
Murder! Murder! (1961) 10 exemplar
The Detective Story in Britain (1962) 10 exemplar
An Anthology Of War Poetry (1942) 9 exemplar
Murder Takes a Holiday (1991) 9 exemplar
Francis Quarles Investigates (1965) 7 exemplar
England's Pride (1974) 7 exemplar
Charles Dickens (1969) 5 exemplar
Reasonable Doubt (1960) 5 exemplar
Crime & Detection Quiz (1983) 5 exemplar
Notes from Another Country (1972) 5 exemplar
Critical Occasions (1966) 4 exemplar
Confusions about X 2 exemplar
Asi acabó Salomón Grundy (1964) 2 exemplar
En mördares dröm (1974) 2 exemplar
New Poetry: v. 9 (1983) 2 exemplar
Les dessous de l'affaire *** (2001) 2 exemplar
Angry 30s (1976) 2 exemplar
Los crímenes de Blackheath (1978) 1 exemplar
Slutet på visan 1 exemplar
Juego de sangre (1974) 1 exemplar
The Tigers of Subtopia (1965) 1 exemplar
Symons Julian 1 exemplar
Drohende Schatten 1 exemplar
Jugando a matar (1986) 1 exemplar
Giftmorden på Blackheath (1983) 1 exemplar
Am Anfang war der Mord (1994) 1 exemplar
The Modern Crime Story (1980) 1 exemplar
'Twixt the Cup and the Lip (1963) 1 exemplar

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Allmänna fakta

Vedertaget namn
Symons, Julian
Namn enligt folkbokföringen
Symons, Julian Gustave
Födelsedag
1912-05-30
Avled
1994-11-19
Kön
male
Nationalitet
UK
Födelseort
London, England, UK
Dödsort
Kent, England, UK
Bostadsorter
London, England, UK
Yrken
crime novelist
editor
literary critic
historical novelist
essayist
biographer (visa alla 8)
teacher
poet
Relationer
Symons, A. J. A. (brother)
Organisationer
Detection Club
Amherst College
British Army (WWII)
Priser och utmärkelser
Cartier Diamond Dagger 1990
Kort biografi
Julian Symons, born in London, was a younger brother, and later the biographer, of the writer A. J. A. Symons. He left school at 14. He founded the poetry magazine Twentieth Century Verse in 1937 and edited it for two years. He tried crime writing in a light–hearted way before World War II, and later became a leader of the genre. As an early Trotskyite, he applied for recognition as a conscientious objector at the start of WW II, but ended up in the Royal Armoured Corps from 1942 to 1944. After a period as an advertising copywriter, he became a full-time writer in 1947. His use of irony and black humor to show the violence behind the respectable masks of society, and his emphasis on character and psychology, have caused many to consider his books mainstream fiction. During his career, he won two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America and, in 1982, received the MWA's Grand Master Award. Symons served as the president of the Detection Club from 1976 to 1985. His 1972 book Bloody Murder: From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel (published as Mortal Consequences in the USA) is one of the best-known critical works in the field of crime fiction. Symons wrote more than 30 crime novels and story collections and also made occasional forays into historical mystery, such as The Blackheath Poisonings (1978), which was filmed for television in 1992.

Medlemmar

Recensioner

Everyone in this book is awful, pathetic, or both. Not terribly so: just ordinarily awful, mundanely pathetic. And I suppose not quite everyone. There's a barrister whose only character flaw is a measure of egotism, and a likeable prostitute. But every other character, minor or major, is composed in a rebarbative key. It's quite an achievement to make even the brief walk-on parts believably unpleasant.

The narrative centres on John Wilkins, a minor-league fantasist in denial about his drinking problem. His fantasies and his drinking owe much to his grasping, social-climbing wife, May, and his overbearing, meddling mother. Their intertwined lives induce an atmosphere of intense entrapment. The reader is given to wonder how many similar miserable situations have been avoided by the liberalisation of the divorce laws and the loosening of stifling middle-class social norms since the 1950s. If John and May could just have separated painlessly, and acceptably to all, none of the plot happens.

Since they can't separate, the plot happens. John's fantasies lead him into a tangle of lies and a delusional semi-affair with a young woman; his lies, along with his drinking and concomitant blackouts, contribute to the credibility of the murder case against him when she's found dead. The book has two parts. The first is a long pre-trial interview between John and a psychiatrist. He was irrationally involved with her. He may have killed her. He doesn't know. He can't remember. The second is the trial itself. An epilogue seems intended to cement the ambiguity surrounding the murder case, but rests on a coincidence so far-fetched that the ambiguity instead collapses. The book might have been better without it.

The Colour of Murder was reissued as a British Library Crime Classic in 2018, so it wasn't just a prize-winner in 1957; it is esteemed today. Both accolades deserve inquiry.

Why did it win a prize in 1957? Perhaps because of the forensic focus on the states of mind of the central suspect. The introduction to the BL edition highlights this as a novelty at the time, and certainly in comparison to novels from the "Golden Age" of crime novels, there is considerable depth, nuance, and plausibility to the psychological characterisation. This is mostly in the first part of the book. The trial part is nicely done, and I might have appreciated it more had I not recently read Grierson's similar, better effort. The introduction claims that Symons uses this part to "explore the nature of justice", but I can't say I found much exploration worth considering.

Symons' reputation in the world of crime fiction now rests mostly on his history of the genre, Bloody Murder, rather than on his own novels. So why reissue this one (and one other, The Belting Inheritance)? While it certainly has merits as a novel, it's also fascinating as a social document of the 1950s. The introduction notes this, but in relation to concrete facts about the prevalence of "television parties" and racism. I was more struck by what the book tells about the claustrophobic, small-minded, straitened nature of lower-middle-class 1950s life: among other elements, how painfully important it was to cleanse oneself from any taint of unsuitable social origins or associations, and how temptingly easy it was to re-associate oneself to disastrous effect. If you ever want to read a novel that makes you both aware and glad that the not-too-distant past really is the past, this is one to consider.
… (mer)
½
 
Flaggad
hypostasise | 14 andra recensioner | Jan 19, 2024 |
Tony Shelton is a cricket player with aspirations to being a top player. But he is playing it down and trying to be more bookish to impress Victoria Rawlings. He’s gone to the extent of giving up cricket, his passion, to win this girl.

Victoria Rawlings is the granddaughter of Martin Rawlings, a renowned poet. She is very bookish, extremely proud of her literary connection and very anti-cricket.

The two are engaged and for an engagement gift, Tony purchases a rare collection of Martin Rawlings poems at a very high price. Questions arise about the authenticity of the collection. It seems there are a numbers of these collections that have been found to be fakes.

To verify the authenticity, Tony seeks the expertise of well-known sellers who are considered experts on Rawlings’ work. Tony finds there is a “no love lost” attitude between these people as each feels they are the top expert in the field. Their differences don’t help Tony, and it is only worse when some turn up dead one after another.

Inspector Wrax is given the case. Wrax is a mean man who is suspicious of everyone, he bulldozes his way through the investigation with blunt questions and a focus on making an arrest.

Disappointed with Wrax’s methods and slow progress, Tony takes it upon himself to do his own investigation. He gets assistance from Victoria, John Basingstoke (a writer with a prominent scar on the right side of his face), Ruth Cleverly (a researcher and Basingstoke’s friend), and Bland (a law clerk with an extensive interest in criminology. As the group makes inroads to the mystery, good and bad, the pieces fall into place.

Bland is an interesting character who is brought in midway. A loner with quite a knowledgeable background. This is the third book in a short series. I hope to find the others to read.
… (mer)
 
Flaggad
ChazziFrazz | 1 annan recension | Nov 8, 2023 |
I think I enjoyed The Belting Inheritance a bit better than this one, but it was still quite a good mystery and well worth a read.
 
Flaggad
JBD1 | 4 andra recensioner | Apr 27, 2023 |
An experimental style, mystery begins with suspect speaking to a psychologist, followed by his trial and an epilogue with a surprising twist. A lonely man in an unhappy marriage falls in love with his fantasy of a young women who works at the library.
 
Flaggad
ritaer | 14 andra recensioner | Apr 24, 2023 |

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Associerade författare

Tom Adams Illustrator
Edward D. Hoch Contributor
Georges Simenon Contributor
Agatha Christie Contributor
H. R. F. Keating Introduction, Contributor
Michael Gilbert Contributor
P. D. James Contributor
Patricia Highsmith Contributor
Ellery Queen Contributor
Edmund Crispin Contributor
Celia Fremlin Contributor
Christianna Brand Contributor
Dick Francis Contributor
Ngaio Marsh Contributor
Michael Underwood Contributor
Peter Dickinson Contributor
Michael Innes Contributor
Gwendoline Butler Contributor
Ernest Bramah Contributor
William Faulkner Contributor
Graham Greene Contributor
Dorothy L. Sayers Contributor
Edgar Allan Poe Contributor
Arthur Conan Doyle Contributor
Roy Vickers Contributor
Geoffrey Bush Contributor
Ambrose Bierce Contributor
Ruth Rendell Contributor
John Dickson Carr Contributor
Stanley Ellin Contributor
Jacques Futrelle Contributor
Q. Patrick Contributor
Ursula Curtiss Contributor
Roald Dahl Contributor
Martin Edwards Introduction
Eero Raassina Translator
Pentti Koskela Translator
Robert A. Maguire Cover artist
Fried Holm Translator
Alberto Claveria Translator

Statistik

Verk
116
Även av
116
Medlemmar
3,220
Popularitet
#7,951
Betyg
3.9
Recensioner
74
ISBN
395
Språk
11
Favoritmärkt
3

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