Recommended writers of fiction - and why

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by Cold_Collation, May 9, 2013.

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  1. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    Leading on from the thread about ranking John le Carre's books (and the kicking we seem to have given him forhis later efforts), just who are the best reads out there?

    I tend to be a creature of habit when I find someone good - the missus always laughs that there'll suddenly seem to be a glut of books by the same author kicking around the place. I've just come out of another Len Deighton-fest, for instance.

    But, in the interest of expanding my and others' horizons, who's good... or good right now?

    I'll lead with a long-standing favourite in Martin Cruz Smith. His books featuring Arkady Renko (the central character in the film Gorky Park) have been very consistent over the years, as have his others, and I can't recommend him enough. I've also been a fan of Alan Furst over the years; although his inter-war espionage tales tend to take some getting through they do sustain to the end.

    I know though that I tend towards the same genres (espionage and crime). But who/what is worth a look elsewhere?
  2. For comedy and farce I recommend Tom Sharpe, highlights being The Wilt series, Indecent Exposure and Riotous Assembly for a farcical satire on Apartheid and The Throwback for nasty characters trying to plot and scheme to get one over on each other.
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  3. hotel_california

    hotel_california LE Book Reviewer

    The Bernie Gunther series of books by Philip Kerr. "Berlin Noir" at it's best. If you liked the Alan Furst books, try David Downing's John Russell and Effi Koenen series (Zoo Station et al).
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  4. Look at Wilbur Smiths books, start with the early ones.
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  5. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

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  6. Yes, indeed. The Bernie Gunther series gets better with every new book. 'Field Grey' was brilliant IMO.
    I'd also recommended Stuart MacBride's Logan McRae series starting with 'Cold Concrete'. Very dark humour set in an Aberdeen so wet and windy the local tourist board got a sad on with the author.
    Craig Russell's 'Lennox' series is very good. Gritty 50s Glaswegian noir, with black humour and Gangland über violence aplenty.
  7. I always end up back with GMF, Bernard Cornwell, or Tom Sharpe when I want to be entertained in between the heavier reading required not to look too much of a twat here.
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  8. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    Yes! Already getting stuck into these. A recent discovery.
  9. Drivers_lag

    Drivers_lag On ROPs

    Go on then, I'll do it.

    Phil Campion.
  10. Both these authors are excellent, I have read all of the books by both authors. I am now reading "Child 44" by Tom Rob Smith, which I am really enjoying. Are his other books any good?

    I like Lee Child's books, though I concede that they are formulaic (I just happen to like the formula).

    The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris is very good, set in '40s Glasgow (as are the Lennox books by Craig Russell which I liked).

    Sam Eastland's Inspector Pekkala series set in Stalinist pre war Russia aren't bad.

    CJ Sansom's Shardlake books are interesting, set in Tudor England.

    As a wild card "Gray Eagles" by Duane Unkefer, USAAF & Luftwaffe vets duelling under the Arizona sun in 1976 in restored ME109Gs
  11. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Jeez, that is like asking what is your favourite painting! There are so many different areas of fiction that it would be impossible to pin down to one area and all depends on your own tastes. However it is worth going outside your reading comfort zone now and again to try something different, you may find your tastes head in that direction.

    Recently I have been enjoying the plethora of Ancient Rome books with authors such as MC Scott, Ben Kane, Tony Riches, Richard Foreman and several others. This era is currently being well serviced and there is a lot of good material there ranging from the in-depth story to light hearted fiction. Worth a look through.
  12. Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, James Herbert, Wilbur Smith, Harry Harrison (Stainless Steel Rat). Crikey, where do I end! Why?Because they write totally engrossing tales. Ooh! Ooh, don't forget Frank Herbert of Dune fame, plus the war authors...bloody hell! What a question!
  13. Read the posts of Tropper66.

    Works of complete fiction that are so fantastical and unintentionally funny that Gore Vidal once said "That Troppers a right **** ain't he?"
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  14. I've enjoyed all of Robert Ryan's books, particularly One Fine Morning (about two real pre-war racing drivers who ended up int he French Resistance) and Signal Red (about the Great Train Robbery). I recently found Gordon Ferris, the Hanging Shed and sequels set just post war.