Sunday, December 19, 2010

City detective spots trend

Looking back over the list of books I enjoyed most this year, I noticed a couple of trends. The most pronounced is that six of the eight books I mentioned are urban novels. Actually, in the majority the city was basically an extra character -- Finch and The City & the City in particular. The second trend is that half of the genre novels I listed were detective stories. Two more of them featured law enforcement prominently.

Looking back over the complete list of things I read this year, it doesn't look like urban detective stories were all that common. They just turned out to be the ones I really enjoyed.

I think it's pretty obvious why I like urban novels: I live in the city (or, at least, very close to it). I also think that urban genre fiction is going through a bit of a renaissance at the moment, particularly in fantasy. That makes sense, I think. Ours is a largely urbanised society. Cities are what we -- both authors and readers -- know.

I'm less sure why I've enjoyed the detective stories so much. Maybe I'll get back to you on that one.

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