Friday, 7 October 2016
So what exactly is a comedy thriller?
Over 90% of the way there on the crowdfunding for publication of the Meal of Fortune. Thanks again to everyone who’s pledged. That’s 116 supporters so far.
I’ve been describing the Meal of Fortune as a comedy thriller in which the worlds of arms dealing, espionage and TV cookery collide. A few people have asked what I actually mean by a comedy thriller.
It is a good question. It is perhaps not a clearly defined genre, like fantasy or romance or crime. This may go a long way to explaining why publishers and agents haven’t been biting my hand off to sign me up; perhaps they’re thinking that a lack of a clearly defined genre equals lack of a clear audience and lack of sales. Hmmm? Maybe I didn’t think it through enough before starting to write it.
But back to the question. I’d say a comedy thriller is just that, a thriller or crime novel that either has strong comic moments, a slightly absurd plot line, funny characters or is written in a comic style. (Or all of the above). There are some great comedy thriller novels that I have read over the years. If you’re interested in looking up some books that have inspired the Meal of Fortune there’s a few examples below. This isn’t by any means an exhaustive list but you will laugh out loud and keep you going until The Meal of Fortune gets published.
Divorcing Jack by Colin Bateman – First in Bateman’s long running Dan Starkey series. Gobby Irish journalist who just can’t stop his mouth getting him into trouble. Probably where it all started for me. I’d never read anything like it before and have been hooked ever since.
The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer– Disgraced philosopher goes on the run to France and teams up with one armed crook for bank robberies, fine dining and existential discourse. Bit hard to get into at first but well worth sticking with.
Slow Horses by Mick Heron – action and humour in the place where MI5 rejects are put out to pasture. Really funny turn of phrase. Slow Horses is the first of three books in the series, with another due out soon.
The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson by Douglas Lindsay. A hapless Glasgow barber goes on an accidental killing spree. But he’s not the only one getting in on the murder action. A series of follow-ups chart Barney’s journey around Scotland meeting murder and mayhem wherever he goes. Film recently released starring Robert Carlyle.
The Good Thief’s Guide Series by Chris Ewan. Novelist cum safebreaker gets himself into and then out of some sticky situations. Five books in all from Amsterdam to Paris, Vegas and finally Berlin. Each one as funny and well plotted as the last.
Jack Parlabane Novels – Christopher Brookmyre. Acerbic Scottish wit and rants against much that is wrong with the world mixed in with fast paced and funny action. Check out his Angelique De Xavia books too. Later Parlabane novels have taken on a more serious tone but most recent, Black Widow, won the McIlvanney prize for Scottish crime writing.