Saturday, April 24, 2010

5 reasons that old school thrillers rule!

I had a mild moment of panic today, thinking through my plot:  It's all very old-fashioned.  By this, I mean that there's bangs and car-chases, phone-calls and dossiers.  Not much goes on in cyber-space, which is where I would, personally, take great care to commit most of any crime I might happen to get involved.

I wondered why this is, and pondered for a minute if it would make an agent throw it back at me, it all being having done so many times before.  Then I decided that no, it wouldn't, for the following reasons.

1) Things that go bang are inherently more exciting than things with keyboards and USB ports. And things with keyboards and USB ports that go bang after someone's put a bomb in them just plain aren't as exciting as a red convertible blowing up, or an evil henchman's black limo.  It's true.

2) Computers are dull.  I know this, because I made my living working in IT for quite a while. By extension, the internet, while a great extension of our social tentacles, is mostly unexciting too, in the thriller sense. The knowledge it contains, the people who inhabit it - they - you - are exciting, but as a fabric or an entity - it's dull. 

3) Thrillers inhabiting computer-world are shit.  Read Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, if you can bear it.  Case closed.

4) The Conspiracy theory has never been more relevant.  After all, never before in the history of man have the workings of commerce done more to try to prove that maybe, Marx was right, as demonstrated by the last two years of banking crises, and the associated amoral bleating of the super-rich.

5) James Bond, Jason Bourne, Jack Reacher - battle scars - yes, RSI in their mouse-finger - no.

I could add to this another personal reason, too - I grew up in Germany during the last days of the Cold War.  I remember school trips to the East German border, massive Allied exercises that took in most of North Germany, and just what a proper enemy the Soviets were:  they goose-stepped, had big parades of missiles, and their leaders were ugly and had no dress sense.  Mrs Thatcher almost looked good in comparison, for christ's sake.  No school like the old school, I say...


Post a Comment

Hi, thanks for reading - comments welcome!