Gary Krist, author of City of Scoundrels, shares a (highly opinionated) bibliography of Chicago novels, including classics like Sister Carrie and Native Son as well as some little-known gems.
“Chicago has been the inspiration for so many of the great American novels of the early twentieth century,” says Gary Krist. “Gritty realism, after all, was the prevailing aesthetic of that era, and no place lent itself better to gritty realism than the Megalopolis of the Prairie. Here are a few personal favorites that I feel best convey the essence of the city around the time at which City of Scoundrels takes place.”
“A welcome corrective to snow-blindness from too much Nordic noir. . . . Excellent characterization, a sympathetic and engaging protagonist, and plenty of plot twists, with a cliffhanger ending that sets things up nicely for the next in the series.” ~The Guardian
We know many of you are thriller fans, and we love introducing you to fresh new voices in fiction long before their books hit the shelves. Antonio Hill is one of those voices. Enter for the chance to win an Advance Reader’s Copy of The Summer of Dead Toys and be among the first to read it before its June 18, 2013 release. It’s a mystery that transcends the genre and explores the secrets families keep, with a detective-hero you won’t soon forget.
I’m always on the lookout in my research for things like memoirs, personal letters, court testimony, or diaries, where the participants in a historical event actually report what was said and done at a particular time and place.
“Newspaper articles are also very useful for this, especially when reporters on the scene write about what they experienced firsthand,” says Gary Krist, author of City of Scoundrels. “Are these eyewitness reports always accurate? Not by a long shot. Memory is notoriously unreliable, and people often color the truth – or even lie outright – in ways that serve their own personal agendas. A historian therefore has to look at such eyewitness testimony with a skeptical eye.”
“I’m left with a much clearer understanding of the course of the French Revolution as well as the exciting story of General Alex Dumas,” says RIFer Pat H. “No wonder Alexandre used his father as the basis for several of his fictional characters.”
Read It Forward introduced you to The Black Count by Tom Reiss long before it hit the shelves last September.
Winners of our Read It First giveaway couldn’t stop talking about this remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo, saying that it read like a page-turning novel. Reviewers raved. Nominations for prestigious awards followed.
Lisa Unger’s plots are twisty and unexpected, but it’s the way she puts ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances that makes her thrillers truly exceptional.
“I remember the buzz when Lisa Unger’s novel Beautiful Lies was acquired at the publisher where I worked,” recalls Kira Walton, editor at Read It Forward. “This is before e-readers, and everyone was schlepping the manuscript to and from work, reading loose pages on the subway, talking about it in the halls. We knew it would be big, and it was. Lisa Unger’s heroines are some of my favorite characters. They’re strong and smart and tough. But they’re not superhuman. They’re Everywoman.”
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