Reading Thrillers.

My normal reading fare is what is called the heavy stuff – philosophy, religion, economics, history etc. To vary the pace and for diversion I do read fiction but, had recently not been doing so, particularly thrillers, by default.

By accident, I came across an advertisement a few weeks ago, for the latest David Baldacci book and from there it was a matter of going back to reading that book and a few others by him and Lee Child. I was just about to finish one by Baldacci when a favourite journalist reviewed some books in a column in one of our local newspapers and mentioned John Verdon as being one of his favourites.  I had never heard of Verdon before.

Since I trust the journalist’s taste, I downloaded Verdon’s very first book Think Of A Number, on my Kindle and am just about to finish the book. I am glad that I discovered him as, he writes very well and I intend downloading the other five books that he has written to read in sequence.

The purpose of writing this post however is not to promote the three authors mentioned above though, if my readers want to pursue further, they will not be disappointed. The purpose is to write about a new phenomenon that I am experiencing while I read thrillers.

When the author builds up the tension in various scenes, I am unable to read through till the end and, have to pause for a while and then get back to reading to bring the pumping adrenalin back to normal. This never used to happen before and I think that my body is sending me signals to slow down on the excitement! Sure sign of ageing?

Does this happen to any of my readers? Shackman particularly is a regular reader of thrillers and I would very much like to hear of his experience on this phenomenon. I can’t think of any other readers of thrillers among my readers but, if there are, their experiences also will be most welcome.

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20 Responses to Reading Thrillers.

  1. Wisewebwoman says:

    I do read crime thrillers, more of the psychological bent though and I try to limit my authors to women as I find the writing is more subtle and not all gore and not all women victims of brutal rapes, etc.

    I don’t have the reaction you are experiencing tho. Not to say it’s not in my future, so thanks for the warning 🙂

    XO
    WWW
    Wisewebwoman recently posted..Thin on the ground

    • The John Verdon book turned out to be a thriller with a psychological bent. I enjoyed reading it. I am glad that you are not experiencing the high that prevents me from reading non stop. Let us hope that you never get there!

  2. shackman says:

    Nobody twists me in knots like Dana Stabenow – though her novels are not true thrillers. She is a great writer who happens to write mystery fiction. I have ALWAYS said that a great mystery writer is as valid a commentator on the human condition of any period in histpory as the so-called serious writers of that time. It is part and parcel of the so-called educated elites that “they” know better than us regular folk about such stuff. El Toro poo poo.

    Want to be twisted into knots? Read some Jeffrey Deaver. Start with his 1997 classic The Bone Collector.

    Interested in people? Try Dana Stabemow’s Kate Shugak or Liam Campbell series.
    Baldacci is excellent – and for the sheer fun of reading a thriller that is the equivalent of a popcorn movie, try Raise the Titanic by Clive Cussler. Cussler’s stuff is grandiose and less realistic than the others but that is part ofthe fun in reading him.

    The best observer of the human condition is John D McDonald but his observations are of a time when even I occasionally cringe at what his protagonist Travis McGee does or says but both the character and author are at the top of my list. Just be aware of the time period he is chronicling – the first was published in 1962. The last was published in 1984 and throughout the series you see McGee evolve with the times. And – truth be told – how can one not be draawn to a character that lives on a houseboat he won in a card game – the Busted Flush 0 and drives a custom Rolls Rouce pickup truck circa the 1936 vintage – Miss Agnes.

    I rarely read the so-called serious stuff you read but I do like John Meachum for his historical stuff on the US
    here’s a list of some of my fave myetsry writers and their characters
    Earl Emaeson – Thomas Black and Mac Fontana – two different series set in the Northweat
    Bill Pronzini – Nameless detective series – San Francisco and the detectives name is never given
    Robert B Parker – Spenser – set in Boston; Les Roberts – Milan Jacovich series set in Cleveland; Peter Corris – set in Australia – Cliff hardy series – and my fave “historical” – Stuart Kaminsky amd his Toby Peters series based in Los Angeles – each book has Peters interacting with a famous character of the time like WC Fields, Groucho Marx, Howard Hughes, Bela Lugosi and so on. Really great fun to read.

    It is all about the writing. A good author owns your life while you are reading his/her book from the first page to the last. Luckily I read fast and most of the stuff I read can be read in a single night.
    shackman recently posted..Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. 2-on-1 #18

    • I knew that you were a walking encyclopaedia on music but did not know that you were as deeply into books as well. That is a remarkable list that you have drawn up and I intend using it as a source for future reading. Thank you.

  3. I prefer memoirs, autobiographies and history to fiction. I figure adrenaline rushes are a way to practice stress management, and watching, in carefully administered doses, the U.S. commit suicide is plenty of practice for me. 😀
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Up on the Land

    • tammy j says:

      what fun!
      not for me but to watch you guys enjoying the adrenaline!
      i recognized one of the marine’s favorites… Travis McGee.
      he likes books like that… that come in series.
      but mainly he reads non fiction. science. and politics.
      Chomsky and such. and of late more philosophy.
      he is often sending me something to read.
      then we discuss things over coffee or a meal.
      my own reading is very eclectic. as to crime and thrillers…
      just watching the news is hard enough for me.
      i do love mysteries. but it’s the cozy variety and not your cup of tea.
      so guess i wouldn’t know how to answer your question!
      tammy j recently posted..may day

    • tammy j says:

      LOL!
      tammy j recently posted..may day

    • The adrenalin rush for me is restricted entirely to during reading sessions of thriller books. I read a great deal of other stuff too and I don’t have that during those sessions. I actually enjoy the latter more!

  4. Mike says:

    I tend to read books I’m very interested in to the exclusion of almost everything else. However, I can’t recall any book causing the reaction you describe.
    Mike recently posted..Leaf decorated Teardrop

    • I get too many magazines on a variety of subjects which takes me away from reading one book at a time exclusively. I have now got used to reading more than one material at a time and that allows me to escape the adrenalin rushes as well.

  5. I’ve read lots of Baldacci (He’s everywhere!), and some of Child. My husband brings thrillers home from the library by the armloads. James Patterson is a favorite of his, so I dip into those when I finish my books. I find there is such a sameness in plot and style to all of the thrillers, and I get impatient with them. Give me a beautifully written, evocative, carefully characterized novel (with a mysterious ending), and I’ll be happy! Great topic, Rummuser, and consider checking your blood pressure while you are reading. You may have to give up Thrillers!
    Still the Lucky Few recently posted..Mother’s Day—Memories of Mothers and What They Taught Us

    • I forgot to mention James Patteson. I enjoy reading his books as well. I quite enjoy many Indian authors who write on different genres. I am glad that you found the post great. Thank you. I hope that I don’t have to give up thrillers and I shall indeed take your advice.

    • shackman says:

      Try a Jeffrey Deaver book – nothing standard about his twists and turns.

  6. I’m not a “thriller” reader – and actually I’ve not been reading anything of late…somehow I’ve got out of the rhythm of that. The closest I come to reading is the local newspaper – but the stories/articles are not long and often they are quite boring…
    Maybe it is time to look into an e-reader, like Kindle or similar. I have browsed at e-literature on my library website, but I get bored and flick off to a website before I’m done. A kindle would mean I could read it cosy in bed or similar…

    • The advantage of a Kindle is that you don’t need to find a library space for storage. It is also quite a handy gadget for reading comfort.

      • Mike says:

        As we get ready to travel, Karen has been updating our travel prep lists. One of the items of things to put in the camper was “books.” That’s been deleted. We used to have quite a collection of books along for our longer trips. Now, all we need is the kindles.
        Mike recently posted..Goldfinch

        • Yes, what a difference it has made while travelling. I too carry my Kindle even locally if I anticipate that I may have to wait for sometime for appointments.

          • Mike says:

            I have done that locally, too. However, I also use the kindle app on my iPhone and, recently, just sync with the furthest point read and read on phone while waiting.
            Mike recently posted..Goldfinch

    • I read five newspapers every day primarily to get to their crossword puzzles later. I also subsribe to a number of weekly and monthly magzines besides a very important quarterly magazine. It is a wonder that I get time to read other stuff at all! I am now in the process of not renewing almost all the subscriptions so that I can read other stuff and just the daily newspapers.

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