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December 19, 2008


John Dishon

This article does a huge disservice to Asian crime fiction. How can you talk about Asian crime fiction without even mentioning ANY of the following names:

Akira Yoshimura
Natsuo Kirino
Miyuki Miyabe
Seicho Matsumoto
Ryu Murakami
John Burdett
Kenzo Kitakata
Arimasa Osawa
I.J. Parker
Laura Joh Rowland
Sujata Massey
Timothy Hallinan
David Guterson
Keigo Higashino
David Peace
Akimitsu Takagi
Asa Nonami
Edogawa Rampo
The unknown author who wrote the Judge Dee stories in the 17th century that Gulik translated before appropriating the character for his own stories.

Sure, you can't mention every one, but this "exploration" is awful. It would have been better to narrow the focus to just Chinese crime fiction, since that's mainly what you talk about.

Maybe that's what you intended, I don't know. The article lacks focus. There's no topic sentence, unless the subtitle counts, and you don't really go into any of the works you mention except the last one. So is this article supposed to be a Bad Traffic review or an exploration of the genre? It reads more like one of your smatterings posts, where you link to a story and describe it in a few words. That's great for linking to stories, but not for describing novels. What are the unexpected, interesting aspects of the genre?

I know I'm always negative here, so I doubt anyone is going to be happy with me even posting a comment, but seriously, this is a bad article. It doesn't clearly state what point it's trying to get across: is the article a book review or a concise overview of the genre? If it's the latter, then you weren't given enough space to do the subject justice, and if it's the former, then you should have used the space to delve further into Bad Traffic.

That was harsh, but this article really makes it seem like Asian crime fiction doesn't have much to offer, and that's just not true.

Sarah Weinman

"I know I'm always negative here"

And as a result, even if your criticisms may be justified, the effect is akin to the little boy crying wolf. Please return when you have something to cheer about, be excited about, or enthusiastic about. Or when you are no longer a little boy.

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