Friday, 30 April 2010

Forgotten Book - The Man Who...


I've written before about my admiration for the late, great Julian Symons. He was one of the most notable British crime writers of his time, and, in my opinion, the greatest of all critics of the genre (even though I don't agree with all of his opinions, including his rather harsh dismissal of many Golden Age writers.)

Among his many achievements, he became President of the Detection Club. In 1992, the Club published The Man Who…, edited by H.R.F. Keating, to celebrate the 80th birthday of Julian Symons, and this is my chosen title today for Patti Abbott's series of Forgotten Books for Friday.

In his introduction, Keating explained that, n compiling this ‘fiction Festschrift’, he had invited ‘those among the Club’s members who have been perhaps most closely linked with Julian to contribute…I laid down only a few stipulations. Each story was, in trbute to the author of The Man Who Killed Himself, The Man Whose Dreams Came True, and The Man Who Lost His Wife, to have a title beginning ‘The Man Who…’ (but, indulgent as ever, I allowed a little latitude.) I added that the stories under these titles should, while being altogether the author’s own, refer in some way to Julian’s oeuvre. A request my fellow members treated with the circumspection proper to any edict of mine.’

Catherine Aird – The Man Who Rowed for the Shore

Eric Ambler – The One Who Did for Blagden Cole

Simon Brett – The Man Who Got the Dirt

Len Deighton – The Man Who Was a Coyote

Antonia Fraser – The Man Who Wiped The Smile Off His Face

Michael Gilbert – The Man Who Was Reconstituted

Reginald Hill – The Man Who Defenestrated His Sister

P.D. James – The Man Who Was Eighty

H.R.F.Keating – The Man Who Killed For Pleasure

Peter Lovesey – The Man Who Ate People

Ruth Rendell – The Man Who Was the God of Love

George Sims – The Man Whose Holiday was a Fiasco

Michael Underwood – The Man Who Scattered Crumbs

This is, in my opinion, one of the very best of the Detection Club books. I shall write about some more of the others in future blog posts.

5 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

You don't see a lineup like that every day.

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - This looks like an excellent choice to profile! Lots of fine, fine authors and, I'm sure, good stories here.

vegetableduck said...

That Reginald Hill title sure is intriguing!

"The Man Who Killed Himself" is one of my favorite Symons books.

George said...

This sounds like a wonderful book! I'll have to check to see if it was published on this side of the pond.

Martin Edwards said...

Yes, I can recommend this one heartily.
Curt, that one is possibly my favourite Symons, along with The Man Whose Dreams Came True.