Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gianrico Carofiglio's new eye for an old crime-fiction convention

This "new eyes" stuff is old hat for Gianrico Carofiglio.

Carofiglio, asked at the Bouchercon 2011 crime-fiction convention why he, a former prosecutor, had made his protagonist a defense lawyer, replied with Proust's statement about the only real journey being to view the world through others' eyes. He inscribed a version of the quotation on a book I had him sign for a friend after our Bouchercon panel.

And in Temporary Perfections, his most recent novel to appear in English, he applies the dictum to one of crime fiction's old chestnuts, that of the detective who can tell without fail, via some subtle clue, that a suspect is lying:
 "Ask him if he can tell when someone's lying. The ones who say they can tell, who think it's impossible to trick them with a lie, are the biggest fools around.  They're the ones a skilled liar can wrap around his little finger with the greatest ease and enjoyment."
What other crime novels and stories explicitly confront conventions of the genre this way?
Gianrico Carofiglio was a member of my panel "A QUESTION OF DEATH: HOW IMPORTANT IS WHODUNIT?" at Bouchercon 2011.

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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Anonymous kathy d. said...

I can't think right now, but just finished Carofiglio's third book in his defense attorney series Reasonable Doubts. Very well done.

That will push me to read this one even sooner.

November 21, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Blogger eating comments again, so let's try this a third time:

I was startled when I first read Carofiglio by the degree to which the story was one of Guido's midlife crisis at least as much as it was a courtroom/legal story. But I got used to that quickly, and now I think Guerrieri is one the most likeable protagonists in crime fiction, and admirable as well.

November 21, 2011  
Blogger Simona said...

I am glad the book came out in English. I love everything Carofiglio writes. Another book of his, The past if a foreign country, is available in English (it doesn't have Guerrieri).

November 21, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I have read that book and also the three previous Guerrieri novels: Involuntary Witness, A Walk in the Dark, and Reasonable Doubts.

I don't know if any more Guerrieri books are on the way. The Italian Wiki article on Carofiglio lists the five novels that have appeared in English, plus Il silenzio dell'onda and Né qui né altrove. Una notte a Bari. Neither of these appears to be a Guerrieri novel.

November 21, 2011  

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