Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ian Rankin comparison, part CCCLXXIV

The lengths to which publishers and reviewers stretch to compare writers to Ian Rankin has been noted here occasionally. I thought I'd post examples of such comparisons when I find them, and I invite you to offer your own. Today's example is from a blogger's comment on Qiu Xiaolong's excellent Death of a Red Heroine:

I'd recommend the book to anyone who enjoys writers like Ian Rankin strong on personal back story, human relationships and evocative place settings.

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Blogger Adrian Weston said...

Thanks for the link - I like your Blog, which I wouldn't otherwise have seen.

October 16, 2006  
Blogger Adrian Weston said...

PS - though I was not going to any lengths and am not the publisher! - merely pointing out that I thought Death of a Red Heroine might appeal to a Rankin-reader.... now thinking I should have tried harder. Sigh. Even blogging requires thought....

October 16, 2006  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ha! Blogging already takes time from reading. Don't tell me now that it requires thought, too.

I can understand that Rankin would be a point of comparison for many readers, simply because many people have read him. The comparison that really set me off on this little Rankin-comparison thing was to Peter Temple's Jack Irish books. UK readers told me publishers there were promoting Temple's books as having a protagonist similar to Rankin's. All I knew about Temple's books at the time was that they had fair amounts of humor, which is one thing Rankin's Rebus lacks.

While Death of a Red Heroine and the Rankin books do give ample human back story and pay close attention to comparison, I don't see great similarity. In fact, In Qiu's book, the human part is just as much "front" story as the crime, without one interfering with the other. And then there's the politics, which are so much a part of the book. Someone told me that several of the Rankin novels integrate certain events -- building of a new Scottish parliament building, if I recall. I may not have read those novels, or I may have missed political allusions in the ones I did read.

Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for looking in.

October 16, 2006  

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