Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Thriller fiction, sometimes called suspense fiction, is a genre of literature that typically entails fast-paced plots, numerous action scenes, and limited character development. It is sometimes called suspense fiction because of the heightened level of stress or excitement that it induces in the reader. Along with the aforementioned suspense fiction , it has several sub-genres, including adventure fiction , techno-thriller, conspiracy thriller and spy fiction.
Thriller fiction has its origins in the adventure stories of Egar Allen Poe and Robert Lois Stevenson . In the early twentieth century, many more adventure stories saw their way into print in the dime novels and pulp magazines of that era.
The thriller novel as we know it today was virtually invented by the author Edgar Wallace. Writing in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Wallace produced many of these quickly paced novels until his death in 1932. After Wallace's death, imitators and pulp magazines continued the trend.
In the 1950s, the invention of the spy thriller by Ian Fleming, contributed to the genre. Also in that decade, the arrival of the author Allistair MacLean helped to raise the level of popularity of the genre. MacLean's exciting and action packed novels were appealing to readers of the genre.
In the 1970s, Robert Ludlum began to write thiller novels in the modern style as we know it today. His action heavy novels were best sellers, though derided by critics for their lack of in depth characters and limited psychological subtext. Many of his novels were also conspiracy thrillers.
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