Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Bank Job and Capers

Last weekend, I caught The Bank Job, which I liked quite a bit. Unlike other excessively fancy capers, this one doesn't seem to unravel when you think about it. The period touches -- 1970s London -- are also welcome. High tech has affected capers and crime fiction -- cell phones, computerized records, surveillance equipment, etc. -- so going back in time is one solution. Of course, for some, the technology offers a new set of challenges that make for a good yarn.

In the theater, two twenty-something women were sitting next to me, and one of them was a caper junkie. I like capers a lot (the Parker novels by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake) are among my favorite crime books) -- and have been trying to write one. I'm still trying to figure out exactly (or generally) why readers like them -- and I'm curious too if they have a strong audience (compared to other sub-genres of crime fiction). In part, people like capers for the same reason they like game shows: the money (and the fantasy of lots of money obtained quickly through smart thinking).

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