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Dont Close Your Eyes: An Overview of Adventure


Tanner Series by Lawrence Block. Liam Devlin & Sean Dillon Series by ... The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence. SOS Titanic by Eve Bunting. Far North by Will Hobbs ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dont Close Your Eyes: An Overview of Adventure

Dont Close Your Eyes An Overview of Adventure
Thriller Fiction
  • Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
    Security does not exist in nature, nor do the
    children of men as a whole experience it.
    Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than
  • -- Helen Keller

  • Adventure
  • A story involving a hero (or heroine) taking
    risks and overcoming dangers to complete a
    journey or task.
  • Also called Male Romances.
  • Thriller
  • Focuses on a particular profession and tells an
    action-packed story that reveals the intricacies
    of that profession and the potential dangers
    faced by those involved in it.

Characteristics and Appeals for Adventure
  • Story Line Usually concentrated on a desperate
    mission, including plot twists and betrayals
  • Characterization Often a stereotypical strong,
    moral, and committed hero with a few secondary
  • Pacing Always quick and often described as a
    roller-coaster ride
  • Frame Takes place elsewhere, usually
    extreme in nature
  • Style Varies widely

Characteristics and Appeals for Thrillers
  • Frame An immersion into the field or profession
    of the protagonist
  • Story Line Complicated with frequent plot
  • Pacing Engrossing (can be very specific to
    readers interests) page-turners
  • Characterization Protagonists are faced with
    serious dilemma which draws the readers

  • Espionage/Spy Thrillers
  • Legal Thrillers
  • Medical/Bio Thrillers
  • Political/Corporate/Financial Thrillers
  • Crime/Caper Thrillers
  • Cipher Thrillers
  • Techno Thrillers
  • Survival Adventures
  • Military and Naval Adventures
  • Sub-genres contain many crossovers amongst
    themselves and other genres, especially Mystery.

Espionage/Spy Thrillers
  • History Future of genre
  • Extremely popular during the 70s and 80s with
    plots often involving the cold war
  • Currently publishing the adventures of terrorists
    and mercenaries
  • Sub-categories
  • Action (Ludlum)
  • Superhero (Flemings Bond)
  • Cynical Realism (le Carré)
  • Amateur Agent/Adventure (Helen MacInnes)
  • Technology (Tom Clancy)

Espionage/Spy Thrillers
  • Characteristics
  • Resourceful protagonist who may or may not be
    trained as an actual spy. Operates under a
    personal code.
  • Intricate and involved plot relies heavily on
    twists and puzzles within puzzles.
  • International politics used to gain information.
  • There is violence or the threat of violence or
  • The tone and mood are often dark, reflect the
    senses of alienation that plague these agents.

Espionage/Spy Thrillers
  • Key Titles Authors
  • The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
  • The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
  • Kim by Rudyard Kipling (YA)
  • Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
  • Tanner Series by Lawrence Block
  • Liam Devlin Sean Dillon Series by Jack Higgins
  • Bourne Series by Robert Ludlum
  • Gabriel Allon Series by Daniel Silva
  • Mrs. Pollifax Series by Dorothy Gilman

Espionage/Spy Thrillers
  • YA Trends
  • Many adult titles will have YA appeal due largely
    to recent movie tie-ins.
  • Emerging series of spies in training
  • Anthony Horowitz Alex Rider Series
  • Ally Carter Gallagher Girls
  • A.J. Butcher Spy High Series

Legal Thrillers
  • History Future of the Genre
  • Popularity driven by Grisham and Scott Turow
  • Characteristics
  • Hero/ine portrayed sympathetically.
  • Plot has hero/ine caught in a web of corruption
    and greed.
  • Moral and social issues often figure prominently.
  • Often called fast-paced or page-turners.
  • Legal details and technical language usually

Legal Thrillers
  • Key Titles and Authors
  • The Pelican Brief by John Grisham
  • Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
  • Rough Justice by Lisa Scottoline
  • Perry Mason Series by Erle Stanley Gardner
  • Cal Plato Marley Series by Bill Pomidor
  • Hard Evidence by John T. Lescroart
  • Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson

Medical/Bio Thrillers
  • History and Future of Genre
  • Emerged in the 1990s as a result of advances in
    genetic engineering and the rise of terrorism.
  • Characteristics
  • Stories are plot driven and focus on medical and
    science themes.
  • Dangerous situations move the story along
  • Hero/ine is usually a good doctor or researcher
    caught in a dangerous situation.
  • Medical and scientific details are important.

Medical/Bio Thrillers
  • Key Titles Authors
  • Toxin by Robin Cook
  • The First Horseman by John Case
  • The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  • Harvest by Tess Gerritsen
  • Fear Nothing by Dean Kootz
  • Pandoras Clock by John J. Nance
  • When the Wind Blows by James Patterson

Political/Corporate/Financial Thrillers
  • History and Future of the Genre
  • Started early in the 1970s by Paul Erdmans The
    Billion Dollar Sure Thing.
  • Declined in popularity in the late 1990s, but it
    continues to have a steady readership and stream
    of on titles.

Political/Corporate/Financial Thrillers
  • Characteristics
  • Themed on current issues in the news conspiracy,
    computer manipulation, corruption.
  • Protagonists have backgrounds in government,
    finance and/or management and have their own
    moral code.
  • Plot twists, intricate story lines, and action
    drive the pacing.
  • Realistic details relating to corporate life,
    finance, politics, or government provide added
    insight into the story line and complications.

Political/Corporate/Financial Thrillers
  • Key Titles Authors
  • Nest of Vipers by Linda Davies
  • Total Control by David Baldacci
  • Zero Hour by Joseph Finder
  • The Takeover by Stephen W. Frey
  • The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
  • Left Behind by Tim R. LaHaye

Crime/Caper Thrillers
  • Characteristics
  • Details of the criminal world dominate these
  • Complicated, intricately twisted plots.
  • Are told from the criminals point of view.
  • Action is important, but the preparations for the
    crime and its aftermath drive the pacing.
  • Often graphically violent. The tone runs from
    noir to more comedic.

Crime/Caper Thrillers
  • Key Titles and Authors
  • Nobodys Perfect by Donald E. Westlake
  • Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
  • Anderson Tapes by Lawrence Sanders
  • Void Moon by Michael Connelly
  • Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
  • The Gravity of Shadows by David Ramus
  • Hit Man by Lawrence Block

  • History and Future of Genre
  • Emerged in the 1980s as one of the most popular
    types of adventure tale.
  • In the beginning the Soviets were often the
    villains, though recent releases use the Middle
    East and South America as settings.
  • War on drugs is also finding a place in recent

  • Characteristics
  • Protagonists are almost exclusively stereotypical
    and male, often part of a team.
  • The resourceful protagonist uses ingenuity plus
    exotic weaponry and military gadgets to extricate
    himself and others from danger.
  • Story lines focus on international military
  • Technical expertise and accuracy are important.
  • Political affiliation is distinctly right wing.

  • Key Titles and Authors
  • The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
  • Red Phoenix by Larry Bond
  • Flight of the Old Dog by Dale Brown
  • Choosers of the Slain by James H. Cobb
  • Flight of the Intruder by Stephen Coonts
  • Voyage of the Devilfish by Michael DiMercurio
  • The Circle by David Poyer

Cipher Thrillers
  • History and Future of Genre
  • Though not begun with Dan Browns Da Vinci Code,
    that novel definitely turned readers attention
    to these clever thrillers.
  • Recent movies (like National Treasure and The
    Librarian Quest for the Spear) have also
    increased the genres popularity.

Cipher Thrillers
  • Characteristics
  • Protagonist is usually a researcher of some kind
    who is unintentionally caught up in dangerous
  • Intricate and involved plots usually include
    twists and puzzles within puzzles.
  • There is usually an emphasis on history and
    ancient treasure. Puzzles often involve some
    specialty such as symbology, religion,
    government, etc.
  • These thrillers are usually page-turners driven
    by clues and codes.
  • The mood is usually darkened by the emphasis on
    corruption and deception.

Cipher Thrillers
  • Key Titles and Authors
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  • The Third Translation by Matt Bondurant
  • The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell
  • Foucaults Pendulum by Umberto Eco
  • Codex by Lev Grossman
  • The Da Vinci Legacy by Lewis Perdue
  • The Messenger by Daniel Silva

Survival Adventures
  • Characteristics
  • Protagonist is often reluctant, but becomes
    heroic through their actions in the face of
  • Some of these stories, particularly if in a lone
    survivor category, have a slower pace.
  • The protagonists life is threatened by extreme
    danger, but through with and dogged
    determination, the heroes survive.

Survival Adventures
  • Key Titles and Authors
  • Vertical Run by Joseph R. Garber
  • Last of the Breed by Louis LAmour
  • White Cargo by Stuart Wood
  • Jaws by Peter Benchly
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  • Atlantis Found by Clive Custler
  • Blackout by John J. Nance
  • Darwins Blade by Dan Simmons

Survival Adventures
  • Young Adult Trends
  • There is a long history and continuing abundance
    of survival stories in teen fiction.
  • Titles Authors
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence
  • SOS Titanic by Eve Bunting
  • Far North by Will Hobbs

Exotic Adventures
  • History and Future of Genre
  • Exotic Adventures belong in the Male Romance
    genre and have been around since Dumas.
  • The popularity has diminished in recent years,
    but romance authors have begun to write in this
    area, adding a good deal of romance to the

Exotic Adventure
  • Characteristics
  • Setting is in exotic locales, and the setting and
    sense of place emphasize danger.
  • Characters are stereotypes, and villains are
    often cartoonish. Secondary characters are
    seldom of any substance.
  • Plots are usually out of the ordinary and often
    contain fantastic elements thus, humor may play
    a role in the story.
  • At the end of the books, there is a sense that
    justice has been done good triumphs over evil.

Exotic Adventure
  • Key Titles and Authors
  • Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler
  • Floating City by Eric Van Lustbader
  • The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
  • Tokaido Road by Lucia St. Clair Robson
  • Isvik by Hammond Innes
  • King Solomons Mines by H. Rider Haggard
  • The Sunbird by Wilbur Smith

Military Naval Adventure
  • History and Future of Genre
  • Though not usually best-sellers, these adventures
    have a long history and steady readership. They
    are often series, featuring recurring characters.
  • Can also include the soldier of fortune

Military Naval Adventure
  • Characteristics
  • Although there is an identifiable hero, he is
    almost always part of a community of men. Strong
    secondary characters are important to the story.
  • Characters and plots are more realistic, and
    plots often feature real people and historical
  • Survival is a major theme, as these characters in
    military situations spend more time in immediate
    peril of their lives.

Military Naval Adventure
  • Key Titles and Authors
  • Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean
  • Lieutenants by W.E.B. Griffin
  • The Eagle has Flown by Jack Higgins
  • Echo Platoon by Richard Marcinko
  • Master and Commander by Patrick OBrian
  • Sharpes Triumph by Bernard Cornwell
  • Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S. Forester
  • Midshipman Bolitho by Alexander Kent