History of the Thriller genre in literature
The usual Thriller genre is characterized by its uncertainty and constant intensity of passions, which together produce a mixed feeling of anxiety and fascination mixed with fear and even fear. This range of feelings and experiences is achieved by creating an unpredictable plot, in which the reader (or viewer) evaluates the consequences of a particular incident. Usually, in a Thriller, the sense of suspense increases as the story approaches a climax, followed by an unforgettable ending.
Thanks to such nerve-tingling elements as suspense and crime, plots and revenge, Thriller has always belonged to those genres of creativity (this applies not only to literature) that have riveted the attention of the audience for many centuries. When you mention the word Thriller, many people probably remember Alfred Hitchcock and his outstanding films, such as “Psycho”. However, the history of the genre goes back to ancient times — even before the creation of film and large screens. So let’s dive into this story together!
Characteristic features of the Thriller
First of all, this genre is known for the emotional intensity that it creates. Understatement, anxiety, mystery-all this is present in this genre. The main character is faced with a difficult task, which requires a heroic effort or sacrifice to complete.
The level of intensity can increase throughout the book or suddenly hit the reader’s feelings from the very first page. In any case, the work should keep in suspense most of the time. But the main feature of any Thriller is its intensity, which, literally, calls the reader to a real race on the waves of intrigue and passion.
Often, the key to a great Thriller is not only the high skill of the writer, but also a thorough study of the topic and the idea of a “confusing” and intriguing plot. In English, thrill means to awaken a shiver, a tremor. This is what can be considered the main purpose of the novel-a Thriller! But in addition to this, the Thriller often provides quite detailed information about the environment, such as the legal system, the medical system, the history of espionage, and so on. So there are writers who, based on their medical or military experience, create novels with a complicated and intriguing plot.
Thrillers are often confused with detective stories, but there is one obvious difference between the two genres. In detective stories, the main character is faced with a mystery (such as a murder), and he must find clues that will lead him to the answer. In the Thriller, the main character is faced with a terrifying situation (an impending disaster, a serial killer, unknown viruses), the solution of which is the development of new skills and abilities.
In the Thriller, all the clues are in plain sight, so the reader expects more steep plot twists than non-standard answers to questions. Thrillers largely affect the feelings of the audience, while detectives require the involvement of the intellectual side of the case.
Popular Thriller subspecies
Medical Thriller: Modern medical technologies kill rather than cure. The master of such a Thriller is considered to be Robin cook.
Legal Thriller: Usually, a lawyer or a person from the legal sphere comes to power through huge risks and sacrifices.
Disaster Thriller: The city’s dam will be destroyed within 24 hours; a meteor of monstrous size is approaching the Earth; a tsunami invasion on the populated coast, and other options. Usually, the basis is taken natural or artificial disasters that affect a large part of the population of a city or country.
Psychological Thriller: Often in the center of the plot — a mentally unhealthy character or environment, which strongly affects the psychological state.
Horror: “the Silence of the lambs” is the clearest example of such a Thriller, which includes elements of mental, emotional and physical trauma of the main character, who has to fight with a man/monster. This subspecies is also closely related to thrillers, which are based on a story about serial killers, in which the main character moves on the trail of a particularly dangerous criminal.
Techno Thriller: this genre often focuses on military technology and events.
Among the variety of thrillers, it is also worth noting such areas as spy, detective, romantic, historical, political, erotic thrillers.
Thrillers in the age of Ancient Greece
Homer’s” Odyssey ” is considered the earliest prototype of the Thriller genre, as the author resorted to similar techniques for a modern Thriller. The hero of this epic poem — Odysseus-after the Trojan War goes home to Ithaca, where his wife Penelope is waiting for him. On the way, he will have incredible adventures and trials: a battle with a Cyclops — a one — eyed giant; a battle with Sirens-sea creatures that lured sailors with their singing and cruelly dealt with them. All these events “heat up” the plot to the limit, and the reader is interested in whether Odysseus will be able to get home alive and unharmed.
Fairy tales with an intriguing plot
The pursuit of a psychotic maniac is a typical plot for the Thriller genre. This may not surprise you, but the tale of little red riding Hood fits this concept perfectly. This story goes back to the 10th century and tells the story of a little girl who goes through the forest to take food to her grandmother. As everyone knows, a wolf is waiting for her on the way, learns her direction, gets ahead of her and eats her grandmother. If you think about this content-before us is the plot of a real Thriller. I’m sure you had your suspicions, too.
The emergence of a revenge Thriller
In 1844, Alexandre Dumas wrote the Count of Monte Cristo. At its core, this is an adventure Thriller filled with motives of revenge, which tells the story of a certain Dantes, betrayed by his friends. Then he meets an old man who teaches him everything and reveals the secret of the location of the great treasure. Dantes finds this treasure and is filled with a thirst for revenge on those who insulted and betrayed him. This classic work invites the reader into a cycle of interesting and exciting events, and demonstrates a path full of revenge, satisfaction and, in the end, appeasement.
The period of the modern Thriller
At the beginning of the 20th century, the familiar modern Thriller is being formed. The secret of the Sands (1903) by Robert Erskine is an early example of a spy Thriller. Later, in 1980, the Thriller “identification of Bourne” by Robert Ludlum was released. As you may have guessed, the book was adapted into a movie!
In recent years, shop Windows have been filled with covers of new books by writers such as Vince Flynn, known for his political thrillers, and Dan brown, the American author of the best — selling book the da Vinci Code.