Good Writers, Heroes of Great Crime Stories

Published: 12th October 2015 04:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2015 04:23 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: From Sherlock Holmes to Feluda; from Byomkesh Bakshi to Jack Reacher, crime stories and their detective protagonists have never ceased to fascinate readers across the world. That they appeal to the baser instincts of human nature is true but it is because of the writer who creates that world in such a fashion that we are all sucked into it.

The analysis of thrill of crime stories formed a spicy discussion at the second and concluding day of the Odisha Literary Festival (OLF)-2015 here on Sunday. Two accomplished writers and a publisher dissected the history and geography of crime thriller stories and their travel across the countries.

Writer, cartoonist and political columnist Ravi Shankar Etteth set the tone by delving into the history of this genre by analysing how William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, at one of their literary pursuits, ended up writing crime stories.

“Besides giving that adrenaline rush, crime stories appeal because they explore the human evil,” said Ravi Shankar, who also is the Editor of ‘Sunday Express’ of ‘The New Indian Express Group.’

Delhi-based writer, blogger, amateur humourist and creator of ‘Trilokpuri Incident’ Shovon Chowdhury said the crime thrillers in general and detectives in particular examine the society which makes them so fascinating.

“Crime is about breaking rules and this aspect of psychology is inherent in the human mind which is why villains make for such attractive reading. Such stories always offer the possibility to the reader to jump the fence,” he said.

Publisher Rakesh Khanna spoke about the Scandinavian thrillers and how crime stories from foreign cultures have been transplanted in Indian regional languages and lapped up.

The three speakers were unanimous in their view that a good piece of writing is what makes crime stories so compelling. “Good writing makes crime stories such a rage. The writer must remain wired to the society. Only good writers succeed as crime story creators,” Chowdhury said.

Ravi Shankar also analysed how historical crime fictions __ from different eras __  make for such great piece of reading even in the contemporary times. Such works, he said, require tremendous amount of research and authenticity.

He cited the examples of modern adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes into TV series. The character remains authentic even though there is a sort of time-travel for these protagonists, said the author of ‘The Village of the Widows’.

The discussion also touched on how crime thrillers are adapted to films and how some have been successful while others have not. Choudhury was particularly blunt in his opinion about the recent adaptation of Saradindu Bandyopadhyay’s Byomkesh Bakshi by filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee who, he said, could not give justice to the character of the legendary fictional detective. “Dibakar reads a lot of Bulgarian crime stories which reflected in the work,” he added.

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