Friday, August 28, 2009

Detectives Got Problems

I've noticed a pattern in my recent reading habits. I like detective stories, especially if the detective has some personal issues that he's struggling with.

Take Lionel, hero of Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn (also available in large print), for example. He's trying to solve a murder case while struggling with his Tourette's syndrome. Tourette's is like another character in the story, as it's always there with the narrator.

That's just the most recent of a long string of such books I've read, which include:

Paul Tremblay's The Little Sleep (also available as book on CD), whose detective suffers from narcolepsy and dresses anachronistically in his noir-film hat and trenchcoat.

Joe Meno's The Boy Detective Fails, which concerns the adult, post-nervous breakdown boy detective, who once solved crimes with his sister in their Hardy Boys-like youth.

Mark Haddon's Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-time (book on CD) that features an autistic boy solving the case of the murder of the neighbor's dog.

Michael Chabon's Yiddish Policemen's Union (Large print, Book on CD), wherein a demoted detective's alcoholism leaves him consistently irritable and unpleasant to be around, not to mention passed out when he should be investigating.

There are other titles I haven't read that could easily fit in here and may interest you if you've read this far.

Of course, I can't neglect to mention the novelized Monk stories, concerning the obsessive-compulsive detective hero of the eponymous, Emmy award-winning television series (that we also own).

Jeff Lindsay's Dexter character of his Darkly Dreaming Dexter also has his own TV series, and enacts vigilante justice as a serial killer of criminals.

I'm obviously fond of this sort of stories, so if you're familiar with any I haven't listed here, please feel free to mention them in the comments.

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