James Patterson: A Critical Companion

James Patterson: A Critical Companion

by Joan Kotker


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Since the publication and cinematic success of 1992's Along Came a Spider, James Patterson seems to have taken up permanent residence on the bestseller lists. In the ensuing decade, his hit detective novels, with memorable nursery rhyme titles like Cat and Mouse, (1997) and Pop! Goes the Weasel (1999), came in rapid-fire succession and generated similar popularity and praise. His Alex Cross series created one of the most recognizable detectives in literature, and one of the first urban African American detectives to appeal, on such a grand scale, to audiences of all demographics. With full literary analyses of ten of his most popular works of fiction, this critical companion offers readers a chance to more fully explore Patterson's writings. Beginning with his 1976 bestseller The Thomas Berryman Number and moving chronologically to 2002's 2nd Chance, each chapter examines elements of plot, character development, theme, and critical perspectives.

A full chapter offers a delving biographical study of Patterson, including a brief timeline, that traces his early literary and personal interests and later professional achievements. Another chapter discusses the genres of detective and mystery writing, and situates Patterson 's contributions within this framework. Patterson's sociological writings are also considered. Whether for personal pursuits or school assignments, this volume provides ample insight and extensive bibliographic information on Patterson's work, including critical sources and reviews.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313320859
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/30/2004
Series: Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.16(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

JOAN G. KOTKER is a member of the English Faculty at Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, Washington. Her essays on popular fiction have been published in Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing, and Great Women Mystery Writers (Greenwood Press, 1994) among others. She is also the author of Dean Koontz: A Critical Companion (Greenwood, 1996).

Table of Contents

The Life of James Patterson


The Thomas Berryman Number (1976)

Along Came a Spider (1992)

Kiss the Girls (1995)

Jack & Jill (1996)

Cat & Mouse (1997)

Pop! Goes the Weasel (1999)

Roses Are Red (2000); Violets Are Blue (2001)

Four Blind Mice (2002)

1st to Die (2001)

2nd Chance (2002)


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