The Silence, the third novel in my Viennese Mysteries series, continues to earn kudos from reviewers. Library Journal, in a starred review, just called it an “intricately plotted, gracefully written, and totally immersive read,” while Kirkus Reviews, in its Februrary 1, 2012, edition, noted: “Jones’ measured, stately prose is perfectly in tune with his period setting and his hero’s intense intellectual curiosity. … His intricate plot unfolds with suspense and style.” My publishers have just contracted for the fourth in the series, due out next year.
Sorry for the horn-tooting, but to celebrate, I post here some of the unused portions of an extensive interview I did with Big Thrill contributor and author Gary Kriss:
Your novels can be seen as “place paradigms.” Can you explain the difference, if any, between setting and place? Further, could you explain the “place of place” in novels and, particularly, in thriller novels.
Well, the classic distinction is that setting is bigger than mere place or location; in addition, it includes time in its broadest and narrowest senses, and even the weather. My Vienna novels are certainly heavily dependent on setting. It’s not just Vienna that is at the center of things, but that amazing, bubbling, schizophrenic place (at once revolutionary and stodgy) that is Vienna 1900. And the “place of place” or of setting in my fiction–absolutely central. From years of living in the city and from further years of researching the turn of the twentieth century in Vienna, I attempt a bit of time travel in each of the novels. I am in the time and place. I surround myself with visuals of Vienna 1900, listen to its music while I write, read the words of fiction and nonfiction writers of the time, keep a timeline of historical happenings handy. I personally like thrillers where the spirit of place is at work, as with Alan Furst. But the best of Le Carre depends on his pitch-perfect dialogue and very fallible characters. Lots of ways to skin that cat. (more…)
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