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The Best American Mystery Stories 2002 Paperback – Sep 17 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (Sept. 17 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618124934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618124930
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This anthology of "Mystery" stories is a puzzling mix of genuine mysteries and several other stories that belong to other genres, as other reviewers have pointed out. Many of them would be better categorized as short dramas or action thrillers. A good chunk of the stories also are unnecessarily lewd in a way that serves no useful purpose in the story. I did, however, enjoy several of the stories, and found some to be rather humorous. Not all the ones I enjoyed fit my understanding of mystery, for example, the "Championship of Nowhere" and the "Mule Rustlers" were good non-mystery fiction. Basically this collection is not what you might expect or hope for, but it does have several redeeming stories.
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By A Customer on June 20 2003
Format: Hardcover
What is Mr. Penzler thinking? This is the second year in a row that he has chosen inferior mystery fiction as the "best". Although this book is a slight improvement over last year's, which isn't saying much, as a mystery fan and reader, I expect more. And what's most troubling is that I know there are far better stories out there. This anthology, like last year's stinker, is tedious and baffling. I'm beginning to wonder if Mr. Penzler has some ulterior motives in his selection process. Whatever his motivation, it certainly isn't selecting the "best" that mystery fiction has to offer.
Don't let editors get away with selecting just anything as the best. Please, punish Mr. Penzler for his editorial crimes and skip this book.
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Format: Paperback
I don't buy the Best American Mystery Stories every year (like I do for the Best American Short Stories, Essays, Science and Nature Writing, and now Nonrequired Reading). What I do is glance at the editor and at the authors included within. This year's edition is edited by James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential and the rest of his L.A. Quartet). And it has a story by Joe Lansdale, "The Mule Rustlers" --which is a great story, with a nice, humorous twist at the end-- (Lansdale is the greatest Texas writer whose name isn't McMurtry); and a story by Joyce Carol Oates, "The High School Sweetheart"--which is a story very much in her style, and somewhat 'experimental', but isn't as good as what she normally does. The best two stories in this year's volume is Brendan Dubois' "A Family Game" (great twist of an ending) and Daniel Waterman's "A Lepidopterist's Tale", which really only kicks in at the end, and reminds me of an Oates story. Stuart M. Kaminsky, Fred Melton, Annette Meyers, Michael Connelly, Thomas H. Cook, Sean Doolittle, and Joe Gores also have good stories within. What detracts from the collection: the fact that while these may be good stories, there isn't a whole lot of mystery to them; John Biguenet's dull story "It Is Raining in Bejucal"; David Edgerley Gates' mediocre "The Blue Mirror"; James Grady's unreadable "The Championship of Nowhere"; amd F.X. Toole's story "Midnight Emissions", which I was unable to finish. When reading the collection you'll notice an unusual amount of sports stories--mainly baseball and boxing stories (or maybe not surprising since Otto Penzler edited the two books those stories came from).
If you are looking for really good 'mystery' stories, you probably want to move along, but there are 11 really good stories (that's over half) to read. Some you would call mystery, some you wouldn't.
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By A Customer on Jan. 27 2003
Format: Audio CD
I agree with another reviewer that the title should have indicated crime stories rather than mysteries. There was never any mystery about who had done it. Also, the vast majority of the stories seemed aimed at a male audience. I got pretty tired of descriptions of fights and near fights and thugs and guns.If I remember correctly, only one story seemed aimed at a female audience and was also the only one read by a female.
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