The first book Joe McGinniss wrote was The Selling of the President (1968), which revealed for the first time how ad agencies sell politicians to voters. That seminal work landed on the New York Times bestseller list when he was just 26 years old; it’s still taught in classrooms today. He’s written 11 other books and numerous magazine and newspaper stories, taking us to soccer stadiums, oil fields and racetracks. But it’s his quartet of true crime stories that mark him as a True Thrill Master. His 1983 account of a brutal murder case, Fatal Vision, was gripping as he slowly reveals the killer’s identify. His 1989 tale of an idyllic family ripped by tragedy, Blind Faith, is Hitchcockian in its cast of character. The psychodrama of mother and son, Cruel Doubt (1991), unwinds with the understated horror of emerging facts. Never Enough (2007) is a suspenseful account of how greed can kill even the wealthy. With verve, guts, and ambition, McGinniss has inspired three generations of nonfiction suspense and true crime authors.Understandably, McGinniss is pumped:
I am, as they say, both humbled and proud.Here's ThrillerFest's promo for their celebration of crime stories:
And I hope that THE ROGUE will provide more true thrills in September.
It is not easy to write both true crime thrillers and books outside of that genre, as McGinniss has done with The Selling of the President, Going to Extremes, and other work. Few writers do. The first author I followed closely who could do that well, was the British author, Colin Wilson, who also wrote fiction and drama, among other things, and wrote his first iconoclastic book (The Outsider), like McGinniss, in his mid-20s. Wilson, wrote his first novel based on a dare from August Derleth, who was incensed by Wilson's criticism of the writing style of H. P. Lovecraft.
Maybe somebody Joe meets at ThrillerFest will dare him to write his
* Sorry, Joe. Joe wrote his only novel in 1972 - The Dream Team, which Jimmy Breslin praised:
When someone writes with the ability of Joe McGinniss, mere reading of each sentence is a pleasure…The sentences read so damned well that The Dream Team is a successful novel well worth reading.