View Full Version : Edgar Awards are a joke!

Ritzner Von Jung
May 2nd, 2004, 09:39 AM
There was a time when I respected Edgar Awards, even though MWA's criterias were obviously not mine; much as I disagreed with some of their choices, I still respected the process and people making it work. But that time is over.
A lot of past Edgar winners are not my cup of tea, yet I have enough intellectual honesty to admit they are very good in their own genre. I don't like what Lawrence Block, Elmore Leonard or Minette Walters do, but they do it well.
Same cannot be said of most recent winners. General quality started declining in the late nineties - I still remember my anger at James Lee Burke winning an undeserved second Edgar for "Cimarron Rose" or the ludicrous crowning of Robert Clark - but things really went downhill from the new millenium. Jan Burke's "Bones" was just average and Joe R. Lansdale's "The Bottoms" is plain Faulkner rip-off, but they were masterpieces in comparison with Thomas Jefferson Parker's mediocre "Silent Joe" and S.J. Rozan's utterly bad "Winter and Night". Can things be worse? My answer is yes. This year's nominees list is quite gloomy, most particularly in the Best Novel category: social miserabilism (Bruen, Rankin) pseudo-psychology (Kirino). Only Jacqueline Wispread's "Maisie Dobbs" comes close to decent, but favorites are Bruen and Rankin, with Kirino being a possible outsider. In other words, another clunker.
It's time for Edgars to get a chance or a long holiday. They really need it.

May 2nd, 2004, 11:08 AM
I don't really keep up with Edgar's since my reading interests are not along the lines of the types of books that tend to get nomitated. However, several years ago, 1998 I believe, I bought every book that was nomiated for an Edgar for Best First Novel. I read all of them and for the most part enjoyed them. I remember I very much enjoyed the winner, Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon.

I once read an article about the Edgar ceremony itself. The author of the article commented on how only a few of the nominated authors bothered to show up. S/he was also dismayed by the loud, snide remarks that people would make when some of the nominees names were read aloud.

July 25th, 2007, 11:27 AM
I haven't read most of the nominees in recent years, so I cannot fairly say if they are a "joke" or not. However, I was suprised to see Stephen King was named Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America for the past year. While some of his works are mystery-related, I would consider him, first and foremost, a horror writer. Perhaps they were trying to gather a little publicity? It just didn't seem right to haev King in an esteemed spot once held by authors like Carr, Stout, Christie, etc.