The Decline of the Spy Story and the Transformation of the Thriller in the 1990s: The Data From the Bestseller List
16 Pages Posted: 5 May 2018 Last revised: 9 Aug 2019
Date Written: April 19, 2018
It is the conventional wisdom that fiction about spies and espionage became less popular after the Cold War, but this is generally claimed in a casual, intuitive way. This paper attempts to check this wide belief against the data provided by the New York Times and Publisher's Weekly bestseller lists, and finds considerable substantiation of this view there, reinforced by the evidence those lists also provide of the increased predominance of other types of thriller (for example, legal and forensic thrillers) in the popular fiction market.
Keywords: Twentieth Century Fiction, Popular Fiction, Popular Culture, Spy Fiction, Thriller Fiction, Cold War Culture
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