Cover stories: Sleuths, spies, sorcerers and other paperback heroes
14 November 2017
Genre fiction's paperback covers often feature fantastic, eye-catching artwork. Here is just a selection of the most enticing from the fantasy, detective and spy genres, which avid Game of Thrones fan Andrew Marr deconstructs in his Paperback Writers series.
Once upon a time, tales of hard-boiled detectives or barbarians questing for treasure were thought to be embarrassing when compared to ‘proper books’. But genre fiction is no longer considered low-rent, and is now recognised as encompassing some of the most intelligent and important works of literature.
Writers such as George R.R. Martin, Agatha Christie and John Le Carré subvert the familiar tropes of these worlds and draw us ever deeper into their fiction.
If these images pique your interest, Andrew Marr's series, which is currently being repeated on BBC Four, examines the most popular genres - detective stories, spy thrillers, and fantasy fiction - and works out what makes them so effective at capturing our imagination.
Finding Dr. Watson's voice...
Andrew Marr meets House of Silk author Anthony Horowitz to discuss the important role of the detective sidekick.
More on paperbacks
A version of this article was originally published in October 2016.