The two-party system has failed at 1book140, The Atlantic's Twitter book club. In our call for nominations, I created a competition between mysteries and international novels. Instead, many of you nominated a coalition of international thrillers and mysteries. Here is how the mutiny unfolded on Twitter:
Guys, I think the path here is clear: an *international thriller*. #1book140— J.J. Gould (@jj_gould) May 24, 2013
Vote for Our June Read
Add your vote by answering the poll at the end of this article. Voting closes at the end of day on Monday. I'll post the winner on Tuesday, with a discussion schedule. Discuss your votes on Twitter using our hashtag #1book140. In the meantime, there's still time to finish up our May book, The Great Gatsby.
A suspenseful Japanese puzzle mystery, The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino is the story of a mother who kills in self-defense, the mathematical genius who tries to protect her, and the physicist who tries to untangle the cover-up. The novel, which sold millions of copies in Japan and was adapted into a widely popular 2008 Japanese film, also offers a "minutely detailed picture of life in Japan," according to Barry Forshaw in The Independent.
The story of two sisters who "struggle with an on-again-off-again mutual loyalty crosshatched with mistrust and betrayal" during the Biafran War, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie "thrums with life" writes New York Times reviewer Rob Nixon. The novel won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007, and a film adaptation is expected later this year.
When writer Holly Martins arrives in post-war Vienna looking for his old school friend Harry Lime, he's just in time for Lime's funeral. In Graham Green's novella The Third Man, Martins dives into the dark secrets of a tense, divided city, determined to find out who killed Lime. Graham Greene wrote the novella as preparation for the screenplay of this famous film noir, explains Rob White for the British Film Institute. In Greene's draft, both Martins and Lime are English, not Americans. If this 160-page book wins the vote, we will also watch and discuss the 1949 film.
A frequent entry on "top 100" lists and subject of two films, The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler follows private investigator Phillip Marlowe as he untangles a complex web of blackmail, secrets, and murder. "Marlowe is working for $25 a day and expenses and he earns every cent of it" wrote Isaac Anderson in the 1939 New York Times review of this classic. "As a study in depravity, the story is excellent."