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Wednesday November 17, 2010 7:57 pm

Peter Steiner: Cartoonist & Thriller Writer?




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials

The TerroristI’m always the last to know.

I knew of Peter Steiner’s work as a cartoonist because he’s had something like 400 cartoons published in The New Yorker over the years. And I’ve probably seen most of them. He has a loose, fun style that’s classicly New Yorker-ish and his gags are very funny.

Then I found out that he’s also a writer of books as well. Only he’s not writing comic novels about summers in Connecticut or the party crowd in the Hamptons. He’s doing a 180 from his cartooning and he’s writing, wait for it, spy thrillers.

And he’s got not one, not two, but three of them, including his latest that came out earlier this year called The Terrorist. It shouldn’t surprise me, but maybe I’m a cartoon bigot who expects cartoonists to only do funny things.

I’m over that now, and I accept that cartoonists can also be writers of thrillers, science fiction novels, and historical mysteries, or even drive cabs or fix leaky drains. I certainly didn’t complain when I found out that New Yorker cartoonist Bruce Eric Kaplan (BEK) was writing for Seinfeld and producing Six Feet Under.

Novelist J. Sydney Jones (The Empty Mirror and Requiem In Vienna) interviews Steiner, and talks a lot about why France shows up in his thrillers. “The landscape, the country, the culture are a strong presence in my novels, a character almost, that shapes the other characters and the action.”

Now I’m off to Amazon to start the ordering process.[Artwork: Cover to Peter Steiner's The Terrorist]

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