Wissenschaftliche Studie aus dem Jahr 2012 im Fachbereich Medien / Kommunikation - Medienökonomie, -management, Universität des Saarlandes, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: Thrillers have become the number one genre in commercial fiction with millions of potential readers across the world (Joshi 2009:24). Although bestseller lists are generally dominated by genre fiction on the whole, it is for this specific genre to stand out since “the Top 10 charts these days are stuffed with thrillers, very nearly to the exclusion of everything else” (Sante, qtd. in Joshi 2009:24). Indeed, a close look at the bestseller lists confirms this impression. Considering Publishers Weekly’s bestseller lists of the last three decades, roughly 70 out of 340 entries can be classified as generic thrillers. Hence unlike fantasy that had its sales heydays in the last decade with the Harry Potter series, or, quite recently with the Twilight saga, thrillers display a certain degree of diachronic robustness compared to other forms of genre fiction. Apart from the recent development, fantasy fiction featured its last real bestseller with Tolkien’s seminal Lord of the Rings, whereas thrillers display an even distribution in sales ranks (Joshi 2009:26). The question as to why is tried to be answered by this study. Consequently, the study advances two hypotheses as to why thriller fiction appeals to the reader. First, as the thriller is more successful than other forms of genre fiction it is assumed that the thriller features some genre-inherent thematic and structural appeal that is hence only true for this specific genre. Second, in order to obtain a bestselling status, a large potential readership has to be aimed at. It is thus assumed that thrillers must be stylistically accessible, i.e. an easy read, in order to appeal to the biggest possible audience. However, this feature should be true for all forms of genre fiction, not being a thriller exclusive feature. Both theses draw on assumed similarities between all representatives of the given genre. In other words, reoccurring patterns are looked for. Given this detail along with the fact that a comparative analysis dealing with the factor success must draw on a large quantity of data, it is decided on performing a corpus analysis as the most appropriate linguistic method.
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