Rebus Retires
October 1, 2007 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Exit Music. The King of Tartan Noir, Ian Rankin has retired his detective John Rebus. Ageing him with each novel, Rebus has finally reached the retirement age at Edinburgh CID; Although that may not stop him...

Though Rebus will probably now have more time to spend in the Oxford Bar, his creator had not slowed down, producing a newspaper serial, writing for and appearing on television including his 'Evil Thoughts'- here interviewing Anne Perry, writing a libretto and a comic book, giving away Kidnapped, having a public row with "bloodthirsty lesbians" and starting spurious rumours about that other famous best-selling Edinburgh writer.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (18 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've never even heard the term Tartan Noir! Color me intrigued!

Dear ask.metafilter, if I wanted to give this genre a go, which book would be recommended as the best?
posted by Greg Nog at 1:56 PM on October 1, 2007

At first glance I thought this was yet another Radiohead post. :)

Cool post, fearfulsymmetry.
posted by sveskemus at 2:05 PM on October 1, 2007

Greg Nog: I'm a huge Rebus fan, he's one of my all-time favourite characters. If you want to start with a Rebus, Black & Blue is a good one (although reading them all in order certainly helps you understand Rebus as much as is possible). Alternately, for non-Rankin Tartan Noir recommendation, I suggest Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride.
posted by biscotti at 4:06 PM on October 1, 2007

Great reads for rainy Sunday mornings. Engrossing distractions for traveling and plane rides. Top notch addictive books.
posted by tkchrist at 4:16 PM on October 1, 2007

The Rebus books are immense. Captures the 'burgh perfectly.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 4:41 PM on October 1, 2007

Read one Rebus novel, and dug it. Need to find time to grab another.
posted by bardic at 5:28 PM on October 1, 2007

Aw. Ian Rankin danced at Val McDermid's lesbian wedding. That's cute. Their public spat is pretty fun, though.
posted by mediareport at 5:45 PM on October 1, 2007

Uptown, top rankin'.
posted by Abiezer at 7:44 PM on October 1, 2007

And now totally off-topic, but I had to find it.
posted by Abiezer at 7:59 PM on October 1, 2007

Also off topic: I just finished reading this; I think Rankin fans will like it.
posted by Mid at 8:42 PM on October 1, 2007

It's kind of a guilty pleasure, but I really do like these books. It'd be a shame tae see Rebus retire at such a young age. I didn't realise it had reached that time in his life already.

Thanks for the post, fs. I'll have to spend some more time going through your links. I had a chance to see Rankin once at a book fair but thought I couldn't scrape together the twenty quid or whatever it was to see him (I was too busy spending a pound ten on McEwan's 80 down the pubs in Leith). But he seems like quite a character. Now I wish I'd gone.
posted by mosessis at 9:24 PM on October 1, 2007

Greg Nog: The last few episodes of CBC Radio's Writers & Company has featured interviews with Rankin, William McIlvanney, and other Scottish writers. Rankin's contribution to a round table discussion was interesting enough that I plan on giving the Rebus books gathering dust on my shelf another go, but the McIlvanney piece really piqued my interest.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:32 PM on October 1, 2007

Rebus will still be around till Rankin gets bored. Siobhan Clarke will be the protagonist, but Rankin will find a way to have her phone up Rebus for advice, or have Rebus kidnapped by Cafferty, or something along those lines, in every book.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:06 AM on October 2, 2007

I can't work out why people like this gloomy Gus, who is typical of the terrible state of British crime fiction. He is slow, boring and wet. Bill James and Reginald Hill are honorable exceptions.

American crime fiction is streets ahead.
posted by emf at 4:59 AM on October 2, 2007

Just bought myself Exit Music yesterday - I'd missed the last few in the series, but it's as strong as ever (well, so far). Rankin's got the knack of managing to write about the entirety of his city, even while focusing on the specific details - constantly evoking the whole from every part. And Rebus as much a magnificently grumpy bastard as ever.
posted by flashboy at 6:20 AM on October 2, 2007

I'm a huge Rebus fan, and I'll be sad to see him retire, but I'm hoping Rankin does go ahead with his plan for more books centering around Siobhan. I really like her character and think she's got a lot of room to grow into a really interesting protagonist.

I've liked a couple of Rankin's non-Rebus books, too, though I find that up until about halfway through the book, I keep expecting Rebus to walk into the scene.
posted by aine42 at 9:40 AM on October 2, 2007

slow, boring and wet

[Insert Scotland joke here]
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on October 2, 2007

Thought for a moment that Rankin had been starting rumours about Irvine Welsh.
posted by Lezzles at 5:35 AM on October 3, 2007

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