Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, May 16, 2016

What are your favorite action scenes in literature?


A great action scene is so much more than just an exciting moment in a novel. They're great because we're invested in the outcome, hanging on the edge of our seat, hoping our favorite characters survive as they propel themselves through physical space.

What are some of your favorite action scenes in literature?

Art: Tiger Hunt by Peter Paul Rubens






9 comments:

Camilla Pepin said...

I love Garth NIx's Old Kingdom trilogy. Even though I first read it as a kid, I'm still engrossed and excited by it as an adult. In the last book, Abhorsen, the final battle scene against the Destroyer is a perfect culmination of the characters' struggles, the author's care, and the reader's hopes. And although it is epic and full of gravity, Nix adds touches of whimsy and nostalgia that always leaves me with a sense of heartwarming wistfulness.

laurie brunson altieri said...

I vividly recall at the age of 17 reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings from beginning to end in three days. Fortunately for me, more than two feet of snow was falling outside.

Marilynn Byerly said...

The best writer of action scenes I read is Ilona Andrews, a husband and wife team, who write the Kate Daniels' urban fantasy series. The individual fights and the larger battles are nicely written with visual imagery, emotions, etc., and, most importantly, they make sense, courtesy of the husband's military background.

rkcapps said...

I found David Gemmel skilled at writng action. starting with Legend and his many books after it. He captures emotions and takes you to a pinnacle and back.

Bill Camp said...

Richard III, "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!" And then he falls on his sword.

Dan Stout said...

I love a lot of the fights in noir novels from like The Big Sleep or Red Harvest. The violence is quick, brutal, and not romanticized.

For more literary, descriptive fights scenes, Stephen King's Gunslinger series is pretty great. (I'm mostly thinking of Wolves of the Calla, but the whole series is filled with big action set pieces.)

Ryan R Scott said...

Ian Fleming's James Bond novels are full of great action/suspense scenes. One of my favourites comes at the end of his second novel, Live And Let Die. Bond and the heroine, Solitaire, are bound together, being dragged around a Jamaican bay behind the villain's boat. All the while, Bond is hoping the limpet mine attached to the boat will go off. He also considers a mercy drowning of Solitaire by holding her under water, then using her dead weight to drown himself before they can be ripped to shreds over razor sharp coral.

You always know the outcome for Bond, but the build up to it is always exciting as hell regardless.

Unknown said...

Does the scene in Jurassic Park count where they're stuck in the car during the storm and she sees the rings of vibration in the coffee cup? Probably not, but I think that is the scariest scene ever written.

Axel said...

Here are a few peerless ones: the Ninja assault on Osaka Castle in SHOGUN. James Clavell is generally excellent. There's a fight on the beach in TAI PAN that rocks -- so does the insane scene of sailing a boat heavy with gold while enemies set the sails on fire with burning arrows. It's hard the beat the finale of Thomas Perry's SHADOW WOMAN, which involves Jane Whitefield, the two killers who are chasing her through the northern wilderness, a pair of hunting dogs and a brown bear. Stephen Hubter's Rocky Mountain meadow stand-off from POINT OF IMPACT is very good, too. So many. So little time.

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