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A thriller is a genre of fiction in which a tough, resourceful, but essentially ordinary hero is pitted against villains determined to destroy him, his country, or the stability of the free world. The hero of a typical thriller faces danger alone or in the company of a small band of companions. He may be a policeman, an intelligence agent, or a soldier, but he is typically cut off from the resources of "his" organization. More often he is an ordinary citizen drawn into danger and intrigue by circumstances beyond his control. Thrillers are typically novels or movies, though television series such as Macgyver (US), 24 (US), and The Sandbaggers (UK) also fall into the genre. Thrillers constitute a distinct genre, but they often incorporate elements of other genres such as adventure, detective, and war stories.
- This article is about the thriller genre of fiction. For the album by Michael Jackson, see Thriller (album). For the Swedish film, see Thriller - en grym film.
Novelists closely associated with the genre include: Desmond Bagley, John Buchan, Frederick Forsyth, Jack Higgins, Christopher Hyde, Duncan Kyle, and Alistair MacLean.
Notable movie thrillers include: The Thirty-Nine Steps, North by Northwest, The Day of the Jackal, Duel, The Parallax View, In the Line of Fire, and The River Wild.
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