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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.

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.

See also: Thriller film, Techno-thriller

Thriller (1982) is an album by pop star Michael Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones. It is also the name of the title track on that album. The song "Thriller" was also made into a very popular music video, featuring a voice over by Vincent Price. The song "Beat It" features a guitar solo by Eddie van Halen.

Track listing

  1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
  2. "Baby Be Mine"
  3. "The Girl is Mine" (with Paul McCartney)
  4. "Thriller"
  5. "Beat It"
  6. "Billie Jean"
  7. "Human Nature"
  8. "P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)"
  9. "The Lady In My Life"