Posts Tagged ‘ The Best American Noir of the Century ’

Professional Man by David Goodis from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 22, 2010
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Professional Man by David Goodis from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by Brian Evenson When we first meet Freddy Lamb we think of him as little more than an elevator operator with a voice that is “soothing and cool-sweet, almost like a caress for the women and a pat on the shoulder for the men.” People are fond of him, he “looked at you...

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What She Offered by Thomas H. Cook from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 20, 2010
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What She Offered by Thomas H. Cook from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by Kate Horsley Is noir just a series of clichés? Is it no more than a set of fashionably dark poses, a slickly commercial exploitation of pretended despair? “What She Offered” is a story constructed out of the best-known of all noir clichés. The narrator is haunting the bars when a femme fatale...

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The Paperhanger by William Gay from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 19, 2010
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The Paperhanger by William Gay from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by Keith Rawson For me, there is nothing more disturbing then the loss of a child. I have nightmares of walking through crowded rooms with my 4-year-old daughter’s hand clutched in mine and then suddenly feeling that tiny hand yanked away and I’m left panicked, attempting to push past a river of unmovable...

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When the Women Come Out to Dance by Elmore Leonard from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 19, 2010
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When the Women Come Out to Dance by Elmore Leonard from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by Gerard Brennan “When the Women Come Out to Dance” by Elmore Leonard pairs Mrs Mahmood, an ex-stripper who’s done quite well for herself (i.e. landed a rich husband), and Lourdes, a recently widowed Colombian lady seeking employment in South Florida. From their first meeting by the pool of the Mahmood mansion, Lourdes...

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Man in the Dark by Howard Browne from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 19, 2010
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Man in the Dark by Howard Browne from Best American Noir of the Century – review

reviewed by Naomi Johnson Howard Browne may be the best kept secret in crime fiction. Sure, die hard fans of classic crime fic will swear that can’t possibly be true because the guy did this and that and wrote that and this for the pulps and for television and film and Browne’s resume just...

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The Hoarder by Bradford Morrow from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 19, 2010
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The Hoarder by Bradford Morrow from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by Michael Lipkin When James Ellroy and Otto Penzler offer a book called The Best American Noir of the Century, noir fans, scholars, students should simply go out and buy it—or borrow it, steal it, take it out of the library—whatever. Don’t worry about reviews, flaws, omissions, disagreements over definitions of noir. You...

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Spurs by Tod Robbins from Best American Noir of the Century

November 19, 2010
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Spurs by Tod Robbins from Best American Noir of the Century

Reviewed by Reggie Chamberlain-King Tod Robbins was a horror writer and, even when he turned his hand to something other, he remained a horror writer. His earliest novel, Mysterious Martin, was a lingering account of an aesthetic murderer, a writer who kills to better capture the experience in print, while the better-known The Unholy...

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Crack by James W. Hall from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 19, 2010
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Crack by James W. Hall from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by Nigel Bird Crack was first published in Murder and Obsession in 1999. It wasn’t written that long ago, then, yet it has an old-fashioned quality about it. It has some delicious description and a gentle pace that goes along with its setting. It seems to amble along early on but soon begins...

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Texas City, 1947 by James Lee Burke from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 19, 2010
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Texas City, 1947 by James Lee Burke from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by PokerBen “Texas City, 1947″ was my first introduction to James Lee Burke’s writing. I must say I was very impressed. “Texas City, 1947″ tells the coming of age story of Billy Bob Sonnier. Stricken with a bad case of Rheumatic fever during his fifth grade year of Parochial school, he and his...

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You’ll Always Remember Me by Steve Fisher from Best American Noir of the Century

November 19, 2010
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You’ll Always Remember Me by Steve Fisher from Best American Noir of the Century

Reviewed by Steve Finbow Imagine a mutant coupling of J. D. Salinger and Jimmy Cagney and you’ll get somewhere close to the tone of this short story. Martin Thorpe, 14, a student at Clark’s Military Academy, can’t sleep at night – Tommy Smith, the brother of his girlfriend Marie, is on death row awaiting...

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The Weekender by Jeffrey Deaver from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 19, 2010
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The Weekender by Jeffrey Deaver from Best American Noir of the Century – review

reviewed by Frank Bill “The Weekender” by Jeffery Deaver, opens with an unnamed protagonist and his partner, Toth, barreling down after knocking off Ardmore Drugs, a large drugstore in the small town of Liggett Falls. But things didn’t go as planned. Toth was supposed to be doing crowd control, keeping an eye on the...

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The Gesture by Gil Brewer from Best American Noir of the Century

November 19, 2010
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The Gesture by Gil Brewer from Best American Noir of the Century

Reviewed by David Corbett Noir is No Excuse The strength of “The Gesture” lies in Gil Brewer’s ability, like a fastball pitcher with a nasty slider, to bring the change-up with brutal effect. Sadly, the trick comes just once, and is not enough to save the story from its maudlin clichés and penny-dreadful payoff....

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Nothing to Worry About by Day Keene from The Best American Noir of the Century

November 19, 2010
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Nothing to Worry About by Day Keene from The Best American Noir of the Century

reviewed by Stephen D. Rogers If you skip the first paragraph, you’re in for a treat, a story that maintains its narrative drive through multiple locations and flashbacks. If you read the first paragraph, you might just skip ahead to the next story. Don’t. While NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT is far from perfect (in...

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Pastorale by James M. Cain from Best American Noir of the Century

November 18, 2010
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Pastorale by James M. Cain from Best American Noir of the Century

Reviewed by Cullen Gallagher The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Serenade, Mildred Pierce, Love’s Lovely Counterfeit – James M. Cain’s name is virtually synonymous with noir, and it all starts with his first short story, “Pastorale.” Tough and compact, it’s an astonishingly assured debut that heralds many of the thematic and stylistic motifs...

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The Last Spin by Evan Hunter from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 18, 2010
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The Last Spin by Evan Hunter from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Evan Hunter’s “The Last Spin” was first published in the September 1956 issue of Manhunt and I suspect that may have been the last time the ending to this story wasn’t obvious to everyone who read it. “The Last Spin” is about two young New York boys from opposing gangs (referred to here as...

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Poachers by Tom Franklin from Best American Noir of the Century

November 18, 2010
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Poachers by Tom Franklin from Best American Noir of the Century

Reviewed by Benjamin Whitmer There comes a moment reading Tom Franklin’s short story “Poachers” when you’re hit with the sudden realization that this isn’t the McCarthyesque parable you thought you were reading at all. That the misanthropic shambling creatures who haunt the river really aren’t creatures, that the storied game warden stalking them is...

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Stab by Chris Adrian from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 18, 2010
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Stab by Chris Adrian from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by Gary Phillips “Stab” by Chris Adrian is a chilling tale not solely for it’s up close and personal violence, though there is that, but because our main actors are children. The events are set during the summer and winter of 1979 in a white-flight suburb of Washington, D.C., Severna Forest. As in...

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Dripping by David Morrell from Best American Noir of the Century

November 18, 2010
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Dripping by David Morrell from Best American Noir of the Century

Reviewed by Toby Ball A man brings his family to live with his elderly mother in his boyhood home, a rural farm somewhere in In Cold Blood territory. One day he returns from town to find his family missing and his mother in bed, covered with blood. Nothing too unusual in this setup. But...

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Like a Bone in the Throat by Lawrence Block from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 18, 2010
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Like a Bone in the Throat by Lawrence Block from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by Elizabeth White Though probably most well-known to the casual reader for his Matt Scudder and Bernie Rhodenbarr series, Lawrence Block also has a long tradition of writing short stories (his collection Enough Rope contains 83 of them), and another of his well known characters, the hitman Keller, originated as an ongoing short...

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Midnight Emissions by F.X. Toole from Best American Noir of the Century – review

November 18, 2010
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Midnight Emissions by F.X. Toole from Best American Noir of the Century – review

Reviewed by Jen Forbus Red tells the story of how he came to train Kenny Coyle and how Kenny came to fight for Billy Clancy. Coyle was a boxer, a white heavy-weight boxer. Clancy saw dollar signs when he saw Coyle. Gave him a free place to stay, a regular pay check and a...

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