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noir

This tag is associated with 8 posts

Dashiell Hammett, ‘Red Harvest’ (1929)

‘Chandler wrote the kind of guy that he wanted to be, Hammett wrote the kind of guy that he was afraid he was.’ Red Harvest was Dashiell Hammett’s first novel, and the second that I’ve read, after The Maltese Falcon. Given its predecessor it had a lot to live up to, so it’s not surprising that it doesn’t … Continue reading

Fuminori Nakamura, ‘The Thief’ (2009)

The Thief is a short novel concerning Nishimura, a young Tokyo pickpocket. He is a classic noir protagonist: a man isolated from the world, Nishimura is also reliant upon it, and very much aware of the physicality of the people around him. This is a book full of packed commuter trains, stations, shops and public spaces; … Continue reading

All Due Respect Issue #3

Issue 3 of All Due Respect is now available here (for you ebook junkies) and here (step forward, paper-worshipping luddites). I’m pleased to once again play a supporting role – my reviews of David James Keaton’s Fish Bites Cop (an anthology of surreal, crime flavoured short stories) and Donald E. Westlake’s The Comedy is Finished (the master’s recently rediscovered ‘lost’ 70s … Continue reading

Massimo Carlotto, ‘Death’s Dark Abyss’ (2006)

‘When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.’ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) As you can probably guess from the title, Death’s Dark Abyss is not the book to read if you need a) cheering up, or b) an affirmation of the inherent goodness of mankind. Rather, it is the story of two men linked by … Continue reading

James M. Cain, ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ (1934)

Even 80 years after it was first published, The Postman Always Rings Twice retains its power to shock. The novel’s tale of sex, murder and retribution is not new; but what Cain brings to this old, old story is blunt, fat-free storytelling that makes the events it portrays all the more arresting. Postman is the tale of Frank Chambers, … Continue reading

Pierre Lemaitre, ‘Alex’ (2011)

After last week’s review of The A26, the Francophilia continues at WAYRF Towers with this stunning book from Pierre Lemaitre. I found out about it thanks to this list in The Guardian of the ’10 best crime novels in translation’; if the other books on the list maintain Lemaitre’s standard, I’ve a lot to thank … Continue reading

Pascal Garnier, ‘The A26’ (1999)

The French have always had an intriguing relationship with the crime novel, their attitude very distinct to that once found in Britain or the United States. Which you might argue is very French in itself; but there’s no doubt that the French have often appreciated foreign crime writers before they were recognised in their own … Continue reading

Panning for gold: ‘GBH’ by Ted Lewis

One of the great things about working in a library is the ready access to books – not only those you can borrow, but also the ones being discarded and sold. It’s the normal day-to-day work of any large library, and it’s also been happening to prepare for our move to the new building. Over the past few months, we have had an area of … Continue reading