Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Best American Noir of the Century - Otto Penzler, James Ellroy


Noir to me means ironic. It can also mean hardboiled, mystery/thriller, horror, but it's never boring.

This collection of 39 stories from 1910-2010 was a very interesting read. Otto Penzler always comes up with good collections (and he had Mr. Ellroy helping) so I was pleased to find this on Net Galley and download it. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is the publisher. The book is coming out in hardcover in October.

This is a good way to "taste" the various author's styles and writing format. I was familiar with most of the authors in this volume, but there were new and old gems that I hadn't run across yet.

Most of these stories do not have "happy ever after" endings. Life on the mean streets, in sordid backrooms and on the run doesn't tend to end up that way. Everyone in these stories seems to be scheming to get something for nothing. And nothing is usually what they end up with. What you can count on is that they will not succeed in most cases. And if they do, they must never have heard that saying about being careful what you wish for...

If you like short stories and hard hitting action stories with ironical twists, this book is for you. Check your local bookstore in October and pick up a copy. With 750 pages, it'll keep you busy for a while!

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