Yes, it is a horror story, but it also features a police detective who delves into rumors of human trafficing, kidnapping, smuggling and illegal immigration in his little corner of the city, chasing down rumors and clues of black deeds like human sacrifice, until he finds himself in a vast cavern under the city, face to face with a loathsome evil.
Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics | Tim McLoughlinAkashic Books
The story is notorious as a showcase for Lovecraft's virulent racism at the time - he later recanted and yes it's there in spades, but it's also an effective recasting of the paranoid Christian European Dark Ages mind-set all Walpurgisnacht unholy rites and loathsome foreigners doing evil in the shadows into a modern metropolis.
Increasing intoxication eventually leads them to "solve" their problem through an act of mutual destruction. Perhaps "noir" because of the hoplessness of existence, rather than a crime committed which I guess, technically, would have been "insurance fraud" or "destruction of property"? Colson Whitehead 's "The All-Night Bodega Of Souls" also doesn't have a crime, just the threat of one, as a journalist steps out late one night to grab some beer from a locale corner store and runs into a crackhead panhandler he's acquainted with.
Well-observed mannerisms and dialogue make this story an interesting contrast between the homeless beggar and the wealthy, "recovering addict" movie star the journalist is composing a magazine piece about. Westlake 's contributions.
Block's "By The Dawn's Early Light" follows a hard-drinking ex-cop hired to gather evidence to clear a friend's name of a murder charge. Which he does, but not in the way he expected. It's a sharp, tough story. Westlake's "The Best-Friend Murder", on the other hand, is a straightforward mystery - a police detective must figure out why one poverty-stricken young writer poisoned another and then confessed to the act almost immediately.
Perhaps the slightest bit predictable, what really impresses is the angry, poignant ending. Old debts are repaid at the end of a long ride and author Pete Hamill shows his masterful hand at building tension through atmosphere and character. It's an almost tender story about love, loss of virginity and conceptions of manhood, punctuated in the end by violence. La Puma really captures the time period and the feel of the lives of these boys. Finally, there was a trio of stand-out works. She treats herself as an object and so is treated as same, leading to a ghastly, degraded ending to her life.
The frantic writing style of the ending really captures the reeling state of drunkneness.
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Sad and brutal, this would make a good cautionary story for young women to read. Jonathan Lethem 's excerpt from Motherless Brooklyn - "Tugboat Syndrome" - is another moving character study, this time of a teenaged orphan with Tourette's, his circle of friends, and the low-level street criminal who take them under his wing.
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The dynamics of teenage boy's relationships with each other, and their mentors, along with the neighborhood and its characters, are exceedingly well-sketched and it really made me want to read the full novel. The main character seems too verbose to start, but once we understand his problems, it all makes sense.
Boston Noir 2: The Classics
Finally, I was really impressed by "The Day of the Bullet" by Stanley Ellin - in a sense, this is a story that could lay at the start of the life of any criminal character in any story in this book. A man sees a newspaper report that a childhood friend has been killed in mob-related activity and reminices about the day when they were boys and saw something they weren't supposed to. Their attempts at reporting the crime schooled them in the reality of power and corruption, tearing the veil from their eyes about the true state of the world. A very powerful story and really worth reading.
So, next up for the NOIR series is I'm not sure. Have to check my notes. But it probably won't be until January or so which, at the rate Akashic Books is pumping these things out, means I'll never actually catch up.
We'll see. Nov 10, Sam rated it really liked it.
A sharp bunch of stories. Dec 30, Tuxlie marked it as to-read Shelves: crime. Aug 21, Mike rated it it was ok. This was a rather uneven collection. All of the stories had been previously published. They also all seemed kind of dated.
saaworkvenorthligh.tk Almost every story was based on some cliched version of a Brooklynite. I'd already read the Lethem story and the Selby story elsewhere and they were really the only ones I liked. It was quite a bit of a task getting through a few of them. It was a little disappointing to see how my home town is portrayed by some. Sep 22, Jarrett rated it liked it Shelves: new-york , read-in , brooklyn-book-festvial.
Oct 03, Andrew rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , fiction. Mar 27, Pam marked it as to-read Shelves: mystery , short-stories , new-york , crime-fiction. Alexander rated it liked it Feb 11, Mary rated it liked it Dec 11, Cost: Free. October Practical Magic Nitehawk Cinema, Williamsburg, am This bewitching romantic comedy gets a brunch-time screening. October Halloween Nitehawk Cinema, Williamsburg, midnight The John Carpenter classic that defined the slasher movie genre is best experienced in this midnight screening. Romero black-and-white classic that launched the zombie genre.
Editor: Joe Klotz. Music: Daniel Pemberton.
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