Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lee Horsley's The Noir Thriller (Palgrave, Macmillan) should be perused by all readers of noir fiction. It starts at the very beginning of the genre and manages to bring it all up to date with discussion of the likes of Megan Abbott, Sara Gran, Jason Starr, Charlie Stella, Jess Walters, etc.. Moreover, it does so in a stylish fashion. Particularly impressive are his delineations and ability to historicise into large but comprehensible categories. His chapter headings alone are indicative of this: Fatal Men; Fatal Women; Strangers and Outcasts; Players, Voyeurs and Consumers; Pasts and Futures, etc. Concentrating on the poetics and politics of noir fiction, The Noir Thriller might be a bit academic for some, but no one is going to go away from this book empty handed. There are very few omissions that I could find, as well as a handful of writers I've yet to read. So far one of the best books on the subject. Highly recommended.


pattinase (abbott) said...

And a much better cover than my husband's book with Palgrave got last year. I am enjoying it too.

Woody Haut said...

What was your husband's book? I've always had mixed feelings about Palgrave as a publisher- a lot of good titles but badly marketed. Maybe that's par for the course, but I would have thought that a number of their books could sell quite well. On the other hand, at least Horsley's book has a nice cover, which might attract some people to it who would normally take a pass on a modestly academic book.