A weblog dedicated to noir fiction and film, music, poetry and politics.
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.
London-based journalist and author of Pulp Culture: Hardboiled Fiction and the Cold War; Neon Noir: Contemporary American Crime Fiction; and Heartbreak and Vine: The Fate of Hardboiled Writers in Hollywood.