Cover image for Chicago noir : the classics
Title:
Chicago noir : the classics
Author:
Meno, Joe, editor.
Publication Information:
[Brooklyn, New York] : Akashic Books, 2015.

©2015
Physical Description:
249 pages : map ; 22 cm.
Summary:
This anthology collects nearly a century of Chicago crime fiction.
Language:
English
Contents:
30 seconds of darkness / Brother / Kaddish for the kid / Man who went to Chicago (excerpt) / He swung and he missed / I'll cut your throat again, Kathleen / Price of salt (excerpt) / Starving dogs of Little Croatia / Blue Note / Whole world is watching / Libby Fischer Hellman -- Skin deep / Death and the point spread / One holy night / Thirtieth amendment / We didn't
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781617753770
Format :
Book

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PS285.C47 C494 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

"In this superior entry in Akashic''s noir series, Meno offers nearly a century of Chicago crime fiction....Familiar bylines abound: Max Allan Collins, Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, Sherwood Anderson, Fredric Brown, Patricia Highsmith (with an excerpt from her novel The Price of Salt ), Stewart M. Kaminsky, Sara Paretsky. Others may be less familiar to mystery specialists, but all turn in impressive performances."
-- Publishers Weekly , Starred review

"Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, and Sandra Cisneros are not crime-fiction writers, and yet their Chicago certainly embodies the individual-crushing ethos endemic to noir. Meno also includes stories from writers who could easily have been overlooked (Percy Spurlark Parker, Hugh Holton) to ensure that diverse voices, and neighborhoods, are represented. Add in smart and essential choices from Fredric Brown, Sara Paretsky, and Stuart Kaminsky, and you have not an anthology not for crime-fictionpurists, perhaps, but a thought-provoking document all the same."
-- Booklist

"The fifteen short stories comprising Chicago Noir: The Classics , which are knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited by Joe Meno, are true gems of the noir literary tradition.... Chicago Noir: The Classics is a consistently entertaining and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections."
-- Midwest Book Review

"I''ve always enjoyed reading noir. Dark, ironic mysteries are a good read to me. Since this collection includes old classics as well as some new stories, I knew it would be good....I wasn''t disappointed."
-- Journey of a Bookseller

" Chicago Noir The Classics does everything anthologies and noir are supposed to, but this title achieves an unheralded goal that deserves notice....This is wonderful diversity, coming both unexpected and unhearalded. Anthologies are supposed to convey a sense of having covered the territory, Joe Meno has. Ethnically diverse city, ethnically diverse plots. Better, Chicago Noir The Classics showcases diversity as normal, everyday. This adds inescapable satisfaction to a sense of the editor''s having covered the territory."
-- La Bloga

"A worthy addition to the Akashic Books noir series."
-- Book Chase

Although Los Angeles may be considered the most quintessentially "noir" American city, this volume reveals that pound-for-pound, Chicago has historically been able to stand up to any other metropolis in the noir arena.

Classic reprints from: Harry Stephen Keeler, Sherwood Anderson, Max Allan Collins, Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, Fredric Brown, Patricia Highsmith, Barry Gifford, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Sara Paretsky, Percy Spurlark Parker, Sandra Cisneros, Hugh Holton, and Stuart Dybek.

From the introduction by Joe Meno :

"More corrupt than New York, less glamorous than LA, Chicago has more murders per capita than any other city its size. With its sleek skyscrapers bisecting the fading sky like an unspoken threat, Chicago is the closest metropolis to the mythical city of shadows as first described in the work of Chandler, Hammett, and Cain. Only in Chicago do instituted color lines offer generation after generation of poverty and violence, only in Chicago do the majority of governors do prison time, only in Chicago do the dead actually vote twice.

"Chicago--more than the metropolis that gave the world Al Capone, the Saint Valentine''s Day Massacre, the death of John Dillinger, the crimes of Leopold and Loeb, the horrors of John Wayne Gacy, the unprecedented institutional corruption of so many recent public officials, more than the birthplace of Raymond Chandler--is a city of darkness. This darkness is not an act of over-imagination. It''s the unadulterated truth. It''s a pointed though necessary reminder of the grave tragedies of the past and the failed possibilities of the present. Fifty years in the future, I hope these stories are read only as fiction, as somewhat distant fantasy. Here''s hoping for some light."


Author Notes

Joe Meno is a fiction writer and playwright who lives in Chicago. He is the winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Great Lakes Book Award, and a finalist for the Story Prize. He is the editor of Chicago Noir: The Classics and the author of two short story collections and multiple novels including the best sellers Hairstyles of the Damned and The Boy Detective Fails ; Office Girl ; and his latest novel, Marvel and a Wonder . He is a professor in the Department of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Editor Meno (Office Girl, 2012) believes the tension between the literary elite and the man on the street is one of noir's most enduring qualities. Arguing that Chicago is perhaps the genre's truest embodiment, he has selected stories that range from classic detective tales to others that would not be considered noir, or even crime fiction, by most mystery fans. Aside from several odd choices (30 Seconds of Darkness, by cult punchline Harry Stephen Keeler, and an excerpt from Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt in which Chicago serves as a road-trip stopover), it's a mostly effective combination. Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, and Sandra Cisneros are not crime-fiction writers, and yet their Chicago certainly embodies the individual-crushing ethos endemic to noir. Meno also includes stories from writers who could easily have been overlooked (Percy Spurlark Parker, Hugh Holton) to ensure that diverse voices, and neighborhoods, are represented. Add in smart and essential choices from Fredric Brown, Sara Paretsky, and Stuart Kaminsky, and you have an anthology not for crime-fiction purists, perhaps, but a thought-provoking document all the same.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this superior entry in Akashic's noir series, Meno (Office Girl) offers nearly a century of Chicago crime fiction, starting with Harry Stephen Keeler's sprightly "30 Seconds of Darkness," originally published in 1916. Hugh Holton's "The Thirteenth Amendment," one of the newer stories out of the 15 included, is a work of satirical science fiction set in the future America of President Newt Gingrich. Familiar bylines abound: Max Allan Collins, Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, Sherwood Anderson, Fredric Brown, Patricia Highsmith (with an excerpt from her novel The Price of Salt), Stewart M. Kaminsky, Sara Paretsky. Others may be less familiar to mystery specialists, but all turn in impressive performances. If one selection rises above the anthology's consistently high level, it would be Kaminsky's "Blue Note," a high-tension tale that merges a love for the blues with the psychology of high-stakes poker, a character study, and a surprising ending. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.