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Boston Noir (Akashic Noir) [Kindle Edition]

Dennis Lehane
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Dennis Lehane advises us not to judge the genre by its Hollywood images of sharp men in fedoras lighting cigarettes for femmes fatales standing in the dark alleys. . . . [Lehane] writes persuasively of the gentrification that has . . . left people feeling crushed."—New York Times Book Review

Brand-new stories by: Dennis Lehane, Stewart O'Nan, Patricia Powell, John Dufresne, Lynne Heitman, Don Lee, Russ Aborn, Itabari Njeri, Jim Fusilli, Brendan DuBois, and Dana Cameron.

Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, The Given Day) has proven himself to be a master of both crime fiction and literary fiction. Here, he extends his literary prowess to that of master curator. In keeping with the Akashic Noir series tradition, each story in Boston Noir is set in a different neighborhood of the city—the impressively diverse collection extends from Roxbury to Cambridge, from Southie to the Boston Harbor, and all stops in between.

Lehane's own contribution—the longest story in the volume—is set in his beloved home neighborhood of Dorchester and showcases his phenomenal ability to grip the heart, soul, and throat of the reader.

In 2003, Lehane's novel Mystic River was adapted into film and quickly garnered six Academy Award nominations (with Sean Penn and Tim Robbins each winning Academy Awards). Boston Noir launches in November 2009 just as Shutter Island, the film based on Lehane's best-selling 2003 novel of the same title, hits the big screen.

Dennis Lehane is the author of The New York Times bestseller Mystic River (also an Academy Award–winning major motion picture); Prayers for Rain; Gone, Baby, Gone (also a major motion picture); Sacred; Darkness, Take My Hand; A Drink Before the War, which won the Shamus Award for Best First Novel; and, most recently, The Given Day. A native of Dorchester, Massachusetts, he splits his time between the Boston area and Florida.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In the best of the 11 stories in this outstanding entry in Akashic's noir series, characters, plot and setting feed off each other like flames and an arsonist's accelerant. These include Lehane's own Animal Rescue, about a killing resulting from a lost and contested pit bull; John Dufresne's The Cross-Eyed Bear, in which a pedophile priest is caught between the icy representative of the archdiocese and one of his now adult victims; and Don Lee's The Oriental Hair Poets, which charts a literary feud that escalates into a police case. Two populations that define the city for outsiders—the elite WASP Brahmins and the hundreds of thousands of college students surging through to earn their degrees—appear only in passing. While Lehane expresses the fear in his introduction that Boston is becoming beiger, less tribal and gritty and more gentrified and homogenized, this anthology shows that noir can thrive where Raymond Chandler has never set foot. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The latest in Akashic’s noir anthologies focusing on specific cities—there have been more than 30 of them since the series’ inception in 2004—features 11 original stories, each set in a different Boston neighborhood. In his introduction, editor Lehane calls noir “working-class tragedy,” which is an apt description of these stories. A woman murders her boss over an oft-promised but never-delivered promotion; a man finds a dog in the garbage, adopts it, and winds up exacting punishment on the dog’s abusive former owner; a down-on-his-luck New York musician, forced by his wife to relocate to Boston, finds something very unusual to do to pass the time; a post–World War II private eye is hired by a beautiful woman whose hidden agenda has unexpected results. The stories, written by Lehane and a host of contributors (including Brendan DuBois, Stewart O’Nan, and Jim Fusilli), are uniformly solid, with characters, plots, and atmosphere that evoke the classic noirs of Cain, Woolrich, and Thompson. --David Pitt

Product Details

  • File Size: 504 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1933354917
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (November 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GDZHB8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,296 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cold Night in the Hub November 3, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the book's introduction, Lehane adds his own twist to a description of the noir genre. He argues that it represents uniquely working class tragedy, a story of loss and of people who are unable to roll with the changing times. "No art form that I know of," submits Lehane, "rages against the machine more violently than noir." He adds, however, that the Boston locations in this volume add an unexpected strain of humor to the mix.

Although the entries are a bit uneven, I found some of them very entertaining. In just a few pages of the first story, Lynne Heitman sets the mood, creates dramatic tension and builds a nice visual image of the Financial District office in which the action occurs. A woman who is passed over for a job has shot her boss and is holding her rival hostage. The author manages simultaneously to create a feeling of sympathy and vague dislike for the captive businessman. The author saves her best lines to describe the woman with the gun: "This suit has never really fit, and the dark blue Tahari would have hidden the blood stains better."

Dennis Lehane's story features a confrontation between small time hoods in Dorchester. The story has atmosphere, compelling characters and classic noir visuals like: "The street signs and window panes rattled, and Bob thought how winter lost any meaning the day you last rode a sled. Any meaning but grey."

My other favorite was Brendan DuBois' Dark Island. Locales in the story include Scollay Square, the waterfront and one of the small islands off the coast of the city. In a staple beginning of the genre, a mysterious woman walks into the office of a gumshoe. She is pretty, needs help and is not what she seems.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boston's Finest October 31, 2009
This gem of a book is worth every penny. Each story is set in a different part of Boston and its suburbs. The authors who contribute to this book are the creme de la creme of contemporary mystery writers, including Dennis Lehane, Stewart O'Nan and Brendan DuBois. This is perfect bedtime reading for anyone who loves the city of Boston, its quirks, its culture, its people and its flavor. You won't be disappointed.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "They Fall from Curbs" January 15, 2010
"Boston Noir" is, by my count, the thirty-fourth book in a series of darkish short story collections set in major cities around the world. Each of the featured cities has distinct enough a personality to set a unique tone for its particular volume, even, at times becoming as much a character in the stories as the chief protagonists themselves.

This particular volume is home to eleven short stories, some of which have been written by authors already well known to genre readers and others by lesser known writers. Dennis Lehane contributes both the book's introduction and a story entitled "Animal Rescue" about a seemingly simple man with an unexpected hard edge to him. Other contributors include: Stewart O'Nan, Lynne Heitman, Jim Fusilli, Patricia Powell and John Dufresne.

The stories have a tough, sometimes depressing, tone to them but they are kept lighter than they otherwise would have been by the bits of ironic humor that sneak into them when least expected. Even readers unfamiliar with the term "noir," will be tempted to explore the collection after reading Lehane's definition of what it takes to be a "noir hero" - "In Shakespeare, tragic heroes fall from mountaintops; in noir, they fall from curbs. Tragic heroes die in a blaze of their own ill-advised conflation. Noir heroes die clutching fences or crumpled in trunks or, in the case of poor Eddie Coyle, they simply doze off drunkenly in a car and take one in the back of the head before they have a chance to wake up again. No wise words, no music swelling on the soundtrack.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book of Boston February 3, 2010
If you've ever lived in, worked in, laughed in, cried in, or even just visited Boston to see what was there, this book is a must-read..... the darker side of the city shines through (sometimes in laughter, sometimes in tears), in this set of short stories by some of the best in the business.... my thanks to Dennis LeHane for helping to put this together..... reading through the entire set of city "noirs" is very high on my list of reading priorities.... buy it, you'll love it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
BOSTON NOIR offers brand new stories by Patricial Powell, Lynne Heitman, Don Lee and others, all centered around Boston mysteries and topics. Humor, mystery, and stories set in distinct neighborhoods or locations in Boston will especially appeal to mystery enthusiasts familiar with the city's streets and culture.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short stories March 2, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dennis LeHane is a favorite author of mine, although he only contributed one short story to this collection. Some of the stories were very, very good and some were not, but that's the beauty of a collection, isn't it? You get exposure to other authors who you might not have heard of before. It's well worth reading. I highly recommend some of the other LeHane books, like Shutter Island, Mystic River, and all his Kenzie/Gennaro books. I hope he gets back to his good stuff and leaves off the "Given Day" and other attempts into different styles of writing. He is excellent in his area!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay but I'm not a fan of short stories so that's the best I...
Short stories by different local [to Boston] writers. It was okay but I'm not a fan of short stories so that's the best I can say about it..........
Published 1 day ago by Doreen
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I have read ALL of Dennis's books. He really knows Boston, a city I love.
Published 13 days ago by Diane Sobieski
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Also listed as a Dennis Lehane book. NOT!!!
Published 2 months ago by Jim Gaverth
2.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, poor execution.
I was excited when I found this book. I thought the idea of multiple short stories about the city I'm from was a fantastic idea. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Zack
4.0 out of 5 stars and I consider him a great writer. It turned out that he only edited...
The only reason I bought this book was that I thought it was authored by Dennis Lehane. I have quite a few of his books, and I consider him a great writer. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Eddie Webster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great short stories written by best of the best, all gripping.
Published 6 months ago by Anon. Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really good
Published 6 months ago by tom
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Some of the stories were great, two disconnect. Good read and the style changes were very interesting. Worth the list price and more.
Published 6 months ago by Catherine C. Kearns
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
I love this book. Thank you for the fast service.
Published 6 months ago by Machine
5.0 out of 5 stars Many Good Boston Stories
Going to see THE DROP today,the story Animal Rescue by Dennis Lehane basis for the film.The Cross I Bear also relevant to church scandal,the flip side of the movie Calvary (an... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ellen
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