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Boston Noir 2: The Classics (Akashic Noir) Paperback – November 6, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Akashic Noir
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617751367
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617751363
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Unlike the first Boston Noir (2009)—and, indeed, unlike the Noir series as a whole—this collection features crime stories that have already been published. But that’s OK when you have the likes of Chuck Hogan, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert B. Parker, Linda Barnes, George V. Higgins, Dennis Lehane, and David Foster Wallace all under the same roof. Parker’s “Surrogate,” from 1982, offers Spenser fans a very early look at their favorite Boston PI; an excerpt from Infinite Jest, Wallace’s 1996 novel set in an ironic near future, should send readers to the library to either read or reread the whole book; Barnes’ “Lucky Penny” offers readers the debut appearance of fan favorite Carlotta Carlyle; and the outstanding stories from Lehane and Hogan are each worth the price of admission all by themselves. Followers of Akashic’s long-running Noir series—not to mention, of course, fans of Boston-set crime fiction—should eagerly devour this one. --David Pitt


"Boston is a very diverse city, and Boston Noir 2 manages to offer readers a satisfying taste of some of the best classic noir literature the metropolis has to offer. Just like all previous books in this series from Akashic Books, this one is highly recommended."
--Verbicide Magazine

"In a bloody tribute to this great city, Lehane and company have resurrected several out-of-print classics and pushed the meaning of noir into peculiar places… For those unfamiliar with Greater Boston and its literary heritage, Boston Noir 2: the Classics is a great place to start."
--Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

"Akashic Books is this edgy press that you may or may not have heard of...Their noir series is sure to please fans of noir, and I recommend picking up one of the many titles, perhaps beginning with Boston Noir 2: The Classics...with contributors like David Foster Wallace, Joyce Carol Oates and Andre Dubus, how can you go wrong with Boston Noir 2: The Classics?"
--Sacramento Press

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GOOD HEN on December 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very, very Boston! I am enjoying every aspect. Definitely would recommend and will probably re read! It is a pleasure to reaquaint myself with some of these authors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Ginger Man VINE VOICE on December 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first collection of Boston Noir was released in 2009 and contained new pieces commissioned for that anthology. Boston Noir 2 includes works scoured from previously published short stories or excerpts from novels.

This new "classics" anthology contains selections from Robert Parker, Dennis Lehane, Andre Dubus, Joyce Carol Oates and David Foster Wallace among others. Almost every entry is worth reading but there are a few problems. First, the editors broadly define noir in their introduction as fiction including "bleak elements, danger, tragedy, sleaze." Many of the works in the book can only be characterized as noir at a stretch, if at all. Oates' story about the effect of a seance on an MIT professor is more Gothic than noir. The excerpt from Barbara Neely's Blanche Cleans Up is sharply written and insightful regarding Boston politics and society. However, it contains such a small part of the whole work that, while a crime is hinted at, none of the other elements of noir are evident. The second weakness in Boston Noir 2 is that these excerpts were not written to stand alone and some act as teaser rather than final product. Finally, the Boston and suburban locales in these stories seem to be incidental rather than integral to their content, except in Neely's and Andre Dubus' entries.

These concerns aside, there are nevertheless some very strong selections in the new edition of Boston Noir. Fans of Parker's Spenser series will enjoy an early rendering of the classic detective. A bit rougher around the edges, Spenser is ever the knight in tarnished armor ("Brenda, whatever it is, I can fix it"); threatening to throw bad guys out of windows while talking about William Faulkner.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An interesting collection of short stories about the 'noir' side of Boston. Or perhaps better said a peek or snippet of a window as life goes on. I enjoyed reading this collection, but I didn't think they were very dark or 'noir.' Different, but not dark. I read the Kansas City Noir and thoroughly enjoyed the seedy side of the city. I'm sure Boston is seedy, too, but you don't get that feeling from this book. However, I look forward to other 'noir' books about other cities. Defiantly worth the time to read this.
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