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Cape Cod Noir (Akashic Noir) Paperback – May 17, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
When I think of cities that inspire noir, Cape Cod is certainly not at the top of that list. I think of New York, Chicago, Baltimore even, but never would I have thought of Cape Cod. In the ongoing series by Akashic Books, they've visited almost fifty cities across the United States, and around the world. It's a compelling series to say the least. Once I started to get into this collection, though, I understood the appeal of Cape Cod. Any place where you have the rich surrounded by the middle and working-class, the permanent residents dealing with entitled tourists, there's bound to be a simmering pot of angst and violence waiting to overflow.
Editor David L. Ulin speaks to the concept of noir in the opening of this book, and the reasons that Cape Cod came to mind. What is noir to him?:
"...that air of desolate clarity, of a character staring into the abyss as the abyss stares back...a cry in the darkness of a world that is, as best, apathetic, and at worst, in violent disarray."
Twelve pages into this collection of thirteen stories by authors such as Paul Tremblay, Dave Zeltserman, Jedidiah Berry and many other dark visionaries, I found myself nodding my head. David gets it, I thought. This is going to be good. But how is he going to make this work in Cape Cod? He elaborates:
"...my experiences on the Cape suggest...that noir is everywhere. You can see it in the desperate excitations of the summer people, the desire to make their vacations count. You can see it in the tension of the year-rounders, who rely on the seasonal trade for survival, even as they must tolerate having their communities overrun...Read more ›
This is not a book for tourists! But it is a book for lovers of noir!
As you may know, this collection is just one in the "noir" series which collects short stories in different cities around the country. Because the stories are noir, they are often eerie, have some violence, and might give you the chills. I have read other books in this series including "Mexico City Noir" and "New Orleans Noir" both of which I was unable to get into. While some of the stories were well written, I didn't feel connected to any of the characters in any of the stories. I finally realized that I think my lack of connection with the locales made it hard for me to enjoy the stories.
It is for this reason that when I cracked the spine on the Cape Cod edition, I felt like I had come home. There is a map in the front of the book that shows where each story takes place so that people can orient themselves. This specific edition is broken into thee parts: Out of Season, Summer People, and End of the Line. Obviously, the first section contains stories about residents who are there year round and those in the area from September to May. The Summer People tells of just that, tales that take place during the summer usually involving vacationers. Some of the stories are written very well and have unique narratives. Such is the case with the story "Nineteen Snapshots of Dennisport" which is told in nineteen paragraphs that describe photographs that are not included.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I gave this book as a gift. The recipient was pleased and anxious to begin reading.Published 3 months ago by martha j daley
Cape Cod Noir by David Ulin
Beach vacation scenes and this series is about many other contributions from various writers in different districts. Read more
This book is nearly impossible to read because it cannot be opened out. One has to hold both sides hard, and still one is looking at curved pages because the binding won't give up. Read morePublished on June 27, 2011 by Greyhoundwalker