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“Manchette is legend among all of the crime writers I know, and with good reason: his novels never fail to stun and thrill from page one.”
—Duane Swierczynski, Author of Expiration Date
“Manchette called crime novels ‘the great moral literature of our time.’ Manchette pushes the Situationist strategy of dérive and détournement to the point of comic absurdity, throwing a wrench into the workings of their main characters’ lives and gleefully recording the anarchy that results.”
—Jennifer Howard, Boston Review
“Cool, compact, and shockingly original.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“In France, which long ago embraced American crime fiction, thrillers are referred to as polars. And in France the godfather and wizard of polars is Jean-Patrick Manchette. . . . [H]e’s a massive figure. . . . There is gristle here, there is bone.” —The Boston Globe
Jean-Patrick Manchette (1942–1995) was a genre-redefining French crime novelist, screenwriter, critic, and translator. Born in Marseille to a family of relatively modest means, Manchette grew up in a southwestern suburb of Paris, where he wrote from an early age. While a student of English literature at the Sorbonne, he contributed articles to the newspaper La Voix Communiste and became active in the national students’ union. In 1961 he married, and with his wife, Mélissa began translating American crime fiction—he would go on to translate the works of such writers as Donald Westlake, Ross Thomas, and Margaret Millar, often for Gallimard’s Série noire. Throughout the 1960s Manchette supported himself with various jobs writing television scripts, pornographic screenplays, young-adult books, and film novelizations. In 1971 he published his first novel, a collaboration with Jean-Pierre Bastid, and embarked on his literary career in earnest, producing ten subsequent works over the course of the next two decades and establishing a new genre of French novel, the néo-polar (distinguished from traditional detective novel, or polar, by its political engagement and social radicalism). During the 1980s, Manchette published celebrated translations of Alan Moore’s Watchmen graphic novels for a bandes-dessinée publishing house co-founded by his son, Doug Headline. In addition to Fatale, Manchette’s novels Three to Kill and The Prone Gunman, as well as Jacques Tardi’s graphic-novel adaptations of them (titled West Coast Blues and Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, respectively), are available in English.
Donald Nicholson-Smith’s translations of noir fiction include Manchette’s Three to Kill, Thierry Jonquet’s Mygale (a.k.a. Tarantula), and (with Alyson Waters) Yasmina Khadra’s Cousin K. He has also translated works by Guy Debord, Paco Ignacio Taibo II , Henri Lefebvre, Antonin Artaud, and Guillaume Apollinaire. Born in Manchester, England, he is a longtime resident of New York City.
Jean Echenoz is a prominent French novelist, many of whose works have been translated into English, among them Chopin’s Move (1989), Big Blondes (1995), and most recently Ravel (2008) and
The synopsis for this novella sounded intriguing to say the least, a beautiful deadly femme fatale with an agenda who arrives in a small provincial French town and immediately gets... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cphe
Interesting, but hard to see why this author is called the French Raymond Chandler.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
Let's face it, I bought this book for its cover and its slim size. I have seldom been disappointed by NYRB books, and thought this would make a tart little sorbet between more... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Roger Brunyate
I loved both "3 to Kill" and "The Prone Gunman." Brilliant, gripping books that livened up my holidays. This book is a dissapointment by comparison. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Tod R. Brubaker
This guy is a very good story teller. His short novels are especially descriptive of the interesting characters he writes about and very funny at times. Read morePublished on July 27, 2013 by Danny
Without dwelling on the length of this book, let us agree to call it a novella. As such, it should have the same compactness of a short story or intensity. Read morePublished on March 27, 2013 by propertius
Always on the lookout for new experiences, I ordered this book based on the admittedly mixed reviews, but being a "noir" fan I figured I'd take a chance. Read morePublished on September 17, 2012 by Peter B
Our lead character has quite the hatred for men. And she isn't very picky. Any man, apparently, is as handy as another when it is time to kill again. Read morePublished on April 3, 2012 by las cosas