Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Noir: A Novel Hardcover – March 4, 2010
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
1 - You are a Coover aficionado and have read most or all of his output to date. You will buy or borrow the newly released "Noir" and read its slim 192 pages in a feverish swoon, critics be damned. If, at some point, you find yourself reading reviews of "Noir" (even, Lord help you, these amateur ones on Amazon) it's because you've finished the book and want to relive the experience or compare your reaction to others. Or:
2 - You have read one or two Coover books (maybe as part of a post-modern lit course) and want to catch up with what the 78-year-old author is doing nowadays. Is he still in the game, you wonder? The news is positive. You will find the pages of "Noir" chock full of Coover's signature mordant wit and claustrophobic worldview. Years ago NY Times book critic Michiko Kakutani observed: "Of all the post-modernist writers, Robert Coover is probably the funniest and most malicious." So, yes, you'll find "Noir" fitfully laugh-inducing -- especially if you're in the mood for a relentless, demented, hallucinogenic parody of crime fiction. If at its end you are ambivalent about the book, well, that is not uncommon with Coover. Upon closing the book you may place a hand on your belly and think to yourself, that was not so much a satisfying meal as a bitter entrée. More likely you will be so delighted by its denouement, which incorporates street philosophy, word play, and all-around cleverness, that you will forgive and forget having been dragged through some slow sections. Or:
3 - Coover is entirely new to you.Read more ›
You read a lot of hard-boiled fiction. Maybe even a little too much. The kinda little too much Cocteau called "just enough." You cut your teeth on Chandler and Hammett and James M. Cain. Learned to crack wise through Mickey Spillane. You got your dark view of the world from Jim Thompson. Consider yourself an authority on Elmore Leonard. And you've spent a good chunk of a hard life alongside walk-alones like Travis McGee, Hoke Mosley, Harry Bosch and Elvis Cole.
You prefer alleys to main drags, suits to denim, highballs to beer. You speak fast, think once and never apologize, no matter how wrong they say you are. You've got swollen knuckles, a tin ear and a chip on your shoulder that's been around so long it's got a name.
When you heard word that Robert Coover had gotten with his inner gumshoe, you weren't mad. In fact, you were pleased by the news. You saw that he called his experiment Noir, and you said "What else?" And when you got the book in your hands, you didn't put it down until you'd reached The End.
You didn't mind that the antihero's name was Philip M. Noir because you know it comes from the best. You didn't care that the bad guy was called Mr. Big, the alley cat was christened Rats, or that Noir had the hots for a dame named Flame. You were even somewhat charmed by the fact that "her lovers were called moths."
You dug the stuttering neon, the puddled shadows, the holstered heaters. And you knew what was coming when the veiled widow showed up in need of a peeper. Tomorrow was gonna be black-and-blue, and you couldn't wait.
In truth, the whole book is a bruise, punctuated by dead bodies, and it smarts. You wouldn't have wanted it any other way.Read more ›
Dubious characters Rats, Snark and Creep "live in a different world. It was called daytime." When Noir claims someone poisoned "you" by putting something in your drink, sassy assistant Blanche says, "Yeah. It's called alcohol." Though you are in a perpetual booze-haze, "a hunch is to a gumshoe what a skirt is to a letch: a tease; pursuit; trouble." You-as-Noir are "not so much a private eye as an eyer of privates. Your university days." The lack of quote marks surrounding dialogue is only slightly disconcerting, a ruse that causes readers to slow down and enjoy the sojourn.
A sexy mystery woman with noir secrets hidden behind widow's weeds hires gumshoe Noir to investigate her husband's mysterious death. When Blanche asks "Whatever made you take up this case?" Noir responds, "Well, she has nice legs." ("You randy old letch.")
A mystic muse, Coover introduces his irreverent, avant garde interpretation of the detective novel with zany but richly written hyperbole. You "tugged your fedora down...hands in trenchcoat pockets, stepped out into the grim wet night.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although I couldn't make it through Robert Coover's Pricksongs & Descants, I later read and enjoyed the story THE CASE OF THE SEVERED HAND from the 2008 issue of HARPER'S MAGAZINE,... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Bryan Byrd
Robert Coover is one of the most intelligent writers in US. This novel will inspire the writer in all of you!Published 19 months ago by vic
I have been a Robert Coover fan for years, but this is inferior work. The book never decides whether it is a parody of hard-boiled detective stories, or a cynical, existential... Read morePublished on December 18, 2012 by A. Debban
What's going on when you wake from a dream to discover that somebody's writing it all down in black and white and what's even harder to swallow is that they seem to be anticipating... Read morePublished on November 1, 2012 by Il'ja Rákoš
Robert Coover Gets with His Inner Gumshoe
By John Hood
You read a lot of hard-boiled fiction. Maybe even a little too much. Read more
All the elements of a Phillip Marlowe hard boiled crime detective novel are there: a wise cracking private detective, Philip Noir, hard at work attempting to solve the murder of a... Read morePublished on September 15, 2010 by IRA Ross
I almost never put a book down, even if I don't happen to like it. I only made it to page 88 of this one, and that was painful. Read morePublished on August 18, 2010 by S. Stoller