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USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series Paperback – November 5, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Temple, Akashic's publisher and editor-in-chief, is the force behind the press's series of noir anthologies in which each installment focuses on a different locale. This compendium showcases 37 exceptional stories from 32 separate volumes, in six thematic categories: True Grit, American Values, Road Rage, Homeland Security, Under the Influence, and Street Justice. A number of the contributors, including Lawrence Block, Laura Lippman, Joyce Carol Oates, George Pelecanos, and Dennis Lehane, have edited individual series entries. Pete Hamill's The Book Signing, Reed Farrel Coleman's Mastermind, and Megan Abbott's Our Eyes Couldn't Stop Opening are especially good. The humor—where there is any—is fittingly dark, as in Block's outstanding The Ehrengraf Settlement. Other notable tales are Luis Alberto Urrea's punch-in-the-gut Amapola and Lehane's deliciously twisted Animal Rescue. Readers will be hard put to find a better collection of short stories in any genre. (Nov.)
*Starred Review* The Akashic noir series was launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Since then, there have been 60 original anthologies, all centered on a specific city, region, or neighborhood in the U.S. and abroad. The 37 stories in this collection represent the best of the U.S.-based anthologies, and the list of contributors includes virtually anyone who’s made the best-seller list with a work of crime fiction in the last decade. Among them are Lee Child, George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly, Don Winslow, Dennis Lehane, and T. Jefferson Parker. Pelecanos offers “The Confidential Informant,” in which a decidedly average street kid tries to live up to an older brother and please his father. The results are not what he bargains for. In “After Thirty,” Don Winslow paints a portrait of Charlie, the poster boy for antiheroes. Charlie is a navy guy, but everyone will tell you he’s no good, what with the drinking and brawling. It’s time to get back to the ship, but Charlie decides to hit a woman, and it gets worse. In “The Book Signing” by Pete Hamill, Carmody, now a best-selling author, returns home to his Brooklyn neighborhood for a book signing. He wonders if the girl he left behind so many years ago will remember him. Memory is a funny thing or, in this case, not so funny. A must-have anthology, particularly for libraries with spotty holdings of the previous U.S. collections. --Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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