Review by Booklist Review
Editor Meno (Office Girl, 2012) believes the tension between the literary elite and the man on the street is one of noir's most enduring qualities. Arguing that Chicago is perhaps the genre's truest embodiment, he has selected stories that range from classic detective tales to others that would not be considered noir, or even crime fiction, by most mystery fans. Aside from several odd choices (30 Seconds of Darkness, by cult punchline Harry Stephen Keeler, and an excerpt from Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt in which Chicago serves as a road-trip stopover), it's a mostly effective combination. Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, and Sandra Cisneros are not crime-fiction writers, and yet their Chicago certainly embodies the individual-crushing ethos endemic to noir. Meno also includes stories from writers who could easily have been overlooked (Percy Spurlark Parker, Hugh Holton) to ensure that diverse voices, and neighborhoods, are represented. Add in smart and essential choices from Fredric Brown, Sara Paretsky, and Stuart Kaminsky, and you have an anthology not for crime-fiction purists, perhaps, but a thought-provoking document all the same.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2015 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In this superior entry in Akashic's noir series, Meno (Office Girl) offers nearly a century of Chicago crime fiction, starting with Harry Stephen Keeler's sprightly "30 Seconds of Darkness," originally published in 1916. Hugh Holton's "The Thirteenth Amendment," one of the newer stories out of the 15 included, is a work of satirical science fiction set in the future America of President Newt Gingrich. Familiar bylines abound: Max Allan Collins, Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, Sherwood Anderson, Fredric Brown, Patricia Highsmith (with an excerpt from her novel The Price of Salt), Stewart M. Kaminsky, Sara Paretsky. Others may be less familiar to mystery specialists, but all turn in impressive performances. If one selection rises above the anthology's consistently high level, it would be Kaminsky's "Blue Note," a high-tension tale that merges a love for the blues with the psychology of high-stakes poker, a character study, and a surprising ending. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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