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American Noir (2000)

by James Ellroy(Favorite Author)
4.05 of 5 Votes: 2
review 1: The book contains short stories of Noir fiction, usually dark stories of crime.  I was amazed at how good the stories were and how many really are classic literature.  The book takes stories in chronological order from the beginning of the 20th century to the time the book was published in 2006.  I think because of the proliferation of crime, true story magazines and magazines such as Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, the earlier stories tend to be better.  While short stories as a form are enjoying a resurgence due to such canvasses as Amazon Singles and PRI's selected Shorts, the short story seemed to have almost disappeared as a genre for awhile.  Books like The Best American Noir of the Century offers a great way to read short stories.  I read on my Kindle one story... more a night ideally and at a doctor's office or waiting somewhere.  Many of the stories were so good I was blown away at how much talent was writing for these crime magazines, something I often thought of as trash.  Many of these writers created the best TV series episodes ever and some really great films too.  Episodes from The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and movies such as  Mystic River are represented here.  Wonderful book to read.
review 2: Genuinely terrifying stories of murderers, who are sometimes children, sometimes spurned lovers, and sometimes just straight evil killers. So entertaining. My favorites so far are "You'll Always Remember Me", "Spurs", "Forever After", "The Homecoming", "Texas City, 1947", "Running out of Dog" (that one kept me up at night), and "The Hunger", but I haven't stopped reading any of them. Like Ellroy says in the introduction, "You'll be repulsed and titillated. You'll endure moral forfeit. Doom is fun." less
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Lots of excellent writing. Not for the relentlessly cheerful.
Enjoying this birthday present immensely
Great book
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