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American Noir: 11 Classic Crime Novels of the 1930s, 40s, & 50s (Library of America)

af Robert Polito

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591442,207 (4.5)1
Collects: CRIME NOVELS: AMERICAN NOIR OF THE 1930s & 40s The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain They Shoot Horses, Don't They? by Horace McCoy Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham I Married a Dead Man by Cornell Woolrich 990 pages * 978-1-883011-46-8 Library of America volume #94 CRIME NOVELS: AMERICAN NOIR OF THE 1950s The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith Pick-Up by Charles Willeford Down There by David Goodis The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes 892 pages * 978-1-883011-49-9 Library of America volume #95 This adventurous two-volume collection presents a rich vein of modern American writing too often neglected in mainstream literary histories. Evolving out of the terse and violent hardboiled style of the pulp magazines, noir fiction expanded over the decades into a varied and innovative body of writing. Tapping deep roots in the American literary imagination, the novels in this volume explore themes of crime, guilt, deception, obsessive passion, murder, and the disintegrating psyche. With visionary and often subversive force they create a dark and violent mythology out of the most commonplace elements of modern life. The raw power of their vernacular style has profoundly influenced contemporary American culture and writing. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.… (mere)
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What can you say about a book this good? For $25 you get 6, count 'em 6 of the very best classic American noir novels of all time: The Postman Always Rings Twice; They Shoot Horses, Don't They?; Thieves Like Us; The Big Clock; Nightmare Alley; and I Married a Dead Man. All this with a real cloth-bound hardcover, sewn in numbers, headbands, a beautiful book. Author notes, footnotes, chronology.

If you think noir is all about private dicks and dames, well think again, there isn't a detective protagonist in the bunch. These novels are more about life in the gritty years of the Great Depression and the effects it had on the physical and psychological conditions of people. Sure there are con men, bank robbers, blackmailers, murderers, prostitutes, but this isn't about psychopaths like a Jim Thompson novel, its about people trying to make it and stay alive when hope is gone. A lot of these writers were just trying to make it themselves, so they know what they are writing about. Some of the prose and writing is quite experimental, not always what you think of in dime crime novels. A lot of times the writing is on edge with the best stuff being written even today. This is classic American literature disguised as pulp crime fiction.

I Married a Dead Man is by Cornell Woolrich one of the greatest character writers of all time. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
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Collects: CRIME NOVELS: AMERICAN NOIR OF THE 1930s & 40s The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain They Shoot Horses, Don't They? by Horace McCoy Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham I Married a Dead Man by Cornell Woolrich 990 pages * 978-1-883011-46-8 Library of America volume #94 CRIME NOVELS: AMERICAN NOIR OF THE 1950s The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith Pick-Up by Charles Willeford Down There by David Goodis The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes 892 pages * 978-1-883011-49-9 Library of America volume #95 This adventurous two-volume collection presents a rich vein of modern American writing too often neglected in mainstream literary histories. Evolving out of the terse and violent hardboiled style of the pulp magazines, noir fiction expanded over the decades into a varied and innovative body of writing. Tapping deep roots in the American literary imagination, the novels in this volume explore themes of crime, guilt, deception, obsessive passion, murder, and the disintegrating psyche. With visionary and often subversive force they create a dark and violent mythology out of the most commonplace elements of modern life. The raw power of their vernacular style has profoundly influenced contemporary American culture and writing. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

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