The Best American Noir of the Century

The Best American Noir of the Century

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Overview


“Well worth its impressive weight in gold, it would be a crime not to have this seminal masterpiece in your collection.”—New York Journal of Books

In his introduction to The Best American Noir of the Century, James Ellroy writes, “Noir is the most scrutinized offshoot of the hard-boiled school of fiction. It’s the long drop off the short pier and the wrong man and the wrong woman in perfect misalliance. It’s the nightmare of flawed souls with big dreams and the precise how and why of the all-time sure thing that goes bad.” Offering the best examples of literary sure things gone bad, this collection ensures that nowhere else can readers find a darker, more thorough distillation of American noir fiction.

James Ellroy and Otto Penzler mined writings of the past century to find this treasure trove of thirty-nine stories. From noir’s twenties-era infancy come gems like James M. Cain’s “Pastorale,” and its postwar heyday boasts giants like Mickey Spillane and Evan Hunter. Packing an undeniable punch, diverse contemporary incarnations include Elmore Leonard, Patricia Highsmith, Joyce Carol Oates, Dennis Lehane, and William Gay, with many page-turners appearing from the past decade.

“Delightfully devilish . . . A strange trek through the years that includes stories from household names in the hard-boiled genre to lesser-known authors who nonetheless can hold their own with the legends.”—Associated Press


James Ellroy is the author of the Underworld U.S.A. trilogy—American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Blood’s a Rover—and the L.A. Quartet novels, The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz. He is also the author of The Hillicker Curse, a memoir.

Otto Penzler is the founder of the Mysterious Bookshop and Mysterious Press, has won two Edgar Allan Poe Awards, and is series editor of The Best American Mystery Stories.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547577449
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/04/2011
Series: Best American Series Series
Pages: 752
Sales rank: 530,454
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.78(d)

About the Author



JAMES ELLROY's L.A. Quartet novels — The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz — were international bestsellers. His most recent book is The Hilliker Curse.
OTTO PENZLER is the founder of the Mysterious Bookshop and Mysterious Press.

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The Best American Noir of the Century 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
RBeck More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the variety of stories and authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Ddavidson1173 More than 1 year ago
Excellent stories at the end of the collection. Some of the earlier stories are tedious.