Crime Novels American Noir of the 1930s and 40s

Crime Novels American Noir of the 1930s and 40s[PDF / Epub] ☄ Crime Novels American Noir of the 1930s and 40s ✓ Robert Polito – Evolving out of the terse and violent style of the pulp magazines noir fiction expanded over the decades into a varied innovative and profoundly influential body of writing The eleven novels in The Li American Noir PDF Å Evolving out of the terse and violent style of the pulp magazines noir fiction expanded over the decades into a varied innovative and profoundly influential body of writing The eleven novels in Novels American Noir of the ePUB ô The Library of America’s adventurous two volume collection taps deep roots in the American literary imagination exploring themes Crime Novels PDF \ 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 lifeJames M Cain’s pioneering novel of murder and adultery along the California highway The Postman Always Rings Twice Novels American Noir Epub Þ shocked contemporaries with its laconic toughness and fierce sexualityHorace McCoy’s They Shoot Horses Don’t They uses truncated rhythms and a uniue narrative structure to turn its account of a Hollywood dance marathon into an unforgettable evocation of social chaos and personal desperationIn Thieves Like Us Edward Anderson vividly brings Novels American Noir of the ePUB ô to life the dusty roads and back country hideouts where a fugitive band of Oklahoma outlaws plays out its destinyThe Big Clock an ingenious novel of pursuit and evasion by the poet Kenneth Fearing is set by contrast in the dense and neurotic inner world of a giant publishing corporation under the thumb of a warped and ultimately murderous chief executiveWilliam Lindsay Gresham’s controversial Nightmare Alley a ferocious psychological portrait of a charismatic carnival hustler creates an unforgettable atmosphere of duplicity corruption and self destructionI Married a Dead Man a tale of switched identity set in the anxious suburbs is perhaps the most striking novel of Cornell Woolrich who found in the techniues of the gothic thriller the means to express an overpowering sense of personal doomDisturbing poetic anarchic punctuated by terrifying bursts of rage and paranoia and powerfully evocative of the lost and desperate sidestreets of American life these are underground classics now made widely and permanently available. I guess I'm giving this thing three stars because of the six novels in here three I found too dull to get through and the other three just totally blew my brains out with awesomeThe three great ones served me that ever helpful reminder about the importance of Balls in Fiction There's always been some lame cringing part of me that believes fiction needs to be careful responsible fact checked and intelligent and preferably about boring unhappy adults having subtle but poignant though not too melodramatic interactions with each other I really don't know where I got that idea since this isn't what I like to read probably it's from flipping through my mom's New Yorkers at a tender age pssst parents don't leave those things out Fortunately there's a huge body of literature out there freuently reminding me that this notion is crap So much great fiction's great because it has BALLS Not cringing careful finely crafted works of emotional complexity and nuance but brash bizarre stories of imaginative fearlessness that come from big BALLS or for the rest of us maybe guts Red throbbing gristly fat wet gross GUTS The guts to put nasty people rough sex improbable events zoo animals sideshow freaks vile murder and whatever else you can think of into your story Of course if you write that stuff you're writing genre fiction which explains why all these books were grouped as Crime Novels a categorization that's difficult to explain otherwise but heyI'll be brief or not The Postman Always Rings Twice is raw undistilled visceral noir at its best and anyone who enjoys this kind of thing's probably already read it The characters in this story are gritty and mean and so insistently physical you can see them in front of you They're not the nicest people but they're definitely human there's no arguing with that The sexual energy between the two is described so urgently and so well that you understand why someone would kill for it; you're ready to yourself it all seems so real I loved the hell out of this though I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone who isn't into crime fictionWhile Postman's obviously of the genre it birthed it's a lot harder to place They Shoot Horses Don't They? there I guess it's a crime novel but it's also kind of not This is one of the most bizarre books I've ever read It really reminded me of this crazy 1980s novel called The Pit that I got at the Bins years ago about an est style encounter group gone horribly horribly wrong Anyway I'd heard this title before probably in connection with the movie and I always got it mixed up with I Never Promised You a Rose Garden and imagined the uestion being asked by a tearful child in a frightened pathetic voice They shoot horses sniff sob don't they? WRONG That's not it at all; I don't think it gives too much away to reveal that the emphasis in the sentence goes on the word horses Try it out you'll see the difference Anyway the structure's a bit gimmicky and forced it's all flashbacks in the killer's mind while the judge is imposing his sentence in enormous letters between the chapter breaks but the story itself is one of the most insane brilliant concepts I think I've ever come across The whole thing takes place at a month long Depression era dance marathon I SAID The whole thing takes place at a MONTH LONG DEPRESSION ERA DANCE MARATHON That's the craziest thing I've ever heard of It's an event where the couples are only allowed ten minute breaks for sleeping eating and bathing and just have to dance and once a night race in a sickeningly brutal derby event for a MONTH Some physical and mental exhaustion with sundry hijinks does ensue I loved the audacity of this book for existing I think it's terrific and I'm pretty sure most other people who read it will freak out from it too Nightmare Alley also completely exploded my mind This was one where the gimmicky structure of Major Arcana tarot cards as chapter headings used probably before and definitely since to usually tedious effect worked This book had it ALL I mean it really had everything It starts out in a carnival and all the subject matter is so over the top and yet the description's all conveyed so well so you actually feel you're consuming this stuff with your senses that the result is this incredibly successful cocktail of cartoony fantasy and an almost realistic novel I think he sort of lost control of the plot somewhat after a point but it's still a great novel This guy is a talented writer and I was sorry to hear from Wikipedia that he was a tragic even than usual alcoholic who eventually killed himself Plus his wife ditched him for C S Lewis which must have sucked note do not become pulp writer especially if you are a drinker as it never ends well Anyway like I said this book had everything Everything A wonderful freakulant carnival the greatest carnival in books or movies that I've ever come across Desire Sex Ambition Human depravity Freudian hang ups Magic tricks Spiritualism Deception Psychiatry Industry Tragedy Etc There's even a magical labor agitating Negro for reasons I was not swift enough to grasp except that this was the point where I actually yelled Holy shit This book really does have everything They Shoot Horses Don't They? and Nightmare Alley were especially great because they both managed to present extremely bleak views of human nature and modern life using metaphors that were the most amusing and entertaining thing ever I loved these books I really didBut I did not love sorry Kirsti the other three books in this anthology Thieves Like Us I could tell was objectively pretty good but I just wasn't interested in convicts on the lam Maybe some other time? It seemed so prosaic after the dance marathon Maybe if I'd read of it I would've gotten absorbed but I didn't stick around long enough to find out I got out of there hit the road and kept running Similar thing with The Big Clock You know how a lot of the time it takes a few pages of grating disorientation before all the little gears engage and the whole mechanism starts working for you? Well that just didn't really happen for me here I wasn't seeing anything and the other books I'd read in here had spoiled me The beginning of the novel was just words on a page and I didn't know who the characters were or what was going on or where anyone was and if I'd had any reason to keep reading I'm sure I could've gotten my bearings but as it was I just impatiently let it wind down and ran on to the carnival I Married a Dead Man I actually read uite a bit of but then I suddenly stopped and asked myself Why? I felt like someone drinking a nauseatingly sweet drink based on some promise that there'd be a great big shot of bourbon at the bottom of my glass I was choking on all this saccharine pink stuff and then finally I just thought well am I that hard up for bourbon? I am not So I bailedAll in all though this is a great collection and the stories I skipped are probably good if you're in the mood which I wasn't I mean how many crime novels of the thirties and forties does a girl need to read at once? The ones that I liked were magnificent and made me feel well fed and enthusiastic They also made me feel like murdering people who are in my way Except not really because then I'll get sent to the electric chair and no one likes thatI will go on the record as saying that while I'm against capital punishment I suspect disuse of the electric chair has had dreadful collateral conseuences for the crime novel genre There is just a certain lurid allure and dramatic tension lacking from concern about life imprisonment or even endless appeals that drag on for decades Now I'm not suggesting we return to the practice of swiftly executing the lusty hardboiled murderers of the thirties and forties That just isn't necessary as there's plenty of extant fiction from then left for us to enjoy I have never been a huge fan for American literature although Poe and Lovecraft were both American citizens but still however through various novels from the 1930s to 1950s Noirhard boiled genre I get a taste of American literature which I can enjoy and adore; in this series of meaty solidly written short novels with human's desire fear and despair which feels very down to earth and realReviews on the stories I read They Shoot Horses Don't They? The formal of the story is a bit strange but there is nothing you can't get used to The description of estrangement and alienation among young American lower class people from the 1930s really does remind me of The Stranger Although it is difficult to understand why the characters do what they do in the story I get that the guy is indifferent to everything happens around him and the girl is depressed given what she had been through who can blame her? but why would they be driven to do what they did in the very end? I don't understand 3 starsHere's an insightful review of this novella written by Nenia The Big Clock I'm embarrassed to admit I don't understand why the ending would turn out the way it is Before this ending arrives I am right there with the characters and I fully enjoy how the story is told and how the main character must keep himself one step ahead of the investigating team to save his own hide The Noir atmosphere is great the story is nearly written and the tension is so thick you can choke in it However in the end view spoilerthe investigation is suddenly called off and the real murderer is suddenly found dead so the main character is off the hook? hide spoiler Noir In The Library Of AmericaIn 1997 the Library of America published two volumes of American crime novels written in a noir style Robert Polito an editor author and scholar of noir literature selected the contents of the volumes The first volume which I am reviewing here included six novels written in the 1930's and 1940's while the second volume included an additional five novels from the 1950's The Library of America has the commendable goal of presenting the best and most representative American writing in its various forms including fiction poetry drama philosophy history news reporting travel and in uniform editions The LOA's publication of these two extensive collections showed an understanding that this once critically rejected form of genre writing has made important contributions to American literature I became interested in noir about four years ago and have enjoyed exploring the genreIt is difficult to pin down what noir means and the six novels in this collection show that the style cannot be reduced to a formula Each of the novels in the book center upon murder and most are recounted from the standpoint of the perpetuator Although the writing varies by author the style of each book is in the tough short collouial style called hardboiled The Depression forms the backdrop of each book in this collection but the settings otherwise vary widely Three books are set predominantly in diverse areas of California a wealthy suburb a shabby country roadside restaurant and a grimy section of Hollywood One book is set in corporate New York City and in its bedroom suburbs while another book is set in back roads and small towns of Oklahoma and Texas The last of the books is set primarily in the world of the travelling carnival shows touring the South Atmosphere and place are central in each of the booksThe books differ from many of the sprawling novels written today in that they are short and focused They generally include a limited rather than a seemingly endless group of characters In developing the crime and the characters each novel includes a controlled range of themes There is much to be gained from this narrowing and developing of scope compared to many long and wandering recent books I have read The main character in each book tends to be a lonely alienated outsider The individual books explore themes such as guilt greed evil loyalty self identity discontentment exploiation and attempts at redemption Each of the books in this collection has a serious thoughtful underpinningEach of the books included here has been made into film freuently than once The books range from the familiar to the obscure James Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice which opens the collection is the best known work which has come to be deservedly recognized as a literary classic The book tells the story of a wild 24 year old drifter Frank Chambers who falls in love with Cora and plots with her to kill her husband The writing is vivid and descriptive full of power force and raw sexuality It is stunning short work almost impossible to put downHorace McCoy's They Shoot Horses Don't They? has become well known in large part from the late 1960s movie starring Jane Fonda This short book is set in a Depression era dance marathon in Hollywood This book is easily the darkest and most pessimistic work in this collection and rivals any other work in American literature that I know in its unrelieved grimnessThe remaining four books are less well known Kenneth Fearing was a poet who wrote of the Depression His novel The Big Clock is set in corporate New York City and develops the tension between working for an organization doing a job one dislikes and pursuing one's goals and dreams Edward Anderson's Thieves Like Us is set among robbers and escaped convicts in Oklahoma It includes a love story I found effective together with a portrayal of the nature of loyalty well placed and misplaced William Gresham's Nightmare Alley is a story of the tawdry life of the American carny and of the rise and fall of an unscrupulous carny magician and fraudster The final book Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man is a dark work about the nature of personal identity living a lie and the conseuences of guiltFrom its beginning in pulp magazines and stories noir became a form of writing that at its best evolved into literature Readers who enjoy noir or who want to explore the breadth of American literature will enjoy this collection Robin Friedman my god it's a whole trove of weird noirRec'd by my new friend Jason There are a few volumes of these search Polito and I'd think anything I haven't already read would be a good candidate for future noir fixes Most immediately I'll be reading Thieves Like Us The Big Clock Nightmare Alley and I Married a Dead Man from this collection Then I'll be rereading Postman and They Shoot Horses Don't They?UPDATE I finished Thieves Like Us It was uite impressive actually Anderson's Depression era crime novel follows three bank robbers particularly the youngest one Bowie as they escape from jail and start a crime spreeWhat's particularly fascinating about this novel is its relation to the hardboiled tradition In some sense Anderson's writing conforms to some of the stereotypes of Hammett and Cain's content He follows criminals in a detached narrative style replete with slang filled no nonsense dialogue indirect characterization and unromantic relationships between men and women with the reuisite healthy does of '30's sexism and racism But Anderson manages to achieve those aspects of the hardboiled tradition in a lyrical writing style completely its own Anderson is also to be commended for his ability to deftly and subtly comment on the role of pop culture in the popular crime narratives of the earlier part of this century If you're looking for a gem of a Depression era novel this is a good betUPDATE On to Nightmare Alley This is a wonderful book to own I'm still reading it but will update this as I get through the included novels These novels are desperate intense depressed wild carnal; they are America in the Great Depression an America where morals are always being tested by the threat of starvation It's as if the whole country were the soccer team whose airplane crashed in the Andes battling its own hunger and its instinct towards cannibalism These novels are truly the heirs of 19th century Naturalism depicting charcters in terms of their internal drives and of the whirlwind of external forcesThe Postman Always Rings Twice One of the best pulp novels of all time by James M Cain to my taste the best of all the pulp writersThey Shoot Horses Don't They? A depressing but intense novel by Horace McCoy set in Depression era LAThieves Like Us by Edward Anderson a novel following the adventures of Bowie Bowers murderer and bankrobber Though this is a big strained in its tough guy prose it is a fascinating read a love story and a bit of a thriller as you travel from prison break to bankrobbery to hiding out with the crooks hoping that they don't get caught hoping they're smart enough not to try one scoreThe Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing I couldn't get through itNightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham Reading it now Experimental multiple POV stream of consciousness novel about the geeks in the old sense of the word a carny who bites off the heads of chickens and freaks the tattooed man the electric woman the miniature man the muscle man etc who populate a carny Ultimately though it's a deterministic novel about existential angst the nightmare alley down which death chases us the psychological roots of dysfunction and the drives towards sex power acclaim Each chapter is based upon one of the tarot cards of the major arcana Hanged Man Wheel of Fortune etc It is a powerful intense wonderful novellaI Married a Dead Man by Cornell Woolrich Haven't gotten to it yet 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 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 uite 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 fictionI Married a Dead Man is by Cornell Woolrich one of the greatest character writers of all time Fascinating And it includes forgotten or neglected noir greats like Horace McCoy Edward Anderson and Cornell Woolrich Forget Hemingway and read this stuff instead I'm particularly curious about Cornell Woolrich whom I've never readI've been meaning to read I Married a Dead Man since 96 or something because I watched Mrs Winterbourne every time it appeared on cable for a monthWow This is freaking fabulous Woolrich manages to strike exactly the right note with Patrice her longing for this family and this life her love for her son and her terror The slowly building paranoia is shown in three similar short chapters that are a text book for writersI can't wait to finish this but also I am filled with such dread The suspense is amazing And now I'm dying to see No Man of Her Own with Barbara Stanwyck Weird though I'd have expected Hitchcock to have loved his writingInteresting ending I have a logical problem with his reworked ending but still I loved it I've got to read my Woolrich This is a great collection of American Noir; it represents the genre at its best Cain's novel The Postman is simply my favorite of his work There is something dark and existential about it; it makes sense that French crtitics would be the ones to name this type of narrative as Noir It's like if Camus were a product of the New Deal America or something The other bright moment for me is K Fearing's novel The Big Clock Unlike most pulp this novel is outright hilarious; its mood and humor seem refreshing in some way This is definitely one for the library

Crime Novels American Noir of the 1930s and 40s MOBI
  • Hardcover
  • 990 pages
  • Crime Novels American Noir of the 1930s and 40s
  • Robert Polito
  • English
  • 05 December 2016
  • 9781883011468