Hot Best Seller

Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics

Availability: Ready to download

On the heels of the stunning success of the Summer '04 award-winning bestseller Brooklyn Noir, this second volume digs deeper into the criminal history of New York's punchiest and most alluring borough. Brooklyn Noir 2 offers short stories by the classic authors who blazed the path for the success of the first volume, which award-winning mystery author Laura Lippman called On the heels of the stunning success of the Summer '04 award-winning bestseller Brooklyn Noir, this second volume digs deeper into the criminal history of New York's punchiest and most alluring borough. Brooklyn Noir 2 offers short stories by the classic authors who blazed the path for the success of the first volume, which award-winning mystery author Laura Lippman called, "a stunningly perfect combination . . . the writing is flat-out superb, filled with lines that will sing in your head for a long time to come." Brooklyn Noir was featured in every media outlet in New York City (including two New York Times features and an appearance on the Leonard Lopate NPR radio show), as well as publications and media all across the country (and the UK, Australia, Italy, etc.). Once again in Brooklyn Noir 2, each story is set in a distinct Brooklyn neighborhood and mixes masters of genre with some of the best literary fiction writers to ever set foot in the borough. These brilliant and chilling stories see crime striking in communities of Russians, Jamaicans, Puerto Ricans, Italians, Irish, and many other ethnicities--in the most diverse urban location on the planet. Contributors:H.P. Lovecraft, Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, Pete Hamill, Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, Carolyn Wheat, Thomas Wolfe, Hubert Selby, Jr., Stanley Ellin, Gilbert Sorrentino, Maggie Estep, Salvatore La Puma, and Irwin Shaw.


Compare

On the heels of the stunning success of the Summer '04 award-winning bestseller Brooklyn Noir, this second volume digs deeper into the criminal history of New York's punchiest and most alluring borough. Brooklyn Noir 2 offers short stories by the classic authors who blazed the path for the success of the first volume, which award-winning mystery author Laura Lippman called On the heels of the stunning success of the Summer '04 award-winning bestseller Brooklyn Noir, this second volume digs deeper into the criminal history of New York's punchiest and most alluring borough. Brooklyn Noir 2 offers short stories by the classic authors who blazed the path for the success of the first volume, which award-winning mystery author Laura Lippman called, "a stunningly perfect combination . . . the writing is flat-out superb, filled with lines that will sing in your head for a long time to come." Brooklyn Noir was featured in every media outlet in New York City (including two New York Times features and an appearance on the Leonard Lopate NPR radio show), as well as publications and media all across the country (and the UK, Australia, Italy, etc.). Once again in Brooklyn Noir 2, each story is set in a distinct Brooklyn neighborhood and mixes masters of genre with some of the best literary fiction writers to ever set foot in the borough. These brilliant and chilling stories see crime striking in communities of Russians, Jamaicans, Puerto Ricans, Italians, Irish, and many other ethnicities--in the most diverse urban location on the planet. Contributors:H.P. Lovecraft, Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, Pete Hamill, Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, Carolyn Wheat, Thomas Wolfe, Hubert Selby, Jr., Stanley Ellin, Gilbert Sorrentino, Maggie Estep, Salvatore La Puma, and Irwin Shaw.

30 review for Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    Well, this volume in Akashic Books NOIR series is the first time the formula changes a bit. As I've already noted in previous reviews of Brooklyn Noir, San Francisco Noir and Chicago Noir, the set-up is basic - an anthology of noir (in this case, read roughly "crime") stories set in titular town. Now, the 3 previous volumes have all been fairly middle-of-the-road, the count of excellent stories balanced against the weak ones, with a solid amount of good stories to fill the center - but that's ok Well, this volume in Akashic Books NOIR series is the first time the formula changes a bit. As I've already noted in previous reviews of Brooklyn Noir, San Francisco Noir and Chicago Noir, the set-up is basic - an anthology of noir (in this case, read roughly "crime") stories set in titular town. Now, the 3 previous volumes have all been fairly middle-of-the-road, the count of excellent stories balanced against the weak ones, with a solid amount of good stories to fill the center - but that's okay, most modern anthologies of any type of fiction tend to hit this middle ground on average. But in the case of BROOKLYN NOIR 2: THE CLASSICS, well, it says it right there in the title - "the Classics". So what you get is previously printed stories, instead of original-for-the-anthology, and theoretically that means you're looking at a much better chance of a higher grade of stories - I mean, the editor has the last 100 years to chose from, right? And that *is* how it worked out, although I'll admit I had some doubts at the start. First of all, the book doesn't just have stories, it has excerpts from longer works. In the end that's fine, but in the back of my mind I always consider such an approach kind of a cheat. In this case, the excerpts were so self-contained that you wouldn't have noticed anyway, but still I mention it for the record. I usually don't like excerpts in anthologies, but didn't mind them here. Secondly, though, is yet more stretching of what constitutes "noir" - the definition the editors have previously used is pretty liberal and 2 of the stories here ("Only The Dead Know Brooklyn" and "Borough Of Cemeteries") seem a long stretch. But stretching that definition even further, into dark psychological studies, covers the two. And then there's Lovecraft, but we'll get to that when we get there. Really, only two pieces here struck me as just below "good", and even then they were both well-written, just missing a little something. Gilbert Sorrentino's "Steelwork", is an excerpt from Steelwork (natch) and it's a quite effective glimpse into the tortured mind of a man returned from WWII with a brain injury, and his descent into the spiral of alcholoism and madness. It's good, just too slight - I felt like there should have been more excerpted because it doesn't stand as a story, more of a character sketch. And I really can't say anything bad about Thomas Wolfe (who would?), only that his "Only The Dead Know Brooklyn" is an effective exercise in dialect as two men chat on the subway about "what becomes of people after dey're drowned out heah", which seems to be the key figurative line of the story, the fear of being swamped in the mass of humanity. As I said though, I just wonder whether it was a good fit for this anthology, is all. But pretty much everything from there on in is worth your time. The book starts with "The Horror At Red Hook" by H.P. Lovecraft and, yeah, I was hesitant with the idea at first but rereading this tale sold me on the editor's decision. Yes, it is a horror story, but it also features a police detective who delves into rumors of human trafficing, kidnapping, smuggling and illegal immigration in his little corner of the city, chasing down rumors and clues of black deeds like human sacrifice, until he finds himself in a vast cavern under the city, face to face with a loathsome evil. The story is notorious as a showcase for Lovecraft's virulent racism (at the time - he later recanted) and yes it's there in spades, but it's also an effective recasting of the paranoid Christian European Dark Ages mind-set (all Walpurgisnacht unholy rites and loathsome foreigners doing evil in the shadows) into a modern metropolis. "Borough Of Cemeteries" by Irwin Shaw is the other odd-man-out, but it was so enjoayble to read that I didn't dwell on it's "noir" credentials much, as two barflies bemoan their treadmill existence of drudgery as cab drivers perpetually "in hock" to an exploitative system. Increasing intoxication eventually leads them to "solve" their problem through an act of mutual destruction. Perhaps "noir" because of the hoplessness of existence, rather than a crime committed (which I guess, technically, would have been "insurance fraud" or "destruction of property")? Colson Whitehead's "The All-Night Bodega Of Souls" also doesn't have a crime, just the threat of one, as a journalist steps out late one night to grab some beer from a locale corner store and runs into a crackhead panhandler he's acquainted with. Well-observed mannerisms and dialogue make this story an interesting contrast between the homeless beggar and the wealthy, "recovering addict" movie star the journalist is composing a magazine piece about. A dead Judge, a dead DA and the attempt on a defense lawyer's life comprise "The Only Good Judge" by Carolyn Wheat, a fun little crime/mystery story about the judicial process told in a breezy style. On the other hand, an interesting character study of a gambler/burglar who falls for a strange girl he meets on one of his jobs is the meat of "Luck Be A Lady" by Maggie Estep, another enjoyable, if a bit slight, read. Old-style murder mysteries, the kind you'd read in ELLERY QUEEN MYSTERY MAGAZINE, comprise both Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake's contributions. Block's "By The Dawn's Early Light" follows a hard-drinking ex-cop hired to gather evidence to clear a friend's name of a murder charge. Which he does, but not in the way he expected. It's a sharp, tough story. Westlake's "The Best-Friend Murder", on the other hand, is a straightforward mystery - a police detective must figure out why one poverty-stricken young writer poisoned another and then confessed to the act almost immediately. Perhaps the slightest bit predictable, what really impresses is the angry, poignant ending. Equally angry is "The Men In Black Raincoats", in which an aging IRA member, expatriate in Brooklyn, recieves a midnight visit from the titular men. Old debts are repaid at the end of a long ride and author Pete Hamill shows his masterful hand at building tension through atmosphere and character. The fragility of innocent life is displayed in "The Boys Of Bensonhurst", in which Salvatore La Puma sketches the lives of a group of friends just coming of age as World War II rages on. It's an almost tender story about love, loss of virginity and conceptions of manhood, punctuated in the end by violence. La Puma really captures the time period and the feel of the lives of these boys. Finally, there was a trio of stand-out works. "Tralala" by Hubert Selby Jr., part of Last Exit to Brooklyn is a harrowing character study of a young, easy girl who starts out rolling drunks and tailspins into a life of alcoholism and prostitution. She treats herself as an object and so is treated as same, leading to a ghastly, degraded ending to her life. The frantic writing style of the ending really captures the reeling state of drunkneness. Sad and brutal, this would make a good cautionary story for young women to read. Jonathan Lethem's excerpt from Motherless Brooklyn - "Tugboat Syndrome" - is another moving character study, this time of a teenaged orphan with Tourette's, his circle of friends, and the low-level street criminal who take them under his wing. The dynamics of teenage boy's relationships with each other, and their mentors, along with the neighborhood and its characters, are exceedingly well-sketched and it really made me want to read the full novel. The main character seems too verbose to start, but once we understand his problems, it all makes sense. Finally, I was really impressed by "The Day of the Bullet" by Stanley Ellin - in a sense, this is a story that could lay at the start of the life of any criminal character in any story in this book. A man sees a newspaper report that a childhood friend has been killed in mob-related activity and reminices about the day when they were boys and saw something they weren't supposed to. Their attempts at reporting the crime schooled them in the reality of power and corruption, tearing the veil from their eyes about the true state of the world. A very powerful story and really worth reading. So, next up for the NOIR series is ...I'm not sure. Have to check my notes. But it probably won't be until January or so which, at the rate Akashic Books is pumping these things out, means I'll never actually catch up. We'll see.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    A sharp bunch of stories.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tuxlie

    New York City Noir: The Five Borough Set collects the five NYC borough installments in our award-winning Akashic Noir Series into a single e-book edition: Brooklyn Noir, edited by Tim McLoughlin, Manhattan Noir, edited by Lawrence Block, Bronx Noir, edited by S.J. Rozan, Queens Noir, edited by Robert Knightly, and Staten Island Noir, edited by Patricia Smith. Launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir, each book in the series is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or l New York City Noir: The Five Borough Set collects the five NYC borough installments in our award-winning Akashic Noir Series into a single e-book edition: Brooklyn Noir, edited by Tim McLoughlin, Manhattan Noir, edited by Lawrence Block, Bronx Noir, edited by S.J. Rozan, Queens Noir, edited by Robert Knightly, and Staten Island Noir, edited by Patricia Smith. Launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir, each book in the series is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book. The volumes collected here have been published over an eight year span, culminating in 2012 with Staten Island Noir. New York City Noir—featuring 87 stories by a who's who in contemporary crime fiction—presents a breathtaking glimpse at the nation's noirest city from the writers who know it best. FROM THE INTRODUCTION by series cocreator Tim McLoughlin: "It has taken eight years, and the publication of nearly sixty titles in the series,... On the heels of the stunning success of the Summer '04 award-winning bestseller Brooklyn Noir, this second volume digs deeper into the criminal history of New York's punchiest and most alluring borough. Brooklyn Noir 2 offers short stories by the classic authors who blazed the path for the success of the first volume, which award-winning mystery author Laura Lippman called, "a stunningly perfect combination . . . the writing is flat-out superb, filled with lines that will sing in your head for a long time to come." Brooklyn Noir was featured in every media outlet in New York City (including two New York Times features and an appearance on the Leonard Lopate NPR radio show), as well as publications and media all across the country (and the UK, Australia, Italy, etc.). Once again in Brooklyn Noir 2, each story is set in a distinct Brooklyn neighborhood and mixes masters of genre with some of the best literary fiction writers to ever set foot in the borough. These brilliant and chilling stories see crime striking in communities of Russians, Jamaicans, Puerto Ricans, Italians, Irish, and many other ethnicities--in the most diverse urban location on the planet. Contributors:H.P. Lovecraft, Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, Pete Hamill, Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, Carolyn Wheat, Thomas Wolfe, Hubert Selby, Jr., Stanley Ellin, Gilbert Sorrentino, Maggie Estep, Salvatore La Puma, and Irwin Shaw.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This was a rather uneven collection. All of the stories had been previously published. They also all seemed kind of dated. Almost every story was based on some cliched version of a Brooklynite. I'd already read the Lethem story and the Selby story elsewhere and they were really the only ones I liked. It was quite a bit of a task getting through a few of them. It was a little disappointing to see how my home town is portrayed by some. This was a rather uneven collection. All of the stories had been previously published. They also all seemed kind of dated. Almost every story was based on some cliched version of a Brooklynite. I'd already read the Lethem story and the Selby story elsewhere and they were really the only ones I liked. It was quite a bit of a task getting through a few of them. It was a little disappointing to see how my home town is portrayed by some.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jarrett

    3.74/5

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Especially liked stories by Lawrence Block, Salvatore La Puma, Jonathan Lethem, Donald Westlake, and Colson Whitehead

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    03/25 rec via bookmooch

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

  9. 4 out of 5

    Josephina Scott

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mary Louise

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Cameron

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mavis 69 420 666

  15. 4 out of 5

    William Boyle

  16. 5 out of 5

    MSCOZY

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mickey Wyte

  18. 5 out of 5

    Passedout

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cyber

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark Dean

  21. 5 out of 5

    Psj

  22. 5 out of 5

    Murat

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Burns

  24. 5 out of 5

    nick

  25. 4 out of 5

    Buttercup

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joe Ruiz

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anastasiya

  28. 4 out of 5

    Deidre

  29. 5 out of 5

    Briannatyson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...