RARA-AVIS: Megan Abbott's retro-noir THE SONG IS YOU

From: Ed Lynskey ( e_lynskey@yahoo.com)
Date: 18 Apr 2007

I finished reading Megan Abbott's THE SONG IS YOU. Fred Zackel in an earlier post cited the "voice". Yes, definitely. THE SONG IS YOU features Gil "Hop" Hopkins. Hop is a PR man operating in Hollywood's back lots. The storyline takes the vanishing of 1950s starlet Jean Spangler as its starting point and spins a seedy but intriguing tale, in large part driven by Hop's guilty conscience.

THE SONG IS YOU, 100% classic noir, has nuance, atmosphere, and style. The raunchy, violent underbelly of the 1950s Hollywood still attracts writers and readers. This is something Ed Lacy or Woolrich might've written, and why it's great fun to read the old pulp noirs. The Black Dahlia gets mentioned several times. Mob figures also weave through the story.

I'd don't think I would've gotten much work done in Hollywood. I'd be looking over my shoulder all the time.



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