Re: RARA-AVIS: Everything's Noir?

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 19 May 2007

> What do you folks think about this? Is Noir fiction
> an anywhere, anytime (recently conquered Roman
> Britain, for example, where the "mean streets" would
> be very, very muddy) subgenre?
It really ticks me off and will be dealt with in an essay that probably no one will read. I read Megan Abbott's first two books because she's the highly touted neo noir femme des mystique of the moment and I was appalled that anyone was considering this noir. Not that she's a bad writer -- you can hear early Didion and Nat West in some of her stuff -- but if you're gonna write the LA or Hollywood corrupts novel you better have your act together because you're going up against Chandler and Chinatown and LA Confidential and not be some poseur who fizzles at the end. I couldn't believe how bad it was. I'm in the middle of her second book now and it's not going well. These days, mystery fiction sucks and is gutless and tells few tales well.

On one list I was on someone suggested that The Matrix and the musical Chicago were noir. Almost had to clean my keyboard.

And a damn one of them is even close to noir.


Essays and Ramblings

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