Re: RARA-AVIS: Everything's Noir?

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 19 May 2007

> I just picked up a copy of Manhattan Love Song. It's
> in my TBR pile. Good,
> huh?
Woolrich is an acquired taste. Manhattan Love Song is perhaps one of his more stable and accessible books. You have to realize that around this time, Woolrich moved into a hotel and just drank and wrote (I'm about to read the biography so I may have to revise that). He was notorious for recycling stories and doing variations on stories. The Bride Wore Black and Rendezvous in Black are very similar and the big difference is the gender of the protagonist. I Married A Dead Man utilizes every device of those early adventure/detective writing: imposters, unbelievable coincidences, and the like. When he's bad, he's really bad. When he's good, I think he's the best noir writer because his style is so his own and he really cuts out a piece of the world all his own. Being a New Yorker, I loved his take on the city. It's priceless. Be very interested in what you think after you're done with it.


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