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» » Baltimore Noir (Akashic Noir Anthologies)
Baltimore Noir (Akashic Noir Anthologies)


Rafael Alvarez,Jack Bludis,Tim Cockey,Dan Fesperman,Lisa Respers France,Jim Fusilli,Rob Hiaasen,Sujata Massey,Ben Neihart,David Simon,Charlie Stella,Marcia Talley,Joseph Wallace,Robert Ward,Sarah Weinman,Laura Lippman


Baltimore Noir (Akashic Noir Anthologies)



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1160 kb

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1197 kb

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1860 kb

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Akashic Books; First Edition edition (May 1, 2006)




United States



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Baltimore Noir (Akashic Noir Anthologies) by Rafael Alvarez,Jack Bludis,Tim Cockey,Dan Fesperman,Lisa Respers France,Jim Fusilli,Rob Hiaasen,Sujata Massey,Ben Neihart,David Simon,Charlie Stella,Marcia Talley,Joseph Wallace,Robert Ward,Sarah Weinman,Laura Lippman

Brand-new stories by: David Simon, Laura Lippman, Tim Cockey, Rob Hiaasen, Robert Ward, Sujata Massey, Jack Bludis, Rafael Alvarez, Marcia Talley, Joseph Wallace, Lisa Respers France, Charlie Stella, Sarah Weinman, Dan Fesperman, Jim Fusilli, and Ben Neihart.Laura Lippman has lived in Baltimore most of her life and she would have spent even more time there if the editors of the Sun had agreed to hire her earlier. She attended public schools and has lived in several of the city’s distinctive neighborhoods, including Dickeyville, Tuscany-Canterbury, Evergreen, and South Federal Hill.
A successful gift!
A lot of very good reads. Her own about a relationship in Locust Point is quite good. Followers of "The Wire" will recognize Simon's Short Story. The two best stories are one about a Female Hitperson set around the Aquarium, and the "Ghost of ...". Both stories are great but the latter story seems very real, and made me ache for the Main Female Character.
Many good stories
Too xenophobic. Storylines and characters lacked diversity. You wouldn’t learn that any Black people lived in Baltimore, let alone run it from reading this book. Fells Point is not the only section of Baltimore worth writing about.
I have never lived in Baltimore but have visited many times during my forty years living in Washington, D.C. Baltimore is an ideal setting for noir: I found this 2006 collection, "Baltimore Noir" on the shelves of a dusty used bookstore, where it belongs. The book is part of a large and growing seiries of "Akashic Noir" each of which features stories set in a particular location. The series has branched out from the United States and now has settings in locations in other countries.

This collection of "Baltimore Noir" includes 16 stories each published for the first time by as many different writers with some connection to the city. Mystery writer Laura Lippman edited the volume, wrote and introduction, and also contributed the opening story, "Easy as A-B-C." The stories are divided into three groups for "The Way Things Used to Be", "The Way Things Are", and "The Way Things Never Were." The collection includes a simple neighborhood map and brief biographies of the authors.

The test of a collection of stories such as this is whether it captures the nature of the city and its people. Many of the stories in this anthology are distinctively Baltimore. The stories capture the gritty nature of the city, its violence, and its past. The stories show the old waterfront during its days as a port, the city's strong industrial base, the transportation network, the bars, the streets and street patterns, sometimes in intimate detail,, the old row houses, neighborhood bars and restaurants, the decaying nature of the city and the recent efforts of Baltimore to reinvent itself. The stories show the Baltimore Orioles (or "erioles") and the much-missed Memorial Stadium. In one of the stories, the characters get lost leaving Memorial Stadium. This happened to me more than once during trips to see the Orioles before the city posted direction signs in the stadium's final years.
Many stories are written in the tough hard-boiled voice appropriate to noir and to crime fiction.

The stories also capture Baltimore's varied demographics from the wealthy and the new urban professionals to the middle class and the poor. Some of the stories feature African Americans, Jewish characters, and immigrants. The stories include many strong characterizations of the city and its people.

Although many neighborhoods are well-described, there is a glaring omission. I found it a loss that a collection of noir Baltimore stories failed to do much more than mention the notorious "Block". With its strip clubs and porn stores, there is room in the Block for many noir stories about its employees, residents, and patrons.

The stories themselves are a mixed group, as would be expected in any collection. The stories I enjoyed for their Baltimore atmosphere and their characterizations include works by authors I already knew, including Charlie Stella, "Ode to the O's" and Sarah Weinman, "Don't Walk in Front of Me." I enjoyed Laura Lippman's story and Joseph Wallace's story "Liminal" about the world of webcamming. Probably my favorite story of the collection was Jack Bludis' "Pigtown Will Shine Tonight" which is an impressive, moving work in its characterizations and in its plot. Several other stories offer impressive portrayals of Baltimore and its noir character. There were a few stories that didn't work for me and that didn't have a noir character or a memorable depiction of Baltimore life.

I enjoyed visiting noir Baltimore through this book. This collection will appeal to readers of noir fiction and to readers with a place in their hearts for Baltimore.

Robin Friedman.
Baltimore Noir is a collection of sixteen short stories by authors each of whom has some connection to Baltimore City.
While every story is well rooted in the ambiance of Baltimore, not all of them are noir. For example, "Frog Cycle" by Ben Neihart is a science fiction piece which happens not to be very good at all. "Almost Missed It by a Hair" by Lisa Respers France is one of the better written stories of the sixteen. But it's a soft boiled murder mystery that's just about as "un-noir" as you can get.

A few of the entries are quite good. Among my favorites is "As Seen on TV" by Dan Fesperman. It's about a Bosnian hitman who travels to Baltimore for a special assignment, expecting to find things exactly as depicted on his favorite TV show, "Homicide". Deserving of honorable mention are: "Easy as A-B-C" by editor Laura Lippman and "Liminal" by Joseph Wallace.

Bottom line: Baltimore Noir is an uneven collection. About six of the stories are worthwhile, a couple are completely inane ("Frog Cycle" and "The Homecoming" by Jim Fusilli) and the rest are just fair or mediocre. Some of the stories, both good and not so good, do not fit anyone's definition of noir.

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