Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lone Star Noir edited by Bobby Byrd & Johnny Byrd

Publishers Weekly, 2010-09-06: Divided into three sections (Gulf Coast, Back Roads, and Big City), Akashic's Texas noir volume offers mostly unknown names among its 14 contributors. Highlights include Joe R. Lansdale's darkly hilarious "Six-Finger Jack," in which a greedy Texan tries to earn $100,000 for killing a crook with more than the usual number of digits; James Crumley's sardonically funny "Luck," in which obnoxious twins push a killer over the edge; and Dean James's "Bottomed Out," about one man's twisted fight to keep his job. Solid reads by lesser known talents include Sarah Cortez's poignant Houston story, "Montgomery Clift"; Jessica Power's gripping "Preacher's Kid"; and Bobby Byrd's bone-chilling El Paso ode, "The Dead Man's Wife," more horror than noir. Some will wonder why the editors missed genre writers known for their Texas settings such as Sandra Brown, Jon Land, Jan Grape, Scott Cupp, Bill Crider, Laurie Moore, Nic Pizzolatto<, and Lewis Shiner. (Nov.) (c) Copyright. All rights reserved.

My Thoughts: I challenged myself to read more in the way of short stories this year so, since I like a nice noir mystery, I started with a book called Lone Star Noir. My favorite story in this collection was Cherry Coke which, at the end, seemed to veer toward the unknown. The first one, Phealen's First Case, was another one I liked as was Duckweed. Six-Finger-Jack was darkly funny in places. I did not care for the stories Catgirl and Bottomed Out. Reading this collection I was reminded of why I don't read many short story collections, they all left me wanting more, more story, more connection to the characters, more......
In the blurb above it says that "The Dead Man's Wife" was more horror than noir. I guess i just missed it. It seems sad and unsettling but after reading it again I just didn't see the horror. If you've read it and know what I missed please let me know.
At the end of this book there were short biographies and photos of each author. I liked learning more about them and their work.

Akashic Books
A Review at Dallas News


Rose City Reader said...

I read Portland Noir from the same series. Like you, I am not much of a short story fan, so I had mixed feelings about the collection.

My review of Portland Noir is here. I'd like to add a link to your Texas Noir review on my post. If that is OK with you, please leave a comment with your link on my post so I am sure to find it.


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

covnitkepr1 said...

I have added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit my blog and become a follower also.