Noir: Christopher Moore

Moore is an amazing writer, veering over his writing career from demons, to vampires, marine biologists and aquatic aliens, Christ’s Resurrection, Picasso, the Angel of Death, sequined love nuns, Santa Claus, The French Masters and Toulouse-Latrecque and now this.

His ideas and language are not only always fresh but thought provoking. More, the man can write similes like Tom Robbins can write Dolly Parton metaphors.

Noir because Moore because started off writing something in the style of Leonard, Hammett and Spade. Noir because he somehow weaves in Roswell, UFOs and the Men in Black. Noir because San Francisco after WWII is a city dark with broken and maimed men, drug abuse, police and political corruption. Noir because there is murder, mayhem, meshugas and murdering maniacs.

Buy it. Read it. Love it. Love the Cheese. Sammy does. And so do I.

WIKIPEDIA: Noir fiction (or roman noir) is a literary genre closely related to hardboiled genre,[1] with a distinction that the protagonist is not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator. Other common characteristics include a self-destructive protagonist.[2] A typical protagonist of noir fiction is dealing with the legal, political or other system, which is no less corrupt than the perpetrator, by whom the protagonist is either victimized and/or has to victimize others on a daily basis, leading to a lose-lose situation.

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47: Walter Mosley

Mosley is one of my favourite authors. He seldom tells a story that isn’t about social inequity and man’s inhumanity to man. But he never forgets the story, which rises above all. Combined with memorable characters and a fine flourish in manipulating the English language, he is almost always worth reading.

This one is a melange, YA with historical fiction, the supernatural, aliens and love in many forms.

A Legacy of Spies: John LeCarre

When it comes to LeCarre, there is “Good John” (almost all the non-Smiley) and “Bad John” (most of the Smiley). This being a ‘Smiley’ offering, the book is not only by my definition, “Bad John,” but also pretty pedestrian writing. The one thing the Smiley contributions do do well is highlighting the mendacity, paucity and amorality of the intelligence profession as a whole.

Robert Harris: Munich

Harris’ FATHERLAND, set in historical Nazi Germany, was a tour de force of Alternative History. Thank God, then, that Harris now returns to Germany-in-the-past, this time to offer a book of “faction” focusing on British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s calamitous journey to Munich to appease Hitler and hand over the Czech Sudetenland to the Nazis.

How else could we know the colour of the draperies in each of the rooms the ostensible “protagonist” carries two red boxes from room to room throughout the book, for nothing else new of historical significance nor literary merit is otherwise added.

A Gentleman in Moscow: Amor Towles

I am by no means immune to the charms of literary fiction. Indeed, I have advanced degrees in the location and time period of Towles’ book. However, not even the supposed charms of Count Rostov or the Hotel Metropol could keep me interested in this literary tale, bereft as it is of bon mots, startling insights, clever turns of phrase or the economy or beauty of language. Not only does not nothing happen through the entire course of the book, there is not even a hint that something will happen. Ever!