Akashic Books Noir Series. Which are your favorites?
April 21, 2012 1:18 AM   Subscribe

Akashic Books Noir Series. Which are your favorites? Each book is an anthology of original short stories. It looks like they've published over fifty volumes. I find they differ greatly in style and overall quality of writing. It makes sense... each anthology has its own editor. I'd like to read the volumes that have the best quality writing, and are the most fun. Here's what I've read so far, in most favored order:

New Jersey Noir -- With Joyce Carol Oates as editor, quality is excellent. Diversity of styles and voices. This anthology includes art and poems amid the short stories. Emphasis on diabolical and quirky. Good dark humor. Oates' introduction is wonderful.

Richmond Noir -- I've never been to Richmond. This book made me want to visit, but also scared to visit. The book gave me a vivid picture of the gritty sides of the city. Very good writing. Many of the stories are fun. Some are chilling.

Phoenix Noir -- The writers and editors communicate a love for Phoenix, with its heat and banality and transience. Well-executed writing. I enjoyed threads of wry humor throughout the book.

Seattle Noir -- I liked a couple of the stories. Many of them bored me. Writing quality ranged from good to ok. Not enough fun.

Toronto Noir -- Just started reading this one. I loved one story: "A Bout of Regret" by Michael Redhill. Other stories have a naval-gazing quality. More about the interior lives of the protagonists, than about noir events in Toronto. I've read about 1/3 of the stories and I'm thinking about quitting this book.

Which book should I read next?
posted by valannc to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have only read Los Angeles Noir, but as a fan of the noir aesthetic and detective stories in general, the book was bad enough on average to convince me not to read another one. Perhaps I should revisit the series, but allow me to de-recommend this entry. (I remember a protagonist working "for Intel and Pentium" in one of the stories.)
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:21 AM on April 21, 2012

Both New Orleans Noir and Twin Cities Noir were really good examples of the series (and offer interesting contrasts in setting and mood when read back to back).
posted by Bourbonesque at 7:30 AM on April 21, 2012

It's been a while since I looked at Akashic's Noir series, but I remember enjoying Manhattan Noir, edited by Lawrence Block and Wall Street Noir edited by Peter Spiegelman.
posted by dortmunder at 7:31 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

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