Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book 1 - Boston Noir


So I picked this book up because I love the city of Boston and have spent a lot of time there in my college years and law school years. I went to college near Boston and then in law school, visited a lot because my husband still lived there. I also spent one summer there interning in between my first and second year in law school. Boston has a place in my heart even though it's not the same as the city that I grew up in. And of course, Dennis Lehane is a wonderful, local author that has written a ton of good fiction based in Boston.

This is a collection of short stories I think edited by Dennis Lehane which was published in 2009. The "Noir" series is published by an independent press in the Bronx that started the series with Bronx Noir (also fantastic) and has since moved onto cities like Detroit, New Orleans and even Istanbul. Each story focuses on a particular neighborhood in Boston - ranging from the North End and Beacon Hill to Southie. Two of the stories have remained with me since I put the collection down. The first was titled Animal Rescue, which was written by Lehane himself. He has such a wonderful way of writing anyway, that all of your senses are piqued and utilized in his narrative, as a general matter of course. In this story, the main character adopts a dog, with somewhat catastrophic consequences. The minutiae of the story don't necessarily make this story - the story as a whole is the model upon which new writers should base their stories. It masters everything from character development, to plot and twists with such mastery and deftness that I was enthralled and uplifted by it.

I also really enjoyed Femme Sole by Dana Cameron. Ms. Cameron's story focuses on the female propietor of a bar in pre-revolutionary Boston. I loved seeing her point of view and her stresses and what the pressures were upon here to find either a buyer or a husband.

All in all, I really enjoyed this collection of short stories and I hope to find more of the Noir series to read.

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