let me tell you what the definition of “noir”
is: a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism,
fatalism, and moral ambiguity. It is the French word for black.
So, black fiction.
you say, it is all true! Everything you hear about the stories
in this anthology is true. The dirt, the deaths, the murders,
and the crime, it is in this book, told by a literary sect
who has lived there.
How can fiction be true? Well, sometimes fact is even stranger
than fiction and in the case of houston noir, it is.
grown up in Houston, I can attest to the fact that what you
will read in Gwendolyn’s book about Houston is not so
strange. The Houston Halloween pixy stix poisoning caused
me to stay home from subsequent trick or treating for years.
The River Oaks murders of prominent rich wives, doctors, and
philanthropists were the talk of the town. Brothels, and gangs
before they were popular, are just some of the artifacts of
“good ole boys” Bayou City. And, let us not forget
the dirty politics.
has put together a very diverse and interesting look at the
nation’s fourth largest and most eclectic cultural city
in this noir series.
Adrienne Perry’s One in the Family…
“Summer in Houston is like the dead of winter in Easthampton,
Massachusetts, only hot instead of cold. In both places, weather
traps the lucky people inside. I tried to explain this to
our dad, but he’s from Mississippi so he already knew.”
Or, Anton DiSclafani’s Tangled, “She opened the
door out of some sort of maternal instinct, her other hand
clutching the square of pictures. Lance looked at her first……
“Mama,” a voice said from underneath Lance…..Victoria
had not called her Mama in so long.
you are a noir fan, you are gonna love this new edition. It
does have its pitfalls. The stories flip flop and not every
one is as intriguing as the last, some ramble, but I give
it a B+ as a task well tackled for interest and fun.