A Century of Noir: Thirty-Two Classic Crime Stories by Max Allan Collins

From Dick Tracy comics to historical thrillers, Max Allan Collins is a staple in mystery fiction.

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A Century of Noir: Thirty-Two Classic Crime Stories by Max Allan Collins


  • Paperback: 400 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.17 x 8.02 x 5.36
  • Publisher: New American Library Trade; (April 2, 2002)
  • ISBN: 0451205960

    Book Description
    Thirty-two stories of stunning ingenuity. Thirty-two writers of legendary genius. One hundred years of crime fiction in a one-of-a-kind collection. Edited by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins. Introduction by Max Allan Collins.

    Featuring stories by:

    Lawrence Block
    Leigh Brackett
    Gil Brewer
    Fredric Brown
    James M. Cain
    Max Allan Collins
    Carroll John Daly
    Norbert Davis
    Loren D. Estleman
    William Campbell Gault
    David Goodis
    Edward Gorman
    Chester Himes
    Dorothy B. Hughes
    Evan Hunter
    John Jakes
    read more

    Reader Reviews
    A Past of Crime, August 17, 2003 Reviewer: foxyshadis from Modesto, CA Two of the hard crime genre's most famous writers pull together a great collection of short stories and novellas, showcasing the evolution of detective fiction over the course of the last century. Thirty-two writers get a story apiece, spinning yarns about gumshoes, mobsters, and murderers, along with lawyers, cons, and singers. The heros and villians run the gamut, but the common thread is that against all odds, good does triumph, somehow. The novellas are definitely what make this book what it is. I wouldn't have minded if some of the shorter works had been stripped and replaced with a few more novellas and novellettes. Those were the ones that earned the title 'noir' - Carroll John Daly, Leigh Brackett, John D. MacDonald, Mickey Spillane, William Campbell Gault, Max Allen Collins. But I did greatly enjoy a few of the shorter works as well, notably Kaminsky's "Busted Blossoms" and Goodis' "The Plunge". Included with each story is an introduction to the author. I intend to look some of them up in the future, certainly; I was surprised at how many are still alive and writing. The only real problems I had with it were that it was missing several very important authors, especially the older ones. Perhaps because of that, it seems overly skewed toward more modern fiction, tending to be less noir and more subdued. Some stories I didn't care for, and some I was ambivalent about, but overall it was a varied and entertaining collection. If you've any interest in crime fiction, check this out. It's a great introduction to the field, and like many variety collections, you're bound to like a good bit of whatever suits your tastes.

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