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Ghost Canyon

Book Reviews
Paris Noir: The Suburbs
By: Edited by: Hervé Delouche - Akashic Books, $16.95

Description: Following the success of Paris Noir, the Akashic Noir Series has expanded to include the famously diverse and sometimes controversial suburbs of this legendary city.

Verdict: All the 13 stories contained here in this always-fascinating series have elements of classic Noir, as you would expect from the title, but moreover, they bleed through with varying degrees of human emotions; such as criminality, cruelty, depravity, jealousy, despair and more.

Neatly broken into four sub chapters - Part I: The insulted and the rebellious, Part II: Attempts at Escape, Part II: Scarfaces of the suburbs, and Part IV: Ghosts from the past - these tales range from darkly obsessive, and cynically challenging, to bizarrely mystical and, for the most part, bleakly sleazy and overabundantly flavorful!

As aforementioned, there are 13 stories being told here, my two personal favorites, and for completely different reasons, are To My Last Breath by Rachid Santaki (translated by Nicole Ball) and The Metamorphosis of Emma E. by Christian Roux (translated by David and Nicole Ball).

Both, and without giving anything away, in their own ways riveting, scene setting and chock full of so much verbal scenery that if you close your eyes, you can picture the events within the stories unfolding before you.

Featuring brand-new stories by: Cloé Mehdi, Karim Madani, Insa Sané, Christian Roux, Marc Villard, Jean-Pierre Rumeau, Timothée Demeillers, Rachid Santaki, Marc Fernandez, Guillaume Balsamo, Anne Secret, Anne-Sylvie Salzman, and Patrick Pécherot.

All stories were written in French and translated into English by Katie Shireen Assef, David Ball, Nicole Ball, and Paul Curtis Daw.

Hervé Delouche is a noir literature specialist, columnist, conference moderator, and noir festival coordinator. He was in charge of the full reissue of Jean Meckert’s work for Éditions Joëlle Losfeld, and he works as a copy editor for the French publishers Gallmeister, Rivages, and le Seuil. From 2007 to 2016 he was the president of 813, the first French association of noir literature lovers.

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