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Noir

Robert Coover

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ISBN 13: 978-1-59020-294-4
Trim Size: 5 3/8 x 8
Hardcover
Overlook
3/4/2010

Product Description

With impeccable skill, Robert Coover, one of America's pioneering postmodernists, has taken the classic genre of the noir detective story and turned it inside-out. Here, Coover is at the top of his form, and Noir is a true page-turner—wry, absurd, and desolate.

You are Philip M. Noir, Private Investigator. A mysterious young widow hires you to find her husband’s killer. If he was killed. Then your client is killed and her body disappears. If it was your client. Your search for clues takes you through all levels of the city, from classy lounges to lowlife dives, from jazz bars to a rich sex kitten’s bedroom, from yachts to the morgue. “The Case of the Vanishing Black Widow” unfolds over five days above ground and three or four in smugglers’ tunnels, though flashback and anecdote, and expands time into something much larger. You don’t always get the joke, though most people think what’s happening to you is pretty funny.

Praise for NOIR


"As his dazzling career continues to demonstrate, Mr. Coover is a one-man Big Bang of exploding creative force."-The New York Times


"At age 75, Coover is still a brilliant mythmaker, a potty-mouthed Svengali, and an evil technician of metaphors. He is among our language's most important inventors." -Ben Marcus


"Just like Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice last year, we are looking forward to this experimental re-write of the pulpy genre." Jason Boog, Galleycat


"Prolific postmodernist Coover (The Public Burning) adds his dazzling two bits to the deconstructionist turf Paul Auster prowled in the New York Trilogy. “There’s a mystery here, but you’re a street dick, not a metaphysician,” the second-person narrative explains. Like Thomas Pynchon in 2009’s Inherent Vice, Coover pops off laughs on every page: “Her brother is in it somewhere and he is said also to be wearing women’s underpants and a bra.... Is he your double? No, you don’t have a bra.” And don’t forget, Chandler was really funny, too.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review


“The whole book is a bruise, punctuated by dead bodies, and it smarts. You wouldn’t have wanted it any other way…You see that now, here, in Coover’s shady strut through the ‘damp, dark night.’ Just as you saw it then, in Chandler and Hammett and Cain.” – Miami Sun Post


“It’s a great little book from him–lots of donuts and cross-dressing and satirizing/investigating/homaging the noir genre (easy to satirize, difficult to satirize well), this time in the second person, a weird but inspired choice that works really, really well.” -- Quarterly Conversation


“The cinematic quality of this, with its layers of film metaphor, is no mere po-mo trope applied for its own sake. Film noir is about storytelling and so is this novel…Coover has always believed that narrative, however fractured, must still entertain. Noir will entertain some, as it did me, and irritate others who either don’t see, or care for, the joke.” -- PopMatters


“[Coover’s] use of a deliberately self-conscious, yet strangely endearing, second-person narration, draws you in so close you might take all the finely calibrated jokes personally…Rendered in a tone full of deadpan humor and crepuscular musings, Noir has a lot to admire…Coover [is] one of a dying breed of virtuosic stylists.” -- Brooklyn Rail

“With perhaps the wildest final twist of the year to aptly climax the insanity, fans who relish a satirical sleuthing spin will appreciate the escapades of Robert Coover’s zany antihero Philip M. Noir with the M being a family thing.” – Harriet Klausner, Mystery Gazette Blog

Noir is very, very good…Coover’s enthralling writing, great humor, and boundless creativity make for a really fun read…Noir is a fireworks display of great writing…If you read Noir only for the prose, you won’t be disappointed…What starts as a straightforward detective novel takes a mind-bending turn past reality, into surreality and irreality…Noir’s greatest strength is that it offers a treat, without fail, on every single page—from each new entry in the baroque cast of characters to the dynamite short shorts wrapped in loops of the narrative, and of course (most of all) the ever-present humor.” -- Chamber 4 Blog

“Robert Coover delves into absurdist noir territory with his newest novel. A comical hard-boiled narrative, Noir nods to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett with a postmodern, metaphysical twist...BEST FOR: Amateur sleuths and intellectually-inclined mystery buffs.” -- Florida International



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