As it happens, one of our New Year’s resolutions was to read more noir. And while we weren’t looking, the clever folks at Vintage Crime have obliged us.
Back in December, they let loose a crop of fourpreviouslyout-of-printRoss MacDonald novels that will be enough to keep us busy well into February. He’s not as literary as Chandler, but he casts the same eye towards an even stranger West Coast scene—roughly speaking, hippies and runaways instead of oil men and gangsters.
In other words, they’re the detective-novel equivalent of a Neil Young album, dressed up in a winding plot and a pulpy cover. Count us in.
One of the nice things about the rise of highbrow comics is the how many genuinely lurid entertainments a gentleman can get away with adding to his library.
For starters, we’d suggest Tim Lane’s Abandoned Cars. It’s the modern equivalent of the Raymond Chandler yarns that fill up the more exciting portion of your bookshelf—a string of police chases and back-alley fist fights with a surprisingly introspective thread running in the background. (Spoiler alert: it’s about America.) It might be a bit heavy for beach reading, but we’re always happy to spend a Sunday afternoon walking the line between art and pulp.
And as of next week, it won't be that hard to find. After a hardcover run in ’08 that sold out almost immediately, the paperback version should be hitting shelves any day now.