We’ve been packing our Macs and in the process of relocating. But don’t worry, you can find ZOOM STREET wherever we are. We’ll be back in December to present our Holiday Picks.
In the meantime, we wish you all an early Happy Thanksgiving!
Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space
There’s a chill in the air, but here’s a book that will warm you up. HEAD TO TOE: THE NUDE IN GRAPHIC DESIGN, compiled by Steve Heller & Mirko Ilic is an eye-popping (“flexibound”) boxed edition that goes beyond the bare essentials to reveal 600 classic & contemporary examples of the naked human form in design.
Designers will surely find inspiration inside.
CLICK HERE to order.
Devoted followers of ZOOM STREET will be familiar with the late French writer Pascal Garnier. Indeed, Garnier quickly became one of my favorite practitioners of noir fiction after I read his short novel, THE PANDA THEORY in 2014. The author manages to blend eerie, atmospheric suspense with jolts of black humor.
Gallic Books has, for years, been treating American readers to superb translations of the author’s noirish novelettes in compact, uniform editions. If you’ve missed these stand-alones, you’re in luck because the publisher has just released GALLIC NOIR (Vol. 1), a collection of three Garnier novels. This is the first of three volumes and in addition to THE PANDA THEORY, it includes HOW’S THE PAIN? and THE A26.
I suggest you start with this collection—especially since it contains my fave—and by the time you’re finished you’ll be hungry for Gallic Noir: Volume 2.
As for the cover… my first reaction was: Aha!—a hook to lure beach-goers in search of JAWS! But then I realized the shark was a good metaphor for Garnier’s fiction, as the menace lies below the surface of the mundane, and a strong undertow draws you out… just beyond the lifeguard’s reach.
Three noirish novels set in the City by the Bay — what more could you ask for to start the summer off. Two take place in the 1940s, and one in the future.
Kelli Stanley‘s addictive series featuring Miranda Corbie sails on with CITY OF SHARKS. Thick with atmosphere and hard-edged nostalgia, the novel’s undertow is the war in Europe which is pulling America into the conflict. Miranda is planning to travel to England in search of her mother, but a new case has its tentacles around her. A publisher has been murdered and a manuscript is missing. The shadow of Alcatraz suddenly rears up like a shark’s fin and the plot grows more complex and seductive.
Christopher Moore‘s NOIR is hard-boiled humor—fog, snakes and wisecracks. Moore plunders the genre for clichés to hang his fedora on (“She was a blonde, the dirty kind…”) and you will find yourself smiling throughout. The terrain is familiar, but the ride proves a nice distraction during a heatwave.
THE NIGHT MARKET is an eerie dystopian novel set in the not too distant future. In fact, the city’s skeleton is a completely recognizable dreamscape turned nightmare. Something is terribly wrong. in the city, but apparently no one saw it coming. Jonathan Moore‘s novel will be compared to Blade Runner and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but he’s managed to carve out his own space in speculative fiction. Don’t miss it.
For all those with short attention spans, I’m sticking the bottom line at the top: If you love noir, suspense, dark humor and lowlife characters, don’t miss SUNBURN.
It’s 100% pure virgin noir (hold the virgins): dead-on dialogue, hard-edged clever, with occasional jolts of wit like electroshocks. (The only “noirist” who manages this effect so well is the late French writer Pascal Garnier.)
In SUNBURN, Laura Lippman pays subtle homage to James M. Cain, but she beats him at his own game here. Yeah, she’s that good.
The story takes place back in 1995, so you won’t find anyone staring at an iPad or taking selfies. The characters don’t have Facebook pages, but if they did you can bet they’d all use fake identities. In fact, there’s so much lying going on in this novel, the characters would feel quite at home in Donald Trump’s White House. But don’t get me wrong, there’s no politics in this novel, just undercurrents of good old, Made-in-USA corruption.
The setting is Belleville, Delaware….think small and seedy, like a hundred other no-name towns across America—where nothing much happens and folks live quiet lives of desperation.
In other words, a perfect place to disappear.
Also, a nice place to visit and lose yourself.
REVIEWER’S NOTE: the original version of this review stated Belleville is a real place. It’s not. I wish I could claim that I lied (that would be in keeping with the novel), but I misread my Google search.