Monday, December 06, 2010

My essential noir

The Psycho Noir blog has posted fascinating lists of essential noir novels by some writers and other noir aficionados. You can see the lists here. I posted my list on Facebook and thought I'd post it here as well. It's merely a scratch and I did it in a hurry and I'm sure it's missing many important titles. Hardboiled is not included, hence no Chandler, Hammett or Ross Macdonald. One late addition, not mentioned in Facebook, would be Reed Farrel Coleman's The James Deans - in it the ordinary PI stuff forms into a great and depressing noir read.

James M. Cain: The Postman Always Rings Twice/Postimies soittaa aina kahdesti
Jason Starr: Fake ID (ilmestyy ensi vuonna suomeksi nimellä Väärä rooli)
Kevin Wignall: Who Is Conrad Hirst?/Kuka on Conrad Hirst?
Charles Willeford: The Director/The Woman Chaser
Dan J. Marlowe: One Endless Hour
Jim Thompson: possibly Killer Inside Me, but I've always liked The Getaway more (Tappaja sisälläni, Pakotie)
James Ellroy: The Big Nowhere/Suuri tyhjyys
Scott Phillips: The Ice Harvest/Jäätävää satoa
James Sallis: Drive/Kylmä kyyti
Vicki Hendricks: Miami Purity
Dave Zeltserman: Killer
Peter Raben The Anatomy of a Killer/Tappajan anatomia
Camus: The Outsider/Sivullinen
Jean-Pierre Jonquet: The Gold-Diggers/Kullankaivajat
Jean-Patrick Manchette
Jacques Tardi and Leo Malet: 120, Rue de la Gare (and I mean the graphic novel, since the original novel doesn't actually rise much above mediocrity)
Gil Brewer: Little Tramp/Tyttö hurjana
Harry Whittington: The Murder Web/Murhaverkko
James McKimmey: The Squeeze Play
Tedd Thomey: Killer in White/Valkotakkinen tappaja
Day Keene: Murder on the Side/Ansa
H.A. DeRosso: .44.


Cullen Gallagher said...


Heath Lowrance said...

That's a terrific list, I love it! And I'm glad you're enjoying the ones over at Psycho Noir as well.

Juri said...

Yup - I should've picked up more westerns, like stuff by Dean Owen and such. Ah well, I should've picked up so much more.

Walker Martin said...

Thanks for the link to Psycho Noir. Some fascinating lists with excellent recommendations.

K V Laihonen said...

a very good list, and an interesting one - although I'd argue quite strongly against the inclusion of Jonquet's Les Orpailleurs here - liked it very much, and it was dark as hell, but noir? No siree! Otherwise you'd have to take into account The Red Dragon and every other sombre serial-killer/psycho procedural...
Oh, and btw Cain's classic was never published in Finnish under the 'directly translated' title you give here; the book is known locally as Vahinko kello kaulassa.

Juri said...

KV: you might be right about Jonquette, it's been years since I read it, but I seem to remember it's strongly against the serial killer clichés and ending is pure noir, albeit not in a personal level.

And you're right about Cain, I don't know why I used that title. The Finnish title for the book is pretty stupid.

Paul D Brazill said...

How VERY cool!