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Singapore Noir (Akashic Noir) by Cheryl…

Singapore Noir (Akashic Noir)

by Cheryl Lu-lien Tan (Editor)

Other authors: Monica Bhide (Contributor), Colin Cheong (Contributor), Damon Chua (Contributor), Dave Chua (Contributor), Colin Goh (Contributor)9 more, Donald Tee Quee Ho (Contributor), Philip Jeyaretnam (Contributor), Johann S. Lee (Contributor), Suchen Christine Lim (Contributor), Lawrence Osborne (Contributor), SJ Rozan (Contributor), Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (Contributor), Nury Vittachi (Contributor), Ovidia Yu (Contributor)

Series: Akashic Books Noir Series

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4114279,442 (3.42)6



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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I will admit I was not aware what the book is really about, apart from the fact there are many short stories set in Singapore. To my surprise the stories aren’t light and easy to read, these represent the darker shades of the city/capital life what only locals may have heard.

I have been following the news and media to know it still got all the problems other countries are facing, it’s not a country without a crime, but what made me like and appreciate the writers work is – having written a negative story, implementing culture marks and mentality, setting the atmosphere doggy and unpleasant. It’s a book that shows darkness may have various colors and nothing is as it seems.

I won’t say I enjoyed all the stories, some I left unfinished and some read till the end.
Apparently, the “Noir” is a series set for cities across the globe, not sure I will be reading the rest of the series any time soon, but I am sure it would be interesting to read those and have a culture shock, perhaps, and see how various writers from the globe has chosen to represent the city “noir” atmosphere.

If you are looking for something very slightly different, grab the book and read! ( )
  ilonita50 | Jan 21, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I seem to have an issue with most of the non-USA based Akashic Noir books - either my expectations are a bit too high or something is really off.

Most of the stories can fit into the Noir definition as per the previous anthologies but yet again most of the stories could happen anywhere in the world - Signapore does not shine through; there is nothing that makes Singapore special. Which would not be bad in a book with Noir stories and I would have enjoyed a lot of those stories a lot more - but I was looking for the city - the way the San Francisco or the Brooklyn anthologies spotlighted their quirks.

I would not blame the editor and considering that all the stories were connected to Singapore, I guess the work was done but I expected a bit more. ( )
  AnnieMod | Mar 16, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a disappointment. Several of the stories in Singapore Noir were pretty bad, and none of them struck me as being especially good. Writing a good short story is a difficult thing—you have to compress a whole world—its people, thoughts, events—down into a few thousand words. It's a skill that takes time to hone, and unfortunately most of these stories read like first drafts of things that students would hand in at a writing workshop. And for several of the authors, it seems, "noir" is a synonym for "misogyny"—or maybe it's just gritty to read about male protagonists ejaculating on women's faces? I would have far preferred more stories with female protagonists, as opposed to objects to whom things happened. ( )
  siriaeve | Aug 7, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
On the collection of novels by Akashic in general:
- They reduce the carbon footprint of the reader and make them travel with 0 emissions to some far away places unless a resident of the city portrayed in the novels.
- They remind me of that old movie in which a car salesman had an epic "Jacob and the Angel" struggle with his underworld boss, the head of a car theft ring, while on a roller-coaster ride. As a reader either you are in a couple of pages or even after a couple of sentences, captivated by the short story narrative and you stay on this ride for the next novel, or it does not capture your imagination and you are thrown out of the ride.

- They rely a lot on the hunting-gathering skills of the author who has composed this anthology of short novels and who like a ringmaster in a circus, provides opening and inspiration to pick-up this book in the first place.

With Singapore Noir Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan skillfully assembled a posse of authors who not only love their subject, Singapore and its
elegant, neo-colonial, shady borrows or its not so manicured areas, its red-light districts or shaky wharves populated with antiquated wooden fishing boats. They grab your attention to the layered and multilingual characters that make Singapore, a city of five millions with 75% Chinese, 13 percent Malay, 8 percent Indians. This city faces Malaysia. It is a city where "crime does not happen". Each district receives soon a nice array of corpses from Bukit-Panjang to Raffles Place, and that is when there is a body to be found, Just enough and in so many varied ways that it will delight the Noir genre amateur. Lu-Lien Tan knows how to organize this mosaic in Chapters called "Sirens", "Love (or something like it)", "Gods and Demons" and to paraphrase Hemingway; "The Haves & the Haves-not".

Is Singapore the "perfect Asia" for fancy banking expats and their international children, the globalized city par excellence under which crackled varnish, multiple sordid secrets remain hidden, or a more authentic culture is just below this surface, remaining to be discovered, by these avenues of mirrors? So beware readers who think that entering a world of glass towers, chewing-gum police and tribunals will insulate you from being exposed to big trouble. Once finished with Singapore Noir's superb novels, your sense of what one can, and one cannot do will be pushed to the limits. ( )
  Artymedon | Jul 21, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The major fun of the Akashic Noir series is the settings, whether it's the utra familiarity of cities you've been to, the vague familiarity of similar cities you haven't or the exoticism of foreign places like Haiti.
Singapore Noir may be my favorite so far of the international volumes. In it we are treated to a glimpse of an Eastern city-state that sometimes acts as if it were a Western city, so it is both familiar and exotic at once.

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan has assembled a wonderful batch of stories that includes everything a noir fan would want - murder, betrayal, adultery, paranoia, schizophrenia, even a little magic.

As with any anthology some stories are better than others, but every one here is worth a read. ( )
1 vote Tucker.Christine | Jul 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tan, Cheryl Lu-lienEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bhide, MonicaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cheong, ColinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chua, DamonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chua, DaveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goh, ColinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ho, Donald Tee QueeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jeyaretnam, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, Johann S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lim, Suchen ChristineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Osborne, LawrenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rozan, SJContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tan, Cheryl Lu-LienContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vittachi, NuryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yu, OvidiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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In this collection, Singapore is exposed in all of its noir glory, with scintillating stories from the very best of the city's authors.

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