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Buffalo Noir (Akashic Noir) by Ed Park

Buffalo Noir (Akashic Noir)

by Ed Park (Editor), Brigid Hughes (Editor)

Other authors: Dimitri Anastasopoulos (Contributor), Lawrence Block (Contributor), Kim Chinquee (Contributor), Brooke Costello (Contributor), Tom Fontana (Contributor)8 more, Christina Milletti (Contributor), Joyce Carol Oates (Contributor), Ed Park (Contributor), Connie Porter (Contributor), Lissa Marie Redmond (Contributor), Gary Earl Ross (Contributor), SJ Rozan (Contributor), John Wray (Contributor)

Series: Akashic Books Noir Series

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278402,159 (3.61)3



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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Late on this review but here goes. I have several of this Akashic series and this entry is just ok. The opening story "Dr. Kirkbride's Moral Treatment Plan" was the best in my opinion. Not usually one for unreliable narrators, I did enjoy this one.
I felt, however, that the entries by Lawrence Block and Joyce Carol Oates were the weakest of the bunch. Honorable mention goes to "Good Neighbors" by Gary Earl Ross. ( )
  jldarden | May 26, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Growing up near Buffalo made me want to read and review this book. Not only does this book explore Buffalo, it also explores the "noir" genre and what it means to tell a dark story. Some of the stories are mysteries, others describe the horrors of murder and mental illness.

Unfortunately, many of the stories don't use Buffalo as a character--the author calls out a street or landmark in the first paragraph, then tells a story that could have taken place anywhere. These stories are disappointing. The stories that do use the gritty, cold environment that Buffalo is notorious for are really haunting and epitomize noir. ( )
  meacoleman | Dec 1, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"Buffalo Noir" seeks to use that town on Lake Eire as the background for a series of short, noirish stories. The stories come from the pens of local and nationally prominent authors, who range from university professors to best-selling writers such as Lawrence Block and Joyce Carol Oates.

Although Noir is often a mystery genre, that's not a fair description of some of the stories in this volume. Stories set in mental hospitals or the ruins of an arena, in the dreamscape of a young girl, or in the innocent but deadly mind of a kid all greet the reader with challenges to the imagination. Few of the stories are "detective' stories. Like much of noir, it's all about the atmosphere.

But what atmosphere! Buffalo itself is a character in these stories: the working class Catholic parishes, the neighborhoods near the lake. One story is set in the old arena where the Sabres used to play. Each story has a different vibe, but they are variations on the hard-working, down-at-the-heels life of Buffalo. ( )
  barlow304 | Nov 27, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Buffalo Noir, a 2015 addition to the Akashic Books collection of noir short stories, follows in the tradition of the numerous series editions that have preceded it. The books, most of them set in specific cities, offer twelve to fifteen stories from writers who are especially familiar with those cities and who recognize the undersides of those places that outsiders only stumble upon by accident - sometimes to their regret.

This time around there are stories from the likes of Joyce Carol Oates (who recently tweeted that the "best view of Buffalo is in a rearview mirror), Lawrence Block (who was born in the city and lived there for several years), S.J. Rozan (whose family lore says that she was conceived in Buffalo), and Lisa Marie Redmond (who has been with the Buffalo Police Department since 1993). Ed Park and Brigid Hughes, who also contribute stories to the collection, edit Buffalo Noir. The book opens with Park's eight-page introduction in which he describes the meaning of the term "noir" more by example than by explicit definition. Although his approach marks his introduction as different from the other introductions I've read in the series, it is highly effective and, in fact, Park's recollection of an incident from his own childhood is almost as intriguing as the collected stories themselves.

The twelve stories are as different in style as their authors. Some stories are told in a straightforward fashion and have conclusive endings; others are more open-ended and leave it up to the reader to decide what really happened. Some are dark and filled with the shadows one expects from noir fiction; others stretch the definition of noir almost to its breaking point.

I’m sure reflecting my personal reading tastes as much as anything else, my two favorite stories are both of the more straightforward type: Lawrence Block's "The Ehrengraf Settlement" and Gary Earl Ross's "Good Neighbors." In Block's story, a wealthy man, used to always getting his way without much of a fight on the part of whomever he runs over in the process, makes a critical mistake when he decides to cheat his defense lawyer of the bulk of his fee. And in "Good Neighbors," the couple buttering up their elderly next-door neighbor in hope of inheriting her property some day does not react well when new neighbors move in and immediately gain the old woman's affection (Hitchcock would enjoy this one, I think).

Buffalo Noir is fun, and that is what noir fiction is all about, really. If you enjoy noir, you simply cannot go wrong with any of the books in the Akashic Books noir series, this one included. ( )
  SamSattler | Nov 23, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I've long been interested in Akashic Books Noir series, but I have never picked one up because I've never had a strong relationship to any of the dozens of cities and locations covered. When I saw that Early Reviewers was offering Buffalo, a city where I went to school for a couple of years and lived close to for a number of years, I jumped.

While the cold, Midwestern, Rust Belt city definitely adds character to these stories, I don't think you need a familiarity with the city to get a lot from these stories.

Anthologies are always hard to review because of the different authors and styles contained within. There were a few stories that I wouldn't have categorized as noir in my opinion, but still entertaining.

The stories that entertained and stayed with me the most were Lawrence Block's The Ehrengraf Settlement, Lissa Marie Redmond's Falling on Ice, Gary Earl Ross's Good Neighbors, and S.J. Rozan's Parkside. Ed Park, also the editor, whose introduction was enlightening, contributed The Odd, which was also a standout. ( )
  smcgurr | Nov 21, 2015 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Park, EdEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hughes, BrigidEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Anastasopoulos, DimitriContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Block, LawrenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chinquee, KimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Costello, BrookeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fontana, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Milletti, ChristinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oates, Joyce CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Park, EdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, ConnieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Redmond, Lissa MarieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ross, Gary EarlContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rozan, SJContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wray, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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