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Black Wings Has My Angel (New York Review…
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Black Wings Has My Angel (New York Review Books Classics) (original 1953; edition 2016)

by Elliott Chaze (Author), Barry Gifford (Introduction)

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3932165,019 (4.13)21
"Gold Medal books weren't books that won literary awards, or any kind of awards at all. But during the 1950s Gold Medal put out some of the best writers America had to offer, writers like Jim Thompson, Chester Himes, and David Goodis, who not only peered into the bleakest reaches of the psyche, but did it with blood-tinged glee. And while many of the Gold Medal pulps have since become acknowledged classics, one of its finest, Elliott Chaze's Black Wings Has My Angel, has remained in the shadows, passed along from reader to reader despite being championed by the likes of Ed Gorman and Bill Pronzini. Yet from the very first pages it's clear that Black Wings Has My Angel ranks with the best of the era. When Tim Sundblade escapes from prison, his sole possession is an infallible plan for the ultimate heist. Only trouble is its a two-person job. So when he meets Virginia, a curiously well-spoken "ten-dollar tramp," and discovers that the only thing that she has a passion for is "drifts of money, lumps of it," he knows he's found his partner as well as his match. There's no telling whether this lavender-eyed angel will be Sunblade's making or his damnation.To read Chaze's novel is to be taken on a roadtrip filled with hairpin turns and wild reversals, to careen through the darkest landscapes of desperate passion. It is a trip never to be forgotten"--… (more)
Member:Mark_Feltskog
Title:Black Wings Has My Angel (New York Review Books Classics)
Authors:Elliott Chaze (Author)
Other authors:Barry Gifford (Introduction)
Info:NYRB Classics (2016), Edition: Reprint, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliott Chaze (1953)

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» See also 21 mentions

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Without doubt, this is one of the great masterpieces of noir fiction, worthy to stand with the renowned classics of the genre like Double Indemnity, Build My Gallows High, and They Don't Dance Much. Elliot Chaze's novel had, like the author himself, fallen into obscurity since its publication in 1953, but now has been rediscovered. How lucky for us! This tale of crime, lust, and gnawing guilt goes down like the smoothest whisky but punches the gut like a sledgehammer. This novel is not to be missed. ( )
  jumblejim | Aug 26, 2023 |
Pretty good noir. There is an odd little Nick Adams-like part stuck in the middle. As others have commented, this is even darker than typical noir, and the characters are a long way from attractive. ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
A tersely written crime story interwoven with a story about obsessive love and existential terror. That is a lot of weight to carry in 200 odd pages, but on the whole it is well done. ( )
  TomMcGreevy | May 16, 2023 |
By far, this is one of the best noir novels I have ever read. The writing is outstanding, and it’s one of the few novels where the author can make you at least partly sympathize with the protagonist, who is one of the many unlikable characters in the book. A remarkable achievement. ( )
  luke66 | Oct 22, 2022 |
I keep going back to these crime noir classics reissued by NYRB Classics. They're usually good reads--undiscovered gems. ( )
  sturlington | Aug 4, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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For Jane Grigsby,

An absolute champion
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I'd been roughnecking on a drilling rig in the Atchafayala River for better than sixteen weeks, racking the big silver stems of pipe, lugging the sacks of drilling mud from barge to shore, working with my back and guts and letting my mind coast.
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"Gold Medal books weren't books that won literary awards, or any kind of awards at all. But during the 1950s Gold Medal put out some of the best writers America had to offer, writers like Jim Thompson, Chester Himes, and David Goodis, who not only peered into the bleakest reaches of the psyche, but did it with blood-tinged glee. And while many of the Gold Medal pulps have since become acknowledged classics, one of its finest, Elliott Chaze's Black Wings Has My Angel, has remained in the shadows, passed along from reader to reader despite being championed by the likes of Ed Gorman and Bill Pronzini. Yet from the very first pages it's clear that Black Wings Has My Angel ranks with the best of the era. When Tim Sundblade escapes from prison, his sole possession is an infallible plan for the ultimate heist. Only trouble is its a two-person job. So when he meets Virginia, a curiously well-spoken "ten-dollar tramp," and discovers that the only thing that she has a passion for is "drifts of money, lumps of it," he knows he's found his partner as well as his match. There's no telling whether this lavender-eyed angel will be Sunblade's making or his damnation.To read Chaze's novel is to be taken on a roadtrip filled with hairpin turns and wild reversals, to careen through the darkest landscapes of desperate passion. It is a trip never to be forgotten"--

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