Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More German noir from Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr has just come out with a new "Bernie Gunther" novel, The One from the Other.

Patrick Anderson praises it, Kenneth Turan doesn't much like it, and Marilyn Stasio won't really let us in on her view. But everyone who knows the previous "Bernie Gunther" novels--collected together in Berlin Noir (1994)--has to be intrigued by this new book.

As Jeff Pierce wrote in back in May, "
If you were alive and reading detective fiction in the late 1980s and early ’90s, you probably recognize the name Bernie Gunther."

Turan captures the allure of Berlin Noir:
With "March Violets" in 1989, "The Pale Criminal" in 1990 and "A German Requiem" in 1991, British novelist Kerr had done something special. He had not only created a detective whose dialogue crackled in the best Raymond Chandler tradition, he had also set him in a milieu that was as unusual as it was convincingly re-created.

For Bernhard "Bernie" Gunther did not prowl the lonely streets of New York or Los Angeles. He set up shop, as the title of the 1994 omnibus collection indicates, in Germany, in the time period before and after World War II, a setting tailor-made for the ethical ambiguity and moral quandaries he would face.
The One from the Other may not live up to the trilogy, but how can anyone who read the "Bernie Gunther" novels not give it a chance?

(Thanks to FotB Kurt van der Walde for bringing this book to my attention.)

--Marshal Zeringue