Sunday, January 20, 2019

Eight rural noir modern classics

Keith Scribner's new novel is Old Newgate Road.

At CrimeReads he tagged eight modern classics of rural noir, including:
The Motel Life, Willy Vlautin

Two brothers are on the run after one of them accidentally hits a boy and kills him with his 1974 Dodge Fury. The brothers, absolutely luckless with permanent hangovers, make a rough plan for their road trip, but nothing goes right. It’s a moving story of rock-bottom motels, prostitutes, and sour-smelling bars told in an understated, bleary-eyed voice. Many have noted there are strains of Bukowski, Carver, and Dennis Johnson in The Motel Life, which is true, but I also hear the mournful melody of a Richmond Fontaine song (Vlautin’s renowned alt-country band), and its undercurrents of compassion and hope.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue