Friday, April 23, 2021

Ten essential noir novels

Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Willy Vlautin is the author of six novels and is the founder of the bands Richmond Fontaine and The Delines. Vlautin started writing stories and songs at the age of eleven after receiving his first guitar. Inspired by songwriters and novelists Paul Kelly, Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, William Kennedy, Raymond Carver, and John Steinbeck, Vlautin works diligently to tell working class stories in his novels and songs.

Vlautin has been the recipient of three Oregon Book Awards, The Nevada Silver Pen Award, and was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. He was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was shortlisted for the Impac Award (International Dublin Literary Award). Two of his novels, The Motel Life and Lean on Pete, have been adapted as films. His novels have been translated into eleven languages. Vlautin teaches at Pacific University’s MFA in Writing program.

He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, dog, cats, and horses.

At Publishers Weekly Vlautin tagged ten of his favorite noir novels, including:
Die a Little by Megan Abbott

I can’t say enough great things about Megan Abbott. She has this ability to make you feel safe and protected while the world falls apart around you. Lora is close to her brother Bill, who works for the district attorney’s office. Bill falls in love and marries Alice, but Alice has a complicated past: drugs, prostitution, etc. Bill doesn’t know this but Lora suspects something is off and starts to investigate Alice. It turns out that Lora isn’t as clean as she seems and she slides into the darkness she’s trying to save her brother from. Abbott is a genius at pulling the floor out while you’re walking—you barely notice that you’re suddenly falling.
Read about another entry on the list.

Die a Little is among Jeff Somers's fifty must-read noir detective novels.

--Marshal Zeringue