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New Jersey Noir (Akashic Noir)

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  110 ratings  ·  17 reviews
"Oates's introduction to Akashic's noir volume dedicated to the Garden State, with its evocative definition of the genre, is alone worth the price of the book . . . Poems by C.K. Williams, Paul Muldoon, and others--plus photos by Gerald Slota--enhance this distinguished entry."
-- Publishers Weekly

"It was inevitable that this fine noir series would reach New Jersey. It took...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Akashic Books (first published October 28th 2011)
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I did not care for this book at all. I am not really into short story / poetry compilations unless the material is exceptional, however, most of this stuff reads like college English Composition essays. Also annoying, this book tries way too hard to be "dark", including opening with a story set in a morgue. I took it from the library expecting some real macabre stories of things that actually happened in NJ, however, its just a collection of mediocre and badly written stories that could take pla...more
Ken Dowell
Stories set in very real places with a touch of the kind of Jersey legend that was created by shows like the Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire. What constitutes “noir” in New Jersey? There’s the Newark morgue workers cutting the hair off the corpses to sell for wigs. On a more gruesome note there’s the guy who claimed to cut up Jimmy Hoffa’s body and bury the parts in the end zone of the still under construction Giants Stadium. One of my favorites stories, "Soul Anatomy," is about cops and politicia...more
I feel like everything gets four stars lately - but I haven't read a short story anthology as gripping as this one in a while. It took the easiest routes to my heart: crime, variety, and a New Jersey backdrop.
May 08, 2012 Laura rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I thought this collection of stories set in various NJ towns was OK. I liked the ones set in Hoboken and Asbury Park the best, but I am also partial to those places.
Kevin Simons
I should have realized when I read "Brooklyn Noir" back in 2004 that I was looking at the beginning of a series. I guess I never see things coming, though, until they're about to flatten me as they thunder past. Just eight years later and the list of titles in the "Noir" series reads like an exhausting travel itinerary. Somehow an editor scraped "Orange County Noir" together a few years back. I've been to Orange County and noir was always just about the furthest French word from my mind every ti...more
Some of these stories were great; I enjoyed Oates intro and her story. However, this was thus far my least favorite of the Noir collection . Perhaps it's that I am less familiar with the geography in the book than others so the places aren't as vivid for me. The poetry that was included , some of it was very good, but it broke the flow for me. Read the introduction, which was great, and decide if you want more.
This was a fun collection of stories, especially since I went to many of their settings while I was a missionary for my church in New Jersey. I was hoping for a little more hard-boiled detective stuff, and there may have a few too many stories about young junkies, but I am a fan of the noir genre and this collection featured much of what I like about it: gritty settings, scarred protagonists, and an overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia. You can read what I've written about the series in genera...more
I usually prefer novels to short stories, largely because by the time I've gotten into the short story, it's over, but occasionally I read them for a change of pace.

Have been watching The Sopranos on DVD and thought New Jersey Noir would complement it beautifully. I was not disappointed. Joyce Carol Oates edited the collection, and contributes one of her own stories. Other authors I was familiar with were Robert Pinsky and Jonathan Safran Foer.

Good stories, almost every one of them. Worth readin...more
Matt Lydon
Really liked these stories a lot. Almost made me wanna move to Jersey. Almost.
I thought it was a fabulous collection of stories. Very dark and at times depressing (AKA, good reading!) I'm from New Jersey, what can I say? And I love Joyce Carol Oates, who was the editor. Her own story, which ends the book, is particularly dark. I highly recommend this. This is part of a "Noir" series set in various locales around the country and the world. I'll probably check out others soon.
Robert Arellano
Sep 11, 2011 Robert Arellano rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
There's good stuff in all the fiction and poetry, and Robert Pinsky's poem in particular blew me away. Editor Joyce Carol Oates's introduction makes a handy overview for a class on American noir.
Martie Nees Record
I am not usually a fan of short stories but these were great...maybe because I live in NJ and I am of Joyce Carol Oates.
Lillian Haas
As the title says, short noir-ish stories set in New Jersey. Not bad, but a bit more literary than I was expecting.
Midnight Blue
Nov 02, 2012 Midnight Blue rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Negine
Great anthology....we're talking Jimmy Hoffa New Jersey, not Jersey Shore New Jersey. Great noir!
I liked some of these short stories. Didn't finish them all however.
Beth Hough
Uneven, but interesting.
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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Pseudonyms ... Rosamond Smith and Laure...more
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