Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “New Orleans Noir” as Want to Read:
New Orleans Noir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

New Orleans Noir (Akashic Noir)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  407 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
"New Orleans Noir explores the dark corners of our city in eighteen stories, set both pre- and post-Katrina...In Julie Smith, Temple found a perfect editor for the New Orleans volume, for she is one who knows and loves the city and its writers and knows how to bring out the best in both...It's harrowing reading, to be sure, but it's pure page-turning pleasure, too."
-- Time
ebook, 270 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Akashic Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about New Orleans Noir, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about New Orleans Noir

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Wilhelmina Jenkins
Like most topical collections, this collection of noir short stories set in New Orleans was inconsistent in quality. The book is divided into pre-Katrina and post-Katrina sections, and I generally found the post-Katrina stories to be the superior ones. There are enough good stories here to make this book a worthwhile read.
Sep 07, 2008 jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
i really enjoyed this book. who knows, maybe i would not have loved it as much without katrina, but katrina happened, ain't a thing i can do about it, unfortunately.

noir, broadly defined (is intrinsically linked to a deep (if possibly controversial) attachment to the city and its neighborhoods, so i think the format, of dividing the stories by neighborhoods, works well. the city, as in many of the stories here, especially the post-katrina ones, is a city that's going to seed. at the same time, t
Jan 21, 2013 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone familiar enough with the many neighborhoods of New Orleans
A wonderfully eerie peek into the many neighborhoods and lives of New Orleans.

I had no idea what New Orleans Noir was other than a collection of short stories about my favorite adopted city. And, it took me half of the book to realize the common theme running through each story - as a friend pointed out the seemingly odd pattern of a dead body turning up in each. I guess I thought it just sounded like New Orleans. Perhaps that's the point.

New Orleans Noir offers a dark glimpse of an all-too-comm
Ray Campbell
Jul 19, 2016 Ray Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Another collection of terrific dark stories set in a city that has had lots of dark moments recently. I've read three books from this series and this was by far the best. There are classic "Big Easy" settings, late night in the French Quarter, on the waterfront and down in the 9th Ward. Then there are the stories in the wasteland after the Katrina. And finally, there are stories of riding the storm out and some of the shadows that rose up out of the flood waters. Thoroughly enjoyable, well craft ...more
Dec 31, 2016 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really looked forward to this Akashic collection, thinking that New Orleans would have some great noir, but I found it lackluster and disappointing overall.
Tonstant Weader
Nov 19, 2016 Tonstant Weader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, short-story
New Orleans Noir is a collection of mystery short stories situated in New Orleans. Julie Smith divided the collection into stories before and after Katrina, that cataclysmic flood that changed the city forever. Editor Julie Smith did an excellent job, finding stories with a strong sense of place.

I am forever a fan of the Akashic Noir series. It combines so many things I love, good writing, mysteries, short stories, and armchair travel—and does it so well. It is intriguing and illuminating to see
Jessica AKA Riley
Mar 08, 2008 Jessica AKA Riley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love New Orleans.
Recommended to Jessica by: Saints and Sinners Festival
It takes me forever to read short story collections. This book is no exception to that habit. I attribute this slow-reading to the fact that I read one to two short stories per sitting so there is nothing to make me want to go back to reading more. No cliffhangers at the end of chapters, no curious sense of whodunit. There’s also the problem of certain stories just not being that great. Maybe there was a great setup followed by a bad ending, or a boring setup that finally hit a home run with a t ...more
Feb 13, 2010 trickgnosis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, new-orleans
I really enjoyed this. It may have helped that I actually read a good bit of it while in New Orleans, not to mention all the time I've spent there over the years. Like any collection it has its relative strengths and weaknesses but overall there were far more pleasant surprises than disappointments. The idea of noir is obviously used in a very loose sense, really just a synonym for crime/mystery. As this is the first I've read in the series, I assume this is the case with all the entries in the ...more
Like most short story collections, "New Orleans Noir" is uneven. The stories are divided first into two volumes, pre- and post-Katrina, and then by region within New Orleans, giving you a taste of a variety of neighborhoods within the city. Some of the stories are fantastic, "Loot" and "Two-story Brick Houses" among them, most are fair to middling, and some are incredibly bad. One of the worst stories in the collection is baffingly the one chosen to represent the French Quarter, the area most id ...more
April Hedges
Jan 12, 2012 April Hedges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of Akashic Books in general, and I've sampled the stories in the other Noir collections, but this is the first one I've read cover to cover, mostly because I am from Louisiana. Overall, the collection is fantastic. There were a few stories that I didn't love, but I'm not sorry I read a single one of them, and I didn't outright hate any. The story "Two-Story Brick Houses" is worth the price of the anthology alone.

If you choose this one, be sure that you understand that it is "noir" -
Rebecca Martin
Jul 06, 2011 Rebecca Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looks promising. I'm reading the "Before the levees broke" section right now. Finished the first two stories last night. There are eight more stories in this section; then begins "Life in Atlantis." "Life in Atlantis" does not strike me as a good title: "Atlantis" has too many other associations, some of them positive. "Atlantis" was a land underwater, but I'm hoping for a more profound connection than that.

Later--yes, this is a strong collection that looks at pre- and post- and during-Katrina N
Jul 31, 2012 Elli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is part of a collection of noir short stories, original noir collections each book representing a city, and each story from a neighborhood within that city. All are brand new and written for the occasion. I've read several of them off and on and have liked some of them. New Orleans is the only one however in which I have never been to the city but have always been fascinated with it. It is divided into two parts, pre-katrina and post. The stories are vivid and some authors I've very much li ...more
This was a fundraiser book for the NOLA library system, postKatrina, that I picked up on my first trip there about a year and a half after the storm. It features a number of local and ex-local writers. It's got a nice swath of local flavor, broken down by before and after Katrina, and then by neighborhood; the after Katrina stories pack much more emotional oomph and existential despair, not surprisingly. As a taste of the city, I think the anthology works well. As short fiction, somewhat less so ...more
Aug 24, 2008 Billye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of the entire City Noir series.

New Orleans Noir is a very different volume because the stories depict or are inspired by the Hurricane Katrina and its horrible aftermath.

The stories are very diverse and together they create a clear picture of the mixture of cultures and varying degrees of wealth found throughout the region. I learned a lot from this book.

I would recommend this book to people who are interested learning about Post Katrina New Orleans primarily and to readers wh
Mary Sue
Sep 08, 2008 Mary Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the curious
Recommended to Mary Sue by: Amazon
My lower rating is because I just don't like short stories. A few of my favorite authors contributed to this collection, so I took a chance. The first half of the volume is pre-Katrina, the far superior second half is post-Katrina. I had been wondering why there isn't more literature out there about the storm and aftermath. In the forward Julie Smith gave me a clue, writers living there were so stunned that it took awhile to get past living day to day. I have to admit that my opinion of short st ...more
Feb 24, 2013 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good collection of short stories about New Orleans. The book is in 2 parts - the first part is short stories pre-Katrina and the second is stories post-Katrina. Of course, being noir, they all involved crime of some sort. Some on the humorous side, some very dark. A couple made me angry. Noir really fits New Orleans, too. There are other cities in this series, but I think it suits New Orleans best.
This is a collection of short stories all related to the Big Easy. I joined a book club and we read exclusively about NOLA or New Orleans authors and it is a great way to feel you belong to a city and to get to know it. If you just moved, consider the same. I'm half way through and the stories are well written and edited. No wasted words or time. They are getting into my head. I recommend this book for a flight or vacation. It would be perfect.
Dec 12, 2016 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, crime
Good stuff if you're a fan of the genre. The Hurricane Katrina angle makes this book unique in the series.

"Two-Story Brick Houses" - Patty Friedmann - girls at a private school (Uptown)
"Algiers" - David Fulmer - a card cheat (Algiers)
"Open Mike" - James Nolan - detective story (French Quarter)
"There Shall Your Heart Be Also" - Barbara Hambly - set in the 19th century (The Swamp)
"Annunciation Shotgun" - Greg Herren - gay lovers (Lower Garden District)
Apr 13, 2009 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most short story collections, these offerings present a mixed bag of dark crime stories. However with one great exception, the best ones are current - dealing with New Orleans, post-Katrina, and the opportunities to get away with murder and other crimes. Julie Smith is the editor of this fine collection, herself a really excellent teller of New Orleans bad actors and their subsequent capture.
The stories in this collection are kind of hit or miss. Some are really good mysteries - they're dark, moody and gripping. Others are very disturbing without having a good plot to make up for it. The book does a very good job of capturing different aspects of New Orleans as a vibrant, living city, but many of the stories just weren't up to snuff.
Jul 27, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I've been to New Orleans twice, both times pre-Katrina. It's like Washington, DC, my home town, in some respects. You either love it or hate it. These stories not only are dark, they have a lot of anguish. The book divides the stories in half by time with Katrina being the great divide. However, the stories on both sides of this storm line are equally dark and noir-ish.
Chris Wharton
Short story collection, written on consignment for the City Noir series. New Orleans a good source city. Read during Thanksgiving trip to Mississippi and New Orleans. Various high and dark crimes and misdemeanors, before (some back to 19th century) and during/after Katrina, covering all classes, colors, ethnics, genders, in NO neighborhood settings.
Sara Bower
Sep 04, 2011 Sara Bower rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed how the format of the book was broken up into several short stories. It captures the different neighborhoods in New Orleans. Although, it may be difficult for some poeple to understand the characters unless you are from the area.
Jan 09, 2011 Yvonne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
overall really disappointing. much of the writing is poor and/or in DIRE need of editing. There are some gems in here though and the project itself - one story each from one writer, all from different neighborhoods in the city - is worthwhile.
Katie Lowry
Maybe my love of noir & the fact that New Orleans is totemic to me set the bar too high. Most of the stories were mediocre at best, and the majority weren't noir at all. It felt forced and wrong, like the McDonalds on Canal.
Dec 07, 2008 Paul marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up cuz my girl Jeri Cain Rossi has an essay in it. I haven't been in touch with JCR in a few years but it's good to see she's still writing. Check out Angel With a Criminal Kiss or Red, Wine, Moan for more...
Jan 30, 2013 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
was really lovely. The book offered an insight to people and the on-goings during the Katrina catastrophe, as well as other time periods to which New Orleans was alive. This collection of vivid story tel-lings was compelling, and made our trip down south all the more interesting.
Lori Stokes Wright
Mar 09, 2016 Lori Stokes Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-challenge
Enjoyable Read

If you like short stories and New Orleans, this one is for you. I just finished a long .novel and this was perfect. The first half is before Katrina and the last after.
Katherine Johnston
I'm living in NOLA for the summer, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the place while here - hence the theme of my books. This is a bunch of short stories that take place pre and post Katrina in different areas of the city.
Short stories written after Katrina some of which I liked, some not so much.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Istanbul Noir
  • Los Angeles Noir
  • Brooklyn Noir
  • Moscow Noir
  • Haiti Noir
  • Manhattan Noir
  • San Francisco Noir
  • Mexico City Noir
  • Delhi Noir (Akashic Noir)
  • Las Vegas Noir
  • Havana Noir
  • Lone Star Noir
  • Bronx Noir
  • Mumbai Noir
  • Paris Noir
  • Phoenix Noir
  • French Quarter Fiction: The Newest Stories of America's Oldest Bohemia
  • Trinidad Noir
Author of 20 mystery novels and a YA paranormal adventure called BAD GIRL SCHOOL (formerly CURSEBUSTERS!). Nine of the mysteries are about a female New Orleans cop Skip Langdon, five about a San Francisco lawyer named Rebecca Schwartz,two about a struggling mystery writer named Paul Mcdonald (whose fate no one should suffer) and four teaming up Talba Wallis, a private eye with many names, a poetic ...more
More about Julie Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Akashic Noir (1 - 10 of 71 books)
  • Baltimore Noir
  • Bangkok Noir
  • Barcelona Noir
  • Belfast Noir
  • Boston Noir
  • Boston Noir 2: The Classics
  • Bronx Noir
  • Brooklyn Noir
  • Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics (Akashic Noir)
  • Brooklyn Noir 3: Nothing But the Truth (Akashic Noir)

Share This Book