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Mississippi Noir

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  247 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the geographic area of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Ace Atkins, William Boyle, Megan Abbott, Jack Pendarvis, Dominiqua Dickey, Michael Kardos, Jamie Paige, Jimmy Cajoleas, Chris Offutt, Michae
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Akashic Books
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Brooklyn Noir by Tim McLoughlinKansas City Noir by Steve PaulLone Star Noir by Bobby ByrdSingapore Noir by Cheryl Lu-Lien TanParis Noir by Aurélien Masson
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318 books — 20 voters

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Diane S ☔
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
From Tom Franklin's potent introduction , stating the grim statistics that haunt Mississippi's denizens, and of course the title itself, the reader is made fully aware that these stories will be about the downtrodden. Those who live in trailers, drugs, drinking, often their own worse enemies, hooking up with the wrong people, casual sex etc. Franklin also mentions the many fantastic authors who have come from this state, those in the past. and those in the present, maybe because of the many colo ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to the Bottom

Welcome to Mississippi, where a recent poll shows we have the most corrupt government in the United States. Where we are first in infant mortality, childhood obesity, childhood diabetes, teenage pregnancy, adult obesity, adult diabetes. We also have the highest poverty rate in the county….

In Alabama, where I grew up, we had a saying: Thank God for Mississippi, otherwise we’d be at the bottom in everything.

Welcome to the bottom.

Have fun

Tom Franklin
Oxford, Mississippi
May 20
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, short-stories
What you need to know about this is that it's a collection of Southern noir edited by Tom Franklin, and also Megan Abbott and Ace Atkins have stories in it, as do a lot of other great writers who fall later in the alphabet. Akashic won't rest until every corner of the country has an anthology exploring its more desperate residents, and its Mississippi installment is particularly great. (Side-note: hey, Akashic, Kentucky has meth and horse racing, great ingredients for both modern and classic noi ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I had noticed the "noir" collections of short stories from this publisher for awhile and decided to try one. It was the name of Tom Franklin that drew me to this collection, unfortunately I wasn't paying enough attention to notice that he didn't write any of the stories, just the introduction.

The collection is very uneven. Some of the stories were good, although none rose to the level of great. Many more were so slight that I wondered why they were published. The stories were a melange of tough
Jenny (Reading Envy)
May 10, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
I get the point of these stories, and feel like they just aren't for me. I'm sensing that I can also abandon the copies I own of Boston Noir and Haiti Noir if it's more of the same. It sounds crazy but the violence got repetitive, to the extent where it felt like the point of each new story. And that in itself grew boring. I guess I like my violence to be part of a richer landscape. ...more
Tom Franklin's books epitomize Southern noir for me. In this collection, of which he is editor but only contributes the opening remarks, Franklin has gathered some of the best, dark Southern stories I've read in a long time. Each author from Mississippi takes random events and spins them to dark, thoughtful places set in a variety of locales around the state and in varying time periods. The Lord of Madison County by Jimmy Cajoleas is by far my favorite followed closely by Combustible by Ace Atki ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it

A mixed-bag of contemporary stories taking place in Mississippi. Averaging out to a solid 3.5 stars.

1. Combustible by Ace Atkins - An abused girl gets back at her stepfather. Short good read with a dangling ending. (4/5)

2. Lord of Madison County by Jimmy Cajoleas - Wow! I don't even know how to start. This is about rich, white kids. The main character hooks up as a drug dealer out of boredom, fakes getting Jesus, bags the pastor's daughter and ends up in very serious trouble with his suppli
I adore southern fiction and “Mississippi Noir” did not let me down that is for sure. Mr. Franklin did a wonderful job of putting these stories together. He had established authors as Ace Atkins as well as lesser-known authors who did an excellent job. I look forward to reading more of their work in the future.

I’m a huge fan of “ Noir” books and this publisher has released several to choose from.

I would like to thank Akashic Books and Edelweiss for providing me with an e-galley of this book for
Viv JM
It's difficult to rate an anthology because obviously some stories appeal more than others. However, I did find the overall quality of the stories in this collection to be very good, and I would definitely try more in the "Noir" series.
Chris Callahan
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting collection of stories with something for everyone who enjoys rural noir. My favorites were "Jerry Lewis" by Jack Pendarvis and "Cheap Suitcase and a New Town" by Chris Orfutt, but there are others that could leap out at me on a different day in a different mood. "Digits" by Michael Kardos is kind of stuck in my head, for better or worse.
Sam Sattler
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mississippi Noir is the latest collection of dark crime stories in the long running series of similar titles from Akashic Books, and it's another good one. The first hint of what to expect from the book's sixteen stories comes in the blunt opening paragraph of Tom Franklin's two-page introduction:

"Welcome to Mississippi, where a recent poll shows we have the most corrupt government in the United States. Where we are first in infant mortality, childhood obesity, childhood diabetes, teenage pregn
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm a HUGE fan of short story collections and this didn't disappoint. There are some well respected authors stories, and some I've never heard of. All stories however are of the "southern" variety. If the intro by Tom Franklin doesn't grab you, nothing will. I've never heard until now of the "Noir Series" by Akashic, an independent publisher. I am making it my mission to read ALL of in the series!
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended by Amazon, has "noir" in the title, how can I go wrong? As it turns out, this is a collection of spine-chilling stories set in Mississippi, suspense of the most suspenseful kind, nothing paranormal, all real life kinds of noir. Nor was it what I expected of Mississippi; these dark stories are very up to date and many focus on adolescence and young adulthood. The problems are very current; the resolutions often jarring.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short stories. These stories were a great companion on a trip through Mississippi. Places like Parchman Prison and Jackson come alive, and kids of people get whacked. Good times
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not for me. Did not finish.
Jason Robinson
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fantastic read from start to finish. Best volume I’ve read in the Noir series thus far. I always think it’s amazing that amidst the poverty Mississippi has always produced a slate of great writers.
Very uneven collection. A couple stories were great, most were of middling quality, a couple were simply awful.

"Anglers of the Keep" was a fantastic story, but was more in keeping with the southern gothic tradition than noir. It was sad and melancholic, but hit all the right notes. It reminded me a of a Bobbi Ann Mason story.

For a middling to good story, "Moonface" hit the right notes as a noir confessional.

On the lower scale of okay, there's "God’s Gonna Trouble the Water". It had a good Romeo/
Favorite: “Pit Stop” by John M. Floyd (State Highway 25)

Part I: Conquest & Revenge
“Combustible” by Ace Atkins (Paris)
“Lord of Madison County” by Jimmy Cajoleas (Madison)
“Losing Her Religion” by RaShell R. Smith-Spears (Jackson)
“Most Things Haven’t Worked Out” by William Boyle (Holly Springs)

Part II: Wayward Youth
“Uphill” by Mary Miller (Biloxi)
“Boy and Girl Games Like Coupling” by Jamie Paige (Lauderdale County)
“Oxford Girl” by Megan Abbott (Oxford)
“Digits” by Michael Kardos (Winston County)

Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
For this collection editor Tom Franklin has gathered 16 voices who really know the dark side of the Crooked Letter. While you may not like all of the characters written about in these stories, you will most certainly feel the atmosphere as though you are living right along with them. This is one thing the Akashic Noir series does well in each volume - but Franklin does a particularly good job with this lineup. Well known authors like Ace Atkins and Megan Abbott are in top form as usual, but ther ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unusually for this series, a lot of the best stories in this collection did not give me a particularly strong sense of place. But there's a lot of captivating and insightful writing within, touching on how people get through the day living unhappy lives through no fault of their own and no hope of anything changing; on our powerful and poisonous desire to be the main character of every story around us; on guilt and mortality; and on the sacrifices required by the creative process. (There's also ...more
My reaction to these was spotty, as can be expected with short stories by different authors. Overall though, it was a good read. However, be forewarned that these are dark, creepy, icky, gross, vulgar ..... as expected with noir, but these are more so than usual. These aren’t for everyone, and weren’t in particular for me.

But if you run across the book, pick it up a few moments and read the brief foreword by Tom Franklin. It is wonderful!

I listened to this audiobook on Hoopla. It used many diff
Kathy Heare Watts
One book with sixteen short stories by sixteen authors of Mississippi. But a wonderful way to discover a new author, even within a short story. Because these stories are so short, you really are not able to immerse yourself with the characters within the stories.

I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. So that others may also enjoy this book, I am paying it forward by donating it to my local library.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
My first read in the Noir series which I never knew existed, so... that's exciting. I am a fan of Chris Offutt's writing since Kentucky Straight so when I saw he contributed I had to read him. Also I love short stories and most in Mississippi Noir were entertaining... and a couple were downright frightening. Powerful and solid efforts by a variety of writers. Great quick read, a guilty pleasure.
Woody Chandler
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Another quick read, reinforcing my thinking that there was something about Beirut Noir that just did not engage me. I spent some time in Meridian, MS as well as a visit to Lazy Magnolia Brewing so I had an idea of the living circumstances in that part of our country. As other reviewers have said, not all of the stories were of equal quality, but when taken as a whole, it was a worthwhile read. Back to the library tomorrow to see what has come in.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Fun read, but slightly disappointing. The reliable people, Megan Abbott, Mary Miller & Jack Pendarvis deliver - Jack Pendarvis’s story being a particular stand out, but I didn’t discover any writers that I wanted to keep track of, like first having my mind blown by Tom Franklin’s “Poachers” in a modern noir collection. ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
In truth this was more of a 2.5 for me, I doubt more than five of the sixteen stories really resonated, a frequent and probably unavoidable occurrence with anthologies. but it will bear re-reading and possibly familiarity will breed further enjoyment.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good introduction to many authors but some stories were better than others. A couple stories were difficult to understand as the narrator seemed rushed and did not enunciate clearly. Overall, a good listen.
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, kindle, 2019
Shirt story collections can be hit or miss, but there are definitely more hits than misses in here.
It’s definitely noir too, there aren’t any roses round the door stories.
But it’s a great rollercoaster of a read, and I didn’t want it to end.
Robert Barnes
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a nice collection of short stories.
Teresa Smith
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Few good stories, but over all a very "dark" and strange book. Would not recommend.
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Tom Franklin was born and raised in Dickinson, Alabama. He held various jobs as a struggling writer living in South Alabama, including working as a heavy-equipment operator in a grit factory, a construction inspector in a chemical plant and a clerk in a hospital morgue. In 1997 he received his MFA from the University of Arkansas. His first book, Poachers was named as a Best First Book of Fiction b ...more

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