Chicago Noir: The Classics (Akashic Noir) by Joe Meno
"In this superior entry in Akashic''s noir series, Meno offers nearly a century of Chicago crime fiction....Familiar bylines abound: Max Allan Collins, Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, Sherwood Anderson, Fredric Brown, Patricia Highsmith (with an excerpt from her novel The Price of Salt), Stewart M. Kaminsky, Sara Paretsky. Others may be less familiar to mystery specialists, but all turn in impressive performances."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred review
Although Los Angeles may be considered the most quintessentially "noir" American city, this volume reveals that pound-for-pound, Chicago has historically been able to stand up to any other metropolis in the noir arena.
From the introduction by Joe Meno:
"More corrupt than New York, less glamorous than LA, Chicago has more murders per capita than any other city its size. With its sleek skyscrapers bisecting the fading sky like an unspoken threat, Chicago is the closest metropolis to the mythical city of shadows as first described in the work of Chandler, Hammett, and Cain. Only in Chicago do instituted color lines offer generation after generation of poverty and violence, only in Chicago do the majority of governors do prison time, only in Chicago do the dead actually vote twice.
"Chicago--more than the metropolis that gave the world Al Capone, the Saint Valentine''s Day Massacre, the death of John Dillinger, the crimes of Leopold and Loeb, the horrors of John Wayne Gacy, the unprecedented institutional corruption of so many recent public officials, more than the birthplace of Raymond Chandler--is a city of darkness. This darkness is not an act of over-imagination. It''s the unadulterated truth. It''s a pointed though necessary reminder of the grave tragedies of the past and the failed possibilities of the present. Fifty years in the future, I hope these stories are read only as fiction, as somewhat distant fantasy. Here''s hoping for some light."