On Deck: Brooklyn Noir 2

I just received an advance copy of Brooklyn Noir 2 in the mail and can’t wait to crack it open. As it happens, and purely by coincidence, I’m just about to finish another collection of genre fiction (McSweeney’s Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories), so the timing of this book’s arrival couldn’t be better. I don’t have much time to read lately (as I’ve mentioned more than once recently; it’s a bit of a sore issue for me), so this book will have to bump the rest of the books in my ever-growing list to take its place at the top of the queue.

Why the special attention? Frequent readers of this site (if, indeed, there is such a category of people) may remember that I quite enjoyed the first book in this series. I guess I’m not alone, because the press release that accompanied Brooklyn Noir 2 referred to “the stunning success of the summer ’04 award-winning bestseller Brooklyn Noir,” which has launched not just a sequel, but also “a groundbreaking series of original noir anothologies.” Forthcoming Akashic Noir titles include Manhattan Noir, Baltimore Noir, Los Angelos Noir, D.C. Noir, Dublin Noir, Chicago Noir, and San Francisco Noir.

I don’t know that I’ll ever have the time to read every book in such an ambitious list of titles, but for now, I’ll content myself with Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics. While the first installment featured original stories by contemporary writers only, the second installment “offers short stories by the classic authors who blazed the path for the success of the first volume.” That doesn’t mean you won’t find any contemporary writers in the mix, but there are indeed some serious noir heavyweights on the contributor list, which includes H.P. Lovecraft, Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, Pete Hamill, Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, Carolyn Wheat, Thomas Wolfe, Hubert Selby, Jr., Stanley Ellin, Gilbert Sorrentino, Maggie Estep, and more.

I’ll of course post my complete review when I finish, though I can’t make any promises for how soon that might be.