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Historical Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to Fiction, Film TV

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It's one of the most successful—and surprising—of phenomena in the entire crime fiction genre: detectives (and proto-detectives) solving crimes in earlier eras. There is now an army of historical sleuths operating from the mean streets of ancient Rome to the Cold War era of the 1950s. And this astonishingly varied offshoot of the crime genre is winning a slew of awards, no It's one of the most successful—and surprising—of phenomena in the entire crime fiction genre: detectives (and proto-detectives) solving crimes in earlier eras. There is now an army of historical sleuths operating from the mean streets of ancient Rome to the Cold War era of the 1950s. And this astonishingly varied offshoot of the crime genre is winning a slew of awards, notably the prestigious CWA Historical Dagger. Barry Forshaw has written a lively, wide-ranging and immensely informed history of the genre, which might be said to have begun in earnest with Ellis Peters’ crime-solving monk Brother Cadfael in the 1970s and Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose in 1980 (with another monkish detective), but which has now taken readers to virtually every era and locale in the past. Forshaw has produced the perfect reader's guide to a fascinating field; every major writer is considered, often through a concentration on one or two key books, and exciting new talents are highlighted.


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It's one of the most successful—and surprising—of phenomena in the entire crime fiction genre: detectives (and proto-detectives) solving crimes in earlier eras. There is now an army of historical sleuths operating from the mean streets of ancient Rome to the Cold War era of the 1950s. And this astonishingly varied offshoot of the crime genre is winning a slew of awards, no It's one of the most successful—and surprising—of phenomena in the entire crime fiction genre: detectives (and proto-detectives) solving crimes in earlier eras. There is now an army of historical sleuths operating from the mean streets of ancient Rome to the Cold War era of the 1950s. And this astonishingly varied offshoot of the crime genre is winning a slew of awards, notably the prestigious CWA Historical Dagger. Barry Forshaw has written a lively, wide-ranging and immensely informed history of the genre, which might be said to have begun in earnest with Ellis Peters’ crime-solving monk Brother Cadfael in the 1970s and Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose in 1980 (with another monkish detective), but which has now taken readers to virtually every era and locale in the past. Forshaw has produced the perfect reader's guide to a fascinating field; every major writer is considered, often through a concentration on one or two key books, and exciting new talents are highlighted.

31 review for Historical Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to Fiction, Film TV

  1. 4 out of 5

    Roger Woods

    This is a superb guide to the genre of historical crime fiction in the same manner as the author's earlier guides Nordic Noir, Euro Noir, Brit Noir and American Noir. After an amusing introduction tracing briefly the history of the genre each chapter which follows then deals with a different era from the Ancient World through to the 1960s and 1970s. The leading authors are discussed with many examples of their work. The author cleverly gives the flavour of these books without any spoilers. A few This is a superb guide to the genre of historical crime fiction in the same manner as the author's earlier guides Nordic Noir, Euro Noir, Brit Noir and American Noir. After an amusing introduction tracing briefly the history of the genre each chapter which follows then deals with a different era from the Ancient World through to the 1960s and 1970s. The leading authors are discussed with many examples of their work. The author cleverly gives the flavour of these books without any spoilers. A few films and TV series are also mentioned. New authors are not ignored. This is an essential guide and makes you want to rush off to the library or bookshop as there are so many leads to follow.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    Like most of Forshaw's books it is basically a catalogue of recommended reading, but he knows his stuff, the book is clearly organised into periods, and he is particularly good at bringing to notice half-forgotten or unregarded novelists who are still worth looking at. As usual I ended up with a good dozen books I'd like to follow up and/or read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Dozens and dozens of pointers to future reading. What more can you ask for in a book of this type? BTW you also get good writing, good summaries and a very good selection of authors, many of whom I hadn't heard of before. Some of the author interviews are also fascinating.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ming Terk

    More a reference book for noir readers than a casual read through. A series of book reviews of noir fiction. What I am curious is that most of the reviews are very good. Which leads me to wonder about the impartiality of the writer. Of course he could only have chosen the best....

  5. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gisela

  7. 4 out of 5

    Helen Howerton

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sirena

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tracyk

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael Mawhiney

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  12. 4 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  13. 4 out of 5

    Austin Zook

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Smith

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lychee

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael Mawhiney

  17. 5 out of 5

    Terri

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diana Duncan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dsreebny

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Mackay

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sadie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tom Calvard

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Stansfield

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Richardson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Romek Liik

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  27. 4 out of 5

    Thebookswawa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christina White

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dianabi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jelena Ajdarevic

  31. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Jancis

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