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Tekijä: Hopeton Hay (Toimittaja), Scott Montgomery (Toimittaja), Molly Odintz (Toimittaja)
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"Austin Noir" is an anthology of short stories that explore Texas capital. It takes you on a journey through he darker side of that area. From the suburbs to downtown, the stories in this collection feature a diverse range of characters and perspectives, all of whom are struggling with some form of darkness or danger. This collection does not shy away from really capturing everything - it seems no topic is off limits. This allows the reader to really feel like they are immersed in the city and its history. Overall, "Austin Noir" is a well-crafted and engaging collection of stories that will appeal to fans of crime fiction and anyone interested in exploring the darker side of the city of Austin.
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Austin joins Dallas and Houston in Akashic's deep dive into the Lone Star State's darkest dimensions Featuring brand-new stories by: Gabino Iglesias, Ace Atkins, Amanda Moore, Jeff Abbott, Scott Montgomery, Richard Z. Santos, Alexandra Burt, Lee Thomas, Miriam Kuznets, Jacob Grovey, Chaitali Sen, Molly Odintz, Amy Gentry, and Andrew Hilbert. From the editors' introduction: "You've probably heard of Austin. You may have been here for South by Southwest. Your best friend may have recently relocated here from California. You might have thought about moving here yourself, then decided it wasn't worth it to live in Texas. You may have moved to Austin decades ago. You may even have been born and raised in Austin, and now you're on the outskirts of San Antonio or (god forbid) Waco because you can't afford to buy a house anywhere else. Or you may be living in a shiny new building downtown, watching the final stages of a sleepy town's transformation into modern metropolis. One thing you'll hear from almost any Austin resident: it was better when they got here . . . "As the city expands, construction never stops, struggling futilely to keep up with new demand. The running joke is that the city bird is the crane. Rents and property values keep climbing. We fear becoming Dallas . . . The writers contributing to this collection represent a kaleidoscopic view of the city--not just in where they set the stories, but in their different social, economic, and cultural perspectives."
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Hopeton Hay's book Austin Noir was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
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The ghost of a previous Austin haunts this collection, as the city loses its former character under the weight of constant growth (like so many before it, such as Vegas, Miami, Nashville, San Francisco, etc.). To quote a character in Lee Thomas's story, "The city used to have some cool. Now it's just popular." That theme echoes across most of these stories, with varying degrees of resonance.
For my money, standout stories here include "Stunts" by Ace Atkins (an aging stuntman blurs the line between his art and life), "Rush Hour" by Richard Z Santos (where everyone is a victim eventually), the grim "Charles Bronson" by Lee Thomas (no one outruns the sins of their past in this collection), and "Stitches" by Amy Gentry (a meandering whodunit journey through the unreliable characters populating days of college past).
The lows may be forgettable, but the highs in this collection are enjoyable enough to make the effort of finding them worthwhile. ( )