Read Twin Cities Noir by Julie Schaper StevenHorwitz Online


Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins Brand-new stories from John Jodzio, Tom Kaczynski (a.k.a. Tom K), and Peter Schilling, Jr., in addition to the original volume's stories by David Housewright, Steve Thayer, Judith Guest, Mary Logue, Bruce Rubenstein, K.J. Erickson, William Kent Krueger, Ellen Hart, Brad Zellar, Mary Sharratt, Pete Hautman, and others.Julie Schaper has been a TwinLength: 8 hrs and 39 mins Brand-new stories from John Jodzio, Tom Kaczynski (a.k.a. Tom K), and Peter Schilling, Jr., in addition to the original volume's stories by David Housewright, Steve Thayer, Judith Guest, Mary Logue, Bruce Rubenstein, K.J. Erickson, William Kent Krueger, Ellen Hart, Brad Zellar, Mary Sharratt, Pete Hautman, and others.Julie Schaper has been a Twin Cities resident for eighteen years. She is the co-editor with Steven Horwitz of Amplified: Fiction from Leading Alt-Country, Indie Rock, Blues, and Folk Musicians.Steven Horwitz has worked in publishing for over thirty-five years. He lives with his wife and two dogs in St. Paul, Minnesota....

Title : Twin Cities Noir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 24982215
Format Type : Audible Audio
Number of Pages : 171 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Twin Cities Noir Reviews

  • Shawn
    2018-12-13 16:14

    I usually lead these Akashic Noir City anthology reviews with any personal ties I have to the focus city or, lacking that, any impression I have them. But, I'll be honest, I have no personal ties to Minneapolis/St. Paul, no impression of it and no pop-culture perception of it beyond it being the setting for Mary Tyler Moore. So I'm going in blind...Overall, this was a slightly weaker entry, with a lot of chaff loaded at the back and a good number of stories that don't really qualify as "noir" despite being crime-based or having mysteries. Leastest to mostest:For example, "The Brewer's Son" by Larry Millett gets points for a historical setting (1890s) and a classic detective-type character (a saloon keeper - who once worked with Sherlock Holmes!) and a classic mystery set-up (the kidnapped son of a wealthy brewer) but the mystery is weak, the plot cliched, the detective is pretty hackneyed and there's no actual element that one would call "noir" in it. Eh. "Hi, I'm God" by Steve Thayer has a strong, dramatic opening (perhaps a bit too dramatic) as three-high school friends push a dare too far, and one disappears. 25 years later, someone resembling the presumed dead teenager breaks into local airwaves, claiming to be God and passes lazy judgment on the town (this is Duluth, btw, up north of the focus). Unfortunately, this one just kind of petered out as a story. Judith Guest's "Eminent Domain" has a famous writer make an illegal arrangement - pretty slim. And Gary Bush's "If You Harm Us", with its tough guy ex-con returning to Depression era St. Paul to settle an old score has all the cliches of genre ("dames", "mugs") and none of the charm. Not terrible but nothing inspired either, although modern times allows for a bit more raunchiness with the cliches.Then, as always, there's a slew of perfectly good stories that are slightly fumbled. "Skyway Sleepless" by Tom Kaczynski is probably the most interesting, as it's presented in comics/graphic form and features a security guard whose job it is to patrol the series of skyways than run over Minneapolis' streets. It's a great setting and it was nice to see comics in the book - the whole thing brought to mind the old Mister X: The Definitive Collection, Vol. 1 comics, with their use of disorientating architecture - but the story (in which users of the skyways are suddenly dropping unconscious) never really felt like it completed itself. Nice try though. John Jodzio's "Someday All Of This Will Probably Be Yours" is a charming little piece about two street criminals who intend to exploit a speed-dating event, but the level of crime and potential darkness in the story never really approaches "noir". This example hold true of K.J. Erickson's tale of fellow car impound lot workers, "Noir Neige", that even with an explosion and malicious vandalism, never gets dark enough. "Better Luck Next Time" by Brad Zellar goes in the opposite direction - it's got violence, for sure, but the long character-build up that starts the piece — detailing the life of an average guy who grew up with criminals but has neither fallen into their depths or risen to the occasion, and his frustrating relationship with his criminal brother-in-law, doesn't tail very well into the final explosion of action, and the climax is predicated on a total coincidence (one laugh-out-loud joke, though, involving Karl Malden!). Close but... Quinton Skinner's "Loophole", about a mild-mannered accountant who takes on a passionate and dangerous client, is an okay crime story, not bad but not impressive. And then there are two shortish pieces - "Blasted" by Mary Logue in which a police officer tells her daughter about the most frightening thing she ever saw and "The Guy" by Pete Hautman, about an unhappy wife's failed attempts at escape from a lousy marriage - were both okay but so slim as to barely qualify as stories (The Logue piece just goes in a straight line and Hautman's is frustrated by the failure of the plan after the build-up).I found four solid stories in this collection. "Chili Dog" is as slim as the earlier noted stories, but it packs a lot of detail into a grim little tale of a tired Mob bag-man and what happens when his collection haul is hijacked. Much like some short piece from an old ALFRED HITCHCOCK MYSTERY MAGAZINE (I say this a lot but that's always a good yard stick for the shorter pieces - just to be punchy and then end). On the other end of the spectrum, "Smoke Got In My Eyes" has the same sort of noir basics that the earlier mentioned "If You Harm Us" had - Depression era setting, a wronged woman - but Bruce Rubenstein uses them to greater effect as a detective is hired to investigate a political killing and we get a deep-history, well-evoked trawl through the Irish, Jewish and Socialist underworlds of the time. Enjoyable and it felt *real*. Both "Mai-Nu's Window" (by David Housewright) and "Bums" (by William Kent Krueger) have traditional, somewhat familiar noir plots (femme fatales and double-crosses) but the characters are what make them sing - the former involving unrequited love between a Puerto Rican teen and a Hmong girl (with a touch of clumsy exposition, to be honest) and the latter's homeless patsy and his alcoholic friend. Again, just good, enjoyable stories!Finally, there were three truly superior stories here, by my reckoning. "16mm Blues" got extra points from me right off the bat by extolling the virtues of George Romero's grimly realistic vampire film MARTIN. The story involves a projectionist who befriends a street preacher/reviewer who then sticks him with the only copy of a very rare film that, he claims, some may kill for (it's an avant-garde adaptation of Will Eisner's SPIRIT comic book, no less - which sounds infinitely better than that Frank Miller POS we got in the real world!). There's some wonderful writing by Peter Schilling Jr. (a bit where an assumed hitman enthuses about a shared love of films with his frightened target had me chuckling) and it's just a satisfying read all around. Mary Sharratt's "Taking The Bullets Out" also succeeds in its portrayal of a quiet, sensitive male nurse and the abused girl next door, and how the former works to help the latter - and it succeeds through good writing and heartfelt emotion - it has all the elements, but not the worldview, of classic "noir". "Blind Sided" by Ellen Hart, similarly, does such a careful job of building its characters - a former teacher slowly going blind and a troubled teen he befriends - that the emotional anguish of the powerful, unresolved ending just remains echoing through your skull. Quite a story!And that's all she wrote - there ain't no more!

  • Awallens
    2018-12-11 13:14

    Brand-new stories by: David Housewright, Steve Thayer, Judith Guest, Mary Logue, Bruce Rubenstein, K.J. Erickson, William Kent Krueger, Ellen Hart, BradZeller, Mary Sharratt, Pete Hautman, Larry Millett, Quinton Skinner, Gary Bush, and Chris Everheart.Julie Schaper has been a Twin Cities resident for 11 years. She lives with her husband and two dogs in the Merriam Park neighborhood of St. Paul. StevenHorwitz has worked in publishing for 25 years. He lives with his wife and two dogs in St. Paul.I have to say for the most part this was a very disappointing book. A few of the stories stick with me, but to be honest I felt this book could have been written in any city. I didn't sense much of a special sense of place in many of the stories, and I feel it didn't need to be written about the Twin Cities. Some of the stories had very abrupt endings, and some were just a waste of my time... The chili dog one for example I have to say I shook my head and it and went... That's it? Overall I was disappointed in this book. There were a few gems but you have to look hard to find them.

  • Emily
    2018-11-20 16:13

    After discovering the existence of this series of volumes of short stories which spotlight various cities and locales around the world, I chose to start with one familiar to me (in order to evaluate, you could say). All in all, I was impressed, with some exceptions - but unevenness is unfortunately the risk one takes when reading an anthology of stories by different authors. I liked these offerings enough to try another city.

  • Tuxlie
    2018-12-12 17:23

    "Local editors Schaper and Horwitz have assembled a noteworthy collection of noir-infused stories mixed with laughter…The Akashic noir short-story anthologies are avidly sought and make ideal samplers for regional mystery collecting."--Library Journal "Crime fans who missed the first round will find this expanded version worthwhile."--Publishers Weekly "The best pieces in the collection turn the clichés of the genre on their head . . . and despite the unseemly subject matter, the stories are often surprisingly funny."--City Pages (Minneapolis) "If you’ve never read an Akashic Noir book, Twin Cities Noir is a fine place to start."--San Francisco Book Review/Sacramento Book Review "A fun…read…particularly ripe for picking by locals who’ll delight in recognizing their stomping grounds in the stories, but with enough unexpected turns to make it worthwhile for those outside the Midwest, too."--KnightsArts Brand-new stories from John Jodzio, Tom Kaczynski, and Peter Schilling, Jr., in addition to the original volume's stories by David Housewright, Steve Thayer, Judith Guest, Mary Logue, Bruce Rubenstein, K.J. Erickson, William Kent Krueger, Ellen Hart, Brad Zellar, Mary Sharratt, Pete Hautman, Larry Millett, Quinton Skinner, Gary Bush, and Chris Everheart. "St. Paul was originally called Pig's Eye's Landing and was named after Pig's Eye Parrant--trapper, moonshiner, and proprietor of the most popular drinking establishment on the Mississippi. Traders, river rats, missionaries, soldiers, land speculators, fur trappers, and Indian agents congregated in his establishment and made their deals. When Minnesota became a territory in 1849, the town leaders, realizing that a place called Pig's Eye might not inspire civic confidence, changed the name to St. Paul, after the largest church in the city . . . Across the river, Minneapolis has its own sordid story. By the turn of the twentieth century it was considered one of the most crooked cities in the nation. Mayor Albert Alonzo Ames, with the assistance of the chief of police, his brother Fred, ran a city so corrupt that according to Lincoln Steffans its 'deliberateness, invention, and avarice has never been equaled.' As recently as the mid-'90s, Minneapolis was called 'Murderopolis' due to a rash of killings that occurred over a long hot summer . . . Every city has its share of crime, but what makes the Twin Cities unique may be that we have more than our share of good writers to chronicle it. They are homegrown and they know the territory--how the cities look from the inside, out . . ."**

  • Skjam!
    2018-12-17 12:34

    Like the previously reviewed USA Noir, this is a collection of grittier crime stories from Akashic Books with a regional focus. In this case, the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota, and the surrounded metro area, plus one up north in Duluth (“Hi, I’m God” by Steve Thayer; a teenager drowns in Lake Superior…or does he?)This is the “expanded edition” released in 2013 with three new stories, bringing it to a total of eighteen. The new ones are conveniently all in the front in the “Star of the North” subsection, starting with John Jodzio’s “Someday All of This Will Probably Be Yours” about a speed dating scam gone wrong. The other sections are “Minnesota Nice”, “Uff Da” and “Funeral Hotdish.”Each of the stories is set in a particular neighborhood, several of which I’m familiar with. One scene takes place less than a block from where I live! This makes it easy for me to picture the action in my mind. This may not be as evocative for non-locals, but will please readers in the Twin Cities area.Some standouts: “Skyway Sleepless” written and drawn by Tom Kaczynski takes place in Minneapolis’ extensive skyway system. The art uses the rectangular boxes of the skyway to indicate the maze-like architecture of the story, as people are found filling chalk outlines and no memory of how they got there.“The Brewer’s Son” by Larry Millett is a period piece set in 1892 Saint Paul, and starring his series character, saloonkeeper and amateur detective Shadwell Rafferty, acquaintance of Sherlock Holmes. The title character has been kidnapped, supposedly by the Black Hand, and Mr. Rafferty is called in by the concerned father. This is noir, so expect some darkness.Mary Logue’s story “Blasted” takes place in upscale Kenwood, as a police officer tells her daughter about a domestic dispute call that was the most frightening experience of her life. The officer is still alive, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t good reason for fear.The final story is “”Chili Dog” by Chris Everhart. A small time crook stops in downtown Saint Paul for lunch, and things go very wrong for him.As a crime story anthology, there’s a fair bit of violence, one story features domestic abuse, and there’ mention of suicide.If you are local to Minnesota, or have lived here in the past, highly recommended. The book’s pretty good if you’re not local, but you might miss some of the nuance. Akashic may have a volume set in your area; check their catalog. If you own the previous version, you might want to save money by going with the e-book, so you can check out the new stories without shelling out the big bucks.

  • Harris
    2018-12-04 18:35

    I had read this anthology of noir short stories, part of the Akashic Noir series that explore the dark side of various world cities in 2007, soon after its publication, intrigued by a collection that drew upon the quirkiness and dark under belly of the Twin Cities. Like most anthologies, the stories themselves were a bit of a mixed bag, but I recalled really enjoying this collection. After having now read a few more in the series, I have to say that TC Noir remains among the most thematic of the series. I recently revisited the title with its expanded edition and the three new stories included in the collection turned out to be three of my favorites. I think I might enjoy the "noir" genre more than most mystery, exploring theme, atmosphere and characterization as much as just a rote "who-dun-it" plot, and the additions of John Jodzio, Peter Schilling Jr., and especially the short comic of Tom Kaczynski really illustrate this.For some reason, Minnesota has a vibrant and growing community of mystery writers and I wanted to see some of this local color, as I am not a habitual reader of mysteries. While the stories varied in their depiction of Minneapolis and St. Paul (some used the city as mere backdrop, while others drew distinctive local color into their narratives), they are quite evocative of the culture of the Twin Cities and Minnesota in general, its diversity and idiosyncrasies both. A variety of styles are explored, from surreal, almost magic realist, to traditionalist film noir crime drama. A handful of period pieces set in the 1890s and 1930s (both very evocative periods) round it out, some go for humor and others for introspection, others for pure action, a good mix. At worst, the stories are only okay.The new stories added for this edition bumped the collection up even more; each of these stories expand the theme, juxtaposing human pathologies like greed with the weirdness and the darkness of everyday life. Kaczynski's almost mystical depiction of the Minneapolis skyway defies genre. These stories join other worthy tales in the collection, including very popular writers William Kent Krueger, Ellen Hart, Pete Hautman, and Steve Thayer. I'd recommend this as a fun, quick, gritty read that explores the breadth of the flexible noir style and the quirks of Minnesota.

  • Dave Courtney
    2018-12-03 18:25

    This collection of short stories is my introduction to the Akashic Noir series. I am a big fan of the Twin Cities, and so I was excited to encounter these local writers capturing some of the local spirit of the area. This was the expanded edition (with two added stories to push this to 18 total). Each story provides its own unique style, connecting the feel and character of this Northern community with an equal passion. There are classic detective stories and mysteries, and even a graphic story set in the Minneapolis skyway that is wonderfully illustrated. In truth, I had hoped for a little more local reference. The stories are decent (with some measuring better than others). But there is such a wonderfully dark and criminal history to the area that it seems there would be more to showcase. And some of the stories are a bit less noir than I expected. It is worth a read though, especially if you are fan of the area (there are some recognizable local features that are fun to note). If anything this pushed me to take a look at the others in the series, especially the first, Brooklyn Noir.

  • Andrew
    2018-11-25 15:35

    I've always judged Noir by “Can I picture Humphrey Bogart in one of the roles?” That definition has served me well for years. Then, I read David Housewhite's “Mai-Nu's Window”, the first story in the anthology “Twin Cities Noir”. Excellent. Moody. Dark. NOIR! Except … no Bogart, not even in one of the supporting roles – and it doesn't matter! Twin Cities Noir is one of the best crime anthologies I've read to date. Most of the stories hit the mark – OK, some cheat a little by setting the stories in the days around Prohibition to make it obvious that they're going for a noir mood – with a much better track record than most if not all other anthologies I've read. For this, I not only credit the authors involved BUT give a pair of attaboys to editors Julie Schaper & Steven Horwitz. I did not particularly enjoy the first book I'd read in this series, “Chicago Noir”. I'm glad I didn't give up on it, though, and hope that the other books in this series approach the level of quality found in this book.RATING: 4 1/2 stars, rounded up to 5 stars.

  • Vickie
    2018-12-09 14:28

    As with most anthologies I come across to read, this one has a few skippable, a few skimmable, one or two or three gems and the rest darn fab. My favorites here: MAI-NU'S WINDOW by David Housewright with its well-done manipulation, BUMS by William Kent Krueger with more manipulation, TAKING THE BULLETS OUT by Mary Sharratt with revenge, and THE BREWER'S SON by Larry Millett which has a nice Sherlock Holmes feel. I knew I'd like William Kent Krueger's story, he's a favorite author. Was well pleased that other authors brought it and wrote some fab tales. Definitely recommendable.

  • Kelley
    2018-11-25 14:14

    I'm not a big short story fan. I never have been and yet every so often I pick some up thinking my views will have changed... nope, not yet. This book contains stories for multiple authors, some were obviously better than others, but none were spectacular. I guess I need more of a commitment to my books. I like to build more of a relationship with characters so back to the novels I will go until my short story curiosity comes again.

  • Jrobertus
    2018-12-14 15:35

    The editors compiled 18 short stories set in the Twin Cities (well, one in Duluth) with a dark twist. They are pretty fun to read as a native of Minneapolis and some are excellent. David Housewright's story, "Mai-Nu's WIndow" was particularly clever and Larry Millet's "The Brewer's Son" had a Sherlock Holmes aura.

  • Nikki
    2018-11-26 17:36

    Part of a series of books centered on specific locations, with the authors mainly being from those locations. As is often the case in such anthologies, some stories were better than others. Several of the stories in this book were historical. I'd say my favorite was a contemporary one, Noir Neige by Pete Hautman, set at the impound lot (and anyone from Minneapolis knows what that means).

  • Lisa
    2018-11-19 13:22

    Received this book from the Early Reviewers program at Library Thing. Those who know me know that I have a completely unreasonable love of all things Twin Cities. Although not always a fan of short stories, these are great noir fiction. And the references to Minneapolis and Saint Paul will delight anyone who has my same fascination with Minnesota!

  • Briankiwi
    2018-12-18 15:20

    I found a couple of gems in here, and the remainder made for a decent enough read over a couple of frigid February evenings. Probably not going to hold your interest if you don't already have a strong connection with the Twin Cities (or a passion for noir) -- and seeing locally famous (cliched) place names pop up right on cue in every story felt a bit forced.

  • Jacq
    2018-12-05 15:35

    My Intro to Lit class just finished reading selections from this great little collection of short Noir stories written by Minnesota authors. The fiction is top notch, and though not all the stories are classic "noir" pieces, those that aren't strictly "hardboiled" detective stories cleverly stretch the genre's boundaries and push toward a uniquely Midwestern contemporary noir.

  • Sam
    2018-12-19 15:40

    Although I am not a big fan of short stories there were some surprisingly good stories, with a lot that I wished were longer. There were a few that the endings just left you hanging and that was disappointing. And then there were some that just made no sense. All in all if you like short stories than this is the book for you. I received this from LibraryThing Early Reviewer.

  • Lucas
    2018-12-10 11:36

    Very few of the contributions on offer here are worthwhile. The ratio of enjoyable stories to meh stories is dangerously low. There are a couple of gems (by William Krueger and Ellen Hart, in particular) that are worthy of better company and I would heartily recommend these stories, but not the volume as a whole.

  • Sam
    2018-12-01 11:36

    Decent collection of short stories set primarily in the Twin Cities. Like most short story collections, some were really quite good - may have me looking up more from those authors (Housewright, Erickson, Sharrat, Millet) - others I didn't find to my liking. The history of St Paul sound interesting as well.

  • Izzy
    2018-11-23 18:14

    I only really enjoyed a few stories in this book. Many seemed to be pointless and written with poor endings. I grew up in the twin cities area and I have to say most of the stories didn't seem to portray either city very well. In my opinion not worth reading.

  • Kelly
    2018-12-04 12:18

    Rating any short story collection is a bit tough. To some degree the weakest stories in the collection can ruin the full rating. Some of the stories in this collection were quite good but there were some that simply fell flat.

  • angrykitty
    2018-12-08 10:14

    like any story collection, this one had its hits and misses...this is one of those books too, where i think that anyone not from minnesota would find it really pretty lame. i knew all the places referenced, but it's only because i'm from the twin cities....

  • Jeff J.
    2018-11-28 16:37

    Loved this anthology. Not sure if all of the stories can be considered noir, but the definition has always been a little squishy. I do appreciate the all the stories have settings in Minnesota (not just the Twin Cities), and that the settings are integral to the plots.

  • Kris
    2018-12-13 12:38

    A group effort by several MN authors. Some good, some not so good. Really only an interesting read if you live/lived in the metro area.

  • Crayboy
    2018-12-02 18:42

    Ok short stories, only a couple of them have any Twin Cities flavour - the rest just drop a couple of local names.

  • Leah
    2018-11-23 11:25

    Sweet little book of short crime stories set in my native land by local authors. Sometimes they were trying just a bit too hard to emphasize the location, but mostly they were amusing.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-11 18:32

    Quick, easy read. Enjoyable short stories that take place in MSP area. Fun to read about places I've been.

  • Mary Mccarron
    2018-12-19 12:13

    It's fun to read about the streets that you know, and some of the stories were very good. Particularly intriguing was "Taking the Bulletts Out" by Mary Sharratt.

  • Jessica
    2018-12-06 12:41

    Really fun to read stories set in familiar locations. Some of these stories are fabulous others are pretty good. Quick, fun read.

  • Matt
    2018-11-28 15:24

    Some stories were fun and true to the genre. Others read like a cutsie takes by authors clearly not comfortable with the genre.

  • Neith
    2018-11-23 10:33

    Not too gruesome, great cameos of local flavor, so many short stories that if I didn't like one, I knew the next one would be better.