Read San Francisco Noir by Peter Maravelis David Henry Sterry Online


Brand new stories by: Domenic Stansberry, Barry Gifford, Eddie Muller, Robert Mailer Anderson, Michelle Tea, Peter Plate, Kate Braverman, David Corbett, Alejandro Murguía, Sin Soracco, Alvin Lu, Jon Longhi, Will Christopher Baer, Jim Nesbit, and David Henry Sterry.San Francisco Noir lashes out with hard-biting, all-original tales exploring the shadowy nether regions of sceBrand new stories by: Domenic Stansberry, Barry Gifford, Eddie Muller, Robert Mailer Anderson, Michelle Tea, Peter Plate, Kate Braverman, David Corbett, Alejandro Murguía, Sin Soracco, Alvin Lu, Jon Longhi, Will Christopher Baer, Jim Nesbit, and David Henry Sterry.San Francisco Noir lashes out with hard-biting, all-original tales exploring the shadowy nether regions of scenic "Baghdad by the Bay." Virtuosos of the genre meet up with the best of S.F.'s literary fiction community to chart a unique psycho-geography for a dark landscape.From inner city boroughs to the outlands, each contributor offers an original story based in a distinct neighborhood. At times brutal, darkly humorous, and revelatory--the stories speak of a hidden San Francisco, a town where the fog is but a prelude to darker realities lingering beneath."An entertaining anthology of overheated short stories by local writers...Here the city becomes the central character, the strongest on the page."--San Francisco Chronicle"Reflecting changing conditions, multicultural authors are well represented here, and female writers definitely make their mark...There's enough here to cause us to want more."--Library Journal"Take an intermission from your Hitchcock marathon, and turn instead to the 15 stories between the covers of San Francisco Noir for the SF-based suspense you crave. Luring you deep into the criminal heritage of your own backyard, each piece of the collection transcends the traditional elements of noir and helps redefine the moody genre."--7×7 Magazine"The protagonists of noir fiction have their own agendas, but for readers much of the pleasure is unraveling the mystery and deciphering the clues that constitute a city, and if there is a love story in noir writing it’s the passion of writers, readers, and protagonists for the gritty geographical details. As the bodies drop in the strong stories here, steep, fog-wrapped, fratricidal San Francisco comes alive: here are old neighborhoods, bars, bookstores, the famous and then forgotten landlord arson at 16th and Valencia, buried streams, streetcars, parks, a lost city and the new city haunting almost every page of this gorgeous anthology of San Francisco noir."--Rebecca Solnit"I was wondering about the city's shadowside that the guides didn't show. These top writers are of the 'As bad as it gets' brand, and then worse. If you like puke, fear & loathing caused by stray bullets, happenstance getting the hero who is an anti-hero really, a male corpse rotting in the bathtub while the woman poops in the garden, the Reverend Christmas shot in the ear by the PO-lice, then this is your good read for a murky, maybe even gritty, weekend."--Janwillem van de Wetering"San Francisco has long been a city of back alleys and black figures; this is its romantic map."--Michael Ray, Editor, Zoetrope All-Story...

Title : San Francisco Noir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781888451917
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 325 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

San Francisco Noir Reviews

  • Andrea
    2019-01-12 09:25

    This collection had a lot of authors that I like in it. There were a few duds but overall it was good. I especially liked the Michelle Tea story.

  • Audrey
    2019-01-03 02:23

    15 black beauties set in the city by the bay. Of them, a majority are good. Six are very good and three are balls-out fantastic, gamechangers that make you look at short stories entirely differently ever afterward: Michelle Tea's "Larry's Place", Eddie Muller's "Kid's Last Fight" and "Deception of the Thrush" by Will Christopher Baer. Simply amazing. Three are just so-so and three are terrible. That's a pretty good ratio for an anthology and San Francisco looms large in all of them. Solid, bleak and psychedelic entry in the series.

  • Rachel
    2019-01-14 09:59

    A disappointing read - I mainly stuck with it because I bought it in SF on honeymoon. There are a small number of good stories here, but lots of the authors seem to think "noir" just means "gritty, with a side of sexual exploitation". Noir is one of my favourite genres, so this was rather disappointing. Noir is hard to define, but this treats it just as a style, I think, resulting in stories that by and large lack any emotional punch.

  • Anna-First Thought
    2019-01-04 07:59

    lots of people didn't like this book. i thought it was kewl.

  • Shawn
    2018-12-18 09:10

    This is the second book I'm reviewing in my exploration of Akashic Books' NOIR series. Basic remit - crime stories taking place in [city x:]. I say a little bit more about the set-up in my intro to the review of Brooklyn Noir.It's funny how many parameters one can apply to a critique of this series. If you know the city featured, you can say "does it remind me of there?" If you don't know the city featured, you can ask "does this seem to evoke the verisimilitude of a place I've never been to?". You can ask, "does this work as a crime story?" (as noted, the definition of "noir" here is a bit catholic, really meaning that a crime is featured in some way, and not always relying on a jaded world view, lurid purple prose, gritty violence or a white knight castaway in a corrupted world - although those elements do rear their heads). Sometimes, you can even ask, "was that a story at all?" This iteration of the modern crime genre seems to excel at stories that are more character studies than a "beginning-middle-end / tell me something I didn't know" plot construction. There's also the question - is there a presumption that these should be set in the present? IIRC, all the stories in BROOKLY NOIR had present day settings, and Akashic does seem to make a point about also having THE CLASSICS in the series, in which older stories are dusted off, but this collection seems to bend that presumption, making me wonder if it was ever valid at all. So here we are in San Fran, Fogtown, home of Sam Spade. Ideas and concepts of the city loom large in the popular culture, even for someone like me, who's never been. This portends good things.And there are some good stories here, although we'll start, as usual, with the dregs. Barry Gifford's "After Hours at La Chinita" features a sordid shooting of a singing star in a sleazy hotel late one night in 1965. Then all the dead characters argue about the truth of what we just read. Some might think this Rashomon-styled story is profound, I just found it silly. I can't tell if I really hated "The Neutral Zone" by Kate Braverman or just really disliked the characters and the prose style - two female acquaintances (one predatorily wealthy, one less so) hook-up every once in a while to "be bad" together because they shared an emotionally damaging adolescence. Unfortunately, they speak in GILMORE GIRLS postmodernese and while that may be true to life, it sure doesn't make me want to slap their smug, over-privileged faces any less (oh, but wait, they grew up in poverty, or maybe just lower middle class, so it's okay for them to be terminally disaffected)...oddly enough, the very ending of the story seemed to plant seeds of hope, but too little, too late.What there is, in this book, is a lot of "just okay" kinda stories, a good set-up that ends up botched, or a promising character that wanders around to very little effect. "It Can Happen" by David Corbett - in which a paralyzed man with a fortune plots against, and is in turn plotted against by, his next of kin - is nicely dark, although I thought the writing got weaker as the story neared its end. Still, very "noir" in its own way. "Le Rouge et le Noir" by Alvin Lu taps into San Francisco's Chinatown, while also exploring the city's history of radical politics (many reviews of this book seem to single out this story for scorn, seemingly because it serves to remind us that there were people who used to believe wholeheartedly in politics different than ours). Set in the early 70's, the story is interesting as an exploration of a particular mindset (Communist) at a particular moment in time, although despite a lot of traveling (to Red China, no less) the story didn't seem to have much narrative drive. Still, it has a great "I'm holding a suitcase full of money and I *could* just bolt!" scene, which is pure noir, even if the official "crime" is espionage, I guess. Michelle Tea's "Larry's Place" is well written and a solid sketch of a hillside neighborhood in which the main character, a high-priced call girl, lives. There's a break-in, a robbery and an accidental death and some very sharp character stuff, but it also ends a bit oddly. "The Other Barrio" by Alejandro Murguia starts extremely promisingly, with a fire investigator trying to figure out how a place he just inspected has now burned down, but it seemed to want to keep larding on the hard-boiled cliches (femme fatale - check, rough sex - check, lost love - check, a transvestite for color - check, chase through the hills on dangerous roads - check). Not bad, not great - solid pulp, I'd guess.Some of these stories seem more like scene sketches or character outlines. "Genesis To Revelation" draws out a grungy lowlife dressed in a Santa outfit as he tries to knock over a medical marijuana boutique but that's all that Peter Plate seems to have on his writing...uh...plate, just that scene. Jon Longhi's "Fixed" takes the drug-addict milieu and stretches it a bit longer, to tell us about a performance artist/poet/drug dealer/junkie named Hal Satan and how he ends up (hint, it's how all junkies end up! surprise!). It's scuzzy and seedy and authentic, but not much of a story.Along the same lines, but a bit tighter, is "Briley Boy" by Robert Mailer Anderson. It's very short, and again pretty much just a character outline in search of a story, but the writing is sharp and jagged and the story is almost non-stop violence. I also liked "Double Espresso" by Sin Soracco (although some reviewers didn't, it seems). A "working homeless" (very San Fran) woman, an ex-con, escapes from the city to the rustic burbs for a few days, hooking up with an old friend, meeting other ex-cons and homeless people and getting into or witnessing a fight or two. Not much in the way of story, but its got a nice redemptive chord to it that's more striking when laid against the lives of desperation these characters inhabit. Will Christopher Baer writes a tense little thriller scenario in "Deception of the Thrush", in which a street-wise pickpocket is trapped by a killer. It might not scream "San Francisco", per se, but it kept me reading with its character detail and real-life, clock-ticking suspense.Eddie Muller delivers a great set-up and a nicely amoral punchline in "Kid's Last Fight", in which an aging, punchy ex-boxer rescues a woman from a (deliberately) horrible assault, but only the reader knows that life isn't ever fair. "Confessions of a Sex Maniac" by David Henry Sterry is a real hoot: lurid, sleazy, it outlines the mental workings and day to day life of a trustworthy drugs bagman, part-time cat burglar and all around orgasm addict as he fixates on the most dangerous, exotic woman he's ever met (they make love in a hail of bullets, practically...aww, let's be true to the tenor of the character and say they fuck in a hail of bullets, practically). For some reason, I saw Willem Defoe in my mind the whole time. This is a thick spread of nice pulp full of vivid characters and great details (it's set in an area of the city where a lot of the skin trade happens, Polk Gulch, which lies between Knob Hill and the Tenderloin, so we're told its nickname is "the Tender Knob"!) It doesn't say much but stays very entertaining while not saying it.Finally, while some seemed disappointed by veteran crime writer Jim Nisbet's "Weight Less Than Shadow" (and that's understandable, there's barely a crime in it), his oddly futuristic take on how San Francisco solves the Golden Gate Bridge suicide jumper problem is very clever and, yes, kind of dark. Excellent stuff! The book opens with the other strong story, "The Prison" by Domenic Stansberry, in which the post-WWII riots at Alcatraz serve as a symbolic backdrop to one man's return to his roots in the Italian neighborhood, to settle old scores and dig around a bitter piece of American history. If I had a complaint, there's a needless framing device that places the story as a flashback recollection from modern times, and that undermines the startlingly grim final cliffhanger. Still, it can be avoided. This is some great writing, comparing and contrasting all kinds of earthy, human details.So, in general, I was going to give this a 2, but I honestly think it deserves a 3, the best stories being evened out by the worst and there being just as many solid stories as okay. Now, on to Chicago Noir!

  • Marni
    2019-01-16 04:09

    Noir to me brings up images of Philip Marlowe or some detective in a seedy office waiting for a client. Not gonna find that here. This is a collection of stories all based in neighborhoods of San Francisco which is what attracted me to the book. Some of the stories are good; other stories didn't hold my interest. A few were superb. I enjoyed Larry's Place, The Neutral Zone, It Can Happen and The Prison the most. No happy endings here.

  • Alan
    2019-01-11 10:21

    Pretty good collection of hard-boiled stories all set in different neighborhoods in and around SF. Some better than others, some gorier than others.

  • Jarrett
    2019-01-12 10:02


  • Barry
    2018-12-17 03:12

    Stories may be a bit uneven in terms of quality, but when the quality selections are fantastic. Thoroughly enjoyable read for noir fans and sf history geeks alike.

  • Katherine Long
    2018-12-30 04:09

    Read on a recommendation. I enjoyed this! Like all short story collections, there were some I did not like at all and some I loved. Worth your time if you like noir. But trigger warnings up the wazoo for this.

  • Anne
    2019-01-13 08:10

    Each of the short stories in this collection of noir fiction takes place in a different San Francisco neighborhood, and together form a great review of the genre. As expected, some of the stories are unnecessarily bloody and violent. In these stories, the main character is usually the perpetrator or a victim, or somehow tied to the crime - but rarely the detective (unlike Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe). Sex plays a huge role, and the characters are rarely likeable, and always self-destructive. The dialogue is choppy, but direct, and the writing really manages to evoke a mood of dread and anticipation. I question why I enjoy these stories so much. There's just something about them - despite the stereotypes and hopelessness -I keep getting drawn in and left wanting more.

  • Greg Gonzalez
    2018-12-22 09:06

    About 75% of the stories in here are good. The rest just seem to be filler. Some of the bad ones tried really hard to identify physical places around the city just to prove, it seems, that their story really is set in SF. It's like when an annoying movie is set in SF and the main character casually takes a cable car as public transportation. (UGH!).That being said, my FAVORITE story was "The Other Barrio" by Alejandro Murguia. It could be because I'm Mexican and I was looking forward to a story set in the Mission. Or it could be because Alejandro Murguia was a professor of mine when I did my undergrad. But I like to think that bias never entered into my critique. LOL. Either way, that story was very interesting; it could easily be made into its own novel!

  • Lisa Hern
    2018-12-26 10:11

    I've read excellent noir, really good noir, and just OK noir. This is terrible. With short stories you can get sucked in by thinking, "maybe the next one will be better (written better, more interesting characters, anything) but no, not in this little collection. To be fair, I made it through four and skimmed a fifth story before I decides to stop wasting time. If you like the genre, pick up The Best American Noir of the Century, edited by Otto Penzler and James Ellroy.

  • Ireland Fuller
    2019-01-04 10:17

    A collection of Noir short stories by local SF writers. Each story is set in a SF neightborhood and it's landmarks, historic locations and cultural qualities. I enjoyed visiting familiar neightborhoods through the eyes of these fictional pieces. I liked some pieces better than others but enjoyed the book overall.

  • jill
    2018-12-30 08:00

    Hmm, I read this over a year ago now. I remember one of the stories fairly vividly, a couple I could probably more or less rehash, and I'm sure there were a dozen I don't recall at all. So, fairly typical for an anthology, I suppose.

  • Louise Carlson Stowell
    2019-01-05 04:27

    Great book of short stories in the more modern sense of noir. The details of the locations are true to San Francisco geography, which is sure to please anyone from "The City." Altogether A GREAT, COZY READ. There is graphic language and sexual and graphic violence sceness. Not a kids book.

  • Danielle
    2019-01-15 06:15

    Some of the short stories were a little too weird to be good. Don't stop reading if you are not hooked after the first section; I found the stories got better as the book progresses. My favorite story was Weight Less Than Shadow. Larry's Place was also a good one.

  • Kirsten
    2018-12-20 04:24

    Read a couple chapters by authors I like--Michelle Tea for example--but just couldn't get into it. Had hoped for more interesting stories about San Francisco proper, but I just didn't get that to the extent I wanted when choosing the book.

  • Carla
    2018-12-30 08:27

    These stories seemed under-plotted for a noir collection. Some exceptions, especially David Corbett's very clever "It Can Happen," and Michelle Tea's hard-as-nails "Larry's Place." But despite nice writing, some of the others felt more like character studies or mood pieces than true noir.

  • Narasu
    2019-01-05 09:00

    Solid set of short noir fiction stories taking place in San Francisco. I am not finished with this but I'll read it from time to time when I'm in a San Francisco state of mind.

  • Kurt Weber
    2019-01-03 05:08

    Only took me a year and a half...

  • A.J.
    2018-12-31 10:25

    Nothing wrong with it, but it wasn't jivving with the kind of noir I wanted and I'm busy anyway. DNF'd a little over halfway through.

  • Regina
    2018-12-31 06:13

    Kind of disappointing - some stories were just weird.

  • Alvin
    2018-12-17 04:24

    If you love noir and you love San Francisco, this is the ticket, bub.

  • Jill Sumstad
    2019-01-12 02:59

    Dark and moody, but not always in a good way; at times it feels as if it is dark for the sake of being dark because that's "in", rather than that is what the story calls for.

  • Irus
    2019-01-05 10:08

    Most of these stories were not "Noir," so I am a little confused and disappointed by their inclusion in this anthology. Most of the stories were also a tad boring. Only two were really enjoyable.