Book Description

From Publishers Weekly Woolrich biographer and novelist Nevins does noir lovers a genuine service with his second anthology of stories by one of the masters of psychological suspense and terror. The quality of the fiction gathered here is higher than that of his previous collection, 2004's Night and Fear, and fairly represents Woolrich's exceptional gift for crafting claustrophobic situations and the shattered lives of the desperate. Long-time fans will simultaneously relish and be frustrated by the volume's high point: five, nonconsecutive chapters of an incomplete novel. Woolrich's exceptional hard-boiled prose ('His necktie was patterned in regimented stripes, but they were perhaps the wrong regiments, selected from opposing armies.'), and his pervasive and compelling, if depressing fatalistic worldview will inspire newcomers to seek out his other works. Even though this is not the absolute best work of the man Nevins justifiably calls 'the Hitchcock of the written word,' these stories are head-and-shoulders above most others in the genre and richly deserve this reprinting, enhanced by Nevins' scholarly notes.Copyright ? Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Read more From Booklist Woolrich's unhappy life reads like one of the tragic pulp tales he wrote. Abandoning his dreams of becoming the next F. Scott Fitzgerald, he found success with crime and suspense, genres he disdained. From 1934 to 1948, he was prolific and published, helping to shape the nascent noir genre--until his creative ability disappeared. The awkward man who lived with his mother became a recluse until his death, in 1968, but even when he didn't publish, he still wrote sporadically, as if by compulsion. Tonight, Somewhere in New York collects miscellany from Woolrich's long twilight: an unfinished novel by the same name (alternately titled The Loser), nine short stories, and two autobiographical pieces. Some pieces have never been published before, while others have never been collected. Unavoidably, the quality is so-so. There are glimpses of Woolrich's better days (parts of the novel are compelling) and stories that are third-rate ('The Penny-a-Worder'). Especially as the novel is incomplete, interest in this book will be limited to Woolrich fans and pulp completists. Keir GraffCopyright ? American Library Association. All rights reserved Read more