Noir: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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The absurdly outrageous, sarcastically satiric, and always entertaining New York Times best-selling author Christopher Moore returns in finest madcap form with this zany noir set on the mean streets of post-World War II San Francisco, and featuring a diverse cast of characters, including a hapless bartender; his Chinese sidekick; a doll with sharp angles and dangerous curves; a tight-lipped air force general; a wisecracking waif; Petey, a black mamba; and many more.
San Francisco. Summer, 1947. A dame walks into a saloon....
It's not every afternoon that an enigmatic, comely blonde named Stilton (like the cheese) walks into the scruffy gin joint where Sammy "Two Toes" Tiffin tends bar. It's love at first sight, but before Sammy can make his move, an air force general named Remy arrives with some urgent business. 'Cause when you need something done, Sammy is the guy to go to; he's got the connections on the street.
Meanwhile, a suspicious flying object has been spotted up the Pacific coast in Washington State near Mount Rainer, followed by a mysterious plane crash in a distant patch of desert in New Mexico that goes by the name Roswell. But the real weirdness is happening on the streets of the City by the Bay.
When one of Sammy's schemes goes south and the Cheese mysteriously vanishes, Sammy is forced to contend with his own dark secrets - and more than a few strange goings-on - if he wants to find his girl.
Think Raymond Chandler meets Damon Runyon with more than a dash of Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes All Stars. It's all very, very Noir. It's all very, very Christopher Moore.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 3 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 17, 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #15,860 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#18 in Noir Fiction
#20 in Humorous Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#46 in Satirical Literature & Fiction
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The novel started slowly for me. But it was readable and I almost never quit on a novel. Sometimes this pays off and sometimes not. It paid off here. The longer I stayed with the novel the more I liked it. I grew to like some of the characters and enjoy the Noir type patter, that early in the novel, seemed like more of a parody of Noir.
I need to add that I listened to the accompanying audiobook and read simultaneously. This is an added expense but the comedic timing of the narrator, Johnny Heller, was excellent. For me, the extra expense of the audiobook was money well spent. Much of the patter has a "Runyonesque" flavor to it, of which an expert narrator can really make a difference.
In summary I ended up enjoying this novel a good deal. It is a spoof type novel that I could grow tired if I read too much more of it. But taken in small doses and mixed wth more serious reading, I could enjoy more of this. Thank You for taking the time to read this review.
I was very excited going into this book. In fact I pre-ordered it as soon as pre-order became an option. Noir has all the trappings of novels I usually devour in a few sittings. First of all, noir; I’m a sucker for inky noir, extra pulp. Secondly, the promise of sci-fi in the form of Roswell, 1947.
April 17th and my beautiful new Moore finally arrives. The cover. Oh, that cover! I love it. This is going to be good, I think, as I steal a quick sniff of the open spine. The first chapter is great. Murder by a serpent of unusual size! Everything I’m reading is great. The names... Sammy “Two-Shoes” Tiffen... Stilton, aka the Cheese... Two-Shoes with his lame foot is setting us up for some first rate comedy noir. But then suddenly I realize the perspective has changed. From first-person through Sammy’s eye, we shift to some third-person, seemingly, omniscient narrator. It was the beginning of the next chapter so I think, okay, from chapter to chapter expect the perspective to change. I can work with that. Until suddenly it wasn’t; the narration style starts shifting within the same chapter. Maybe I’m easily confused. Either way, I didn’t like it. A few chapters later this unnamed narrator is kind enough to tell us we don’t need to worry over his identity, he’s no one of any importance, but he knows things. He’s just here to fill in what Sammy cannot. Okay, trust in Moore, he doesn’t usually steer me wrong. In the final third or so, Mr. Mysterious Narrator throws the reader a bone by revealing his identity, which I really liked... until it serves no purpose at all. And that seems to be a common thread throughout Noir. A lot of what happens doesn’t really matter. These random plot points don’t play into the larger story beyond granting Christopher Moore a few more pages and an easy way to wrap things up.
A lot of people didn’t care for the turn the last third of the book takes. I personally enjoyed it and wished Moore would have done a better job weaving that sci-fi angle into Noir’s backdrop.
Also, was Christopher Moore paid by the fog metaphor? I get that good noir, especially noir set in San Fransisco, is thick with fog, however; to loosely quote Niles from Frasier, Moore began mixing metaphors like a Cuisinart. Some of them were enjoyable, though. I would include a few favorites, but I’ve leant my copy to a fellow Moore Nerd.
I touched on this earlier, but perhaps what bothers me the most is the way loose ends are tied up with Sammy needing to do nothing. Again, some felt like filler, a way to flesh out a perhaps incomplete idea. I’m thinking specifically of the Pookie O’Hare sub-plot; a despicable character treated even more despicably by Sammy and his crew.
If you’re new to Moore, I wouldn’t recommend starting with Noir.