Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds edited by Kenneth Wishnia is a collection of fictional short stories with Jewish themes. Most of the stories, but not all, are written by Jewish writers.
- 448 pages
- Publisher: PM Press
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1629631116
My rating for Jewish Noir— 4
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it’s always difficult to write about a collection of short stories, since some can be wonderful and some… not so much. That being said, I was glad to receive Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds edited by Kenneth Wishnia in the mail, I assume because I enjoyed Mr. Wishnia’s book The Fifth Servant.
Jewish noir is a genre which I generally enjoy. The Jewish people like to think of themselves as the “chose ones”, but that title is a mixed blessing and a curse. Throughout history the Jews were haunted and hunted, a perfect fodder for noir stories (now… let’s eat).
While one would think that many of the stories deal with the Holocaust, and some do, many others do not. The stories deal with Civil Rights movement, corruption, assimilation and evem a disturbing look into child abuse with the Orthodox community.
The stories are not all new, a few are reprints such as Harlan Ellison’s “Final Schtick” (along with Ellison’s commentary) as well as Yente Serdatsky Sinkey (A Celebration). It’s interesting to read how the definition of noir changed from economic desperation and government corruption to stories about simply fitting in, belonging and all the drama and trauma that it entails.
You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this book, if you enjoy Holocaust fiction, stories of ethical dilemmas and crime fiction this book is for you. If you, like myself, enjoy dark humor, you’ll like it even more.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
*Amazon links point to an affiliate account