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TWIN CITIES NOIR by Julie Schaper


edited by Julie Schaper & Steven Horwitz

Pub Date: June 15th, 2006
ISBN: 1-888451-97-1
Publisher: Akashic

A collection of 15 new stories most likely to interest denizens of you know where.

According to the editors, Minneapolis and St. Paul are home to more than their share of good writers. Maybe so, but the proof of the pudding is not in this particular tasting. It’s not that the stories are really bad, except for one or two that are blatantly amateurish; it’s just that they run together. You read them, and a minute or two later it’s hard to call up the differentiating detail—unless, of course, you have an innate affection for, or a rooting interest in, the Twin Cities. A few entries here do transcend thematic parochialism. Mary Sharratt’s “Taking the Bullets Out” is a curious love story about a young woman and a much older man who never touch, never really meet and yet manage to connect in a life-altering way. Peter Hautman’s “The Guy” is a grim little number featuring a fed-up wife, a hapless husband and a chilling zinger at the end. Mary Logue’s “Blasted” is a deft exercise in the law of unintended consequences. There’s good writing and short-story know-how in the submissions by Brad Zellar and Bruce Rubenstein. But those aside, the Twin Cities brand of noir is basically blah.

One wonders where this local-interest series (D.C. Noir, 2005, etc.) will end. Newark Noir?