The first-person narrator is the imposer of order in a world of chaos--or rather, deceit, lies, hypocrisy, where nothing is as it seems. And yet reading a classic of noir fiction like Dashiell Hammett's The Continental Op is a revelation.
The Film Noir Festival currently underway at the Castro Theater in San Francisco concludes Sunday with a tribute to Dashiell Hammett, the author of The Maltese Falcon and other classic works of detective and crime fiction.
How did reading get to be such a faster-pussycat-hurry-up activity? We listen to favorite songs over and over without apology or distraction. They make us feel good, no explanation necessary. But with books, there's this myth that it takes a "long time".
There are plenty of films out there that make us hopeful about life and living. Film noir is a guilty pleasure where we witness the denizens of society's bottom rungs stamping on each other's feet for a higher, safer position.
An un-Christmas book takes place at Christmastime, but its tone, story and subject matter have nothing to do with the season. It provides perfect cover when the Noël nags accuse you of being a holiday poop.