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Moscow Noir
Cover of Moscow Noir
Moscow Noir
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"Authors whose dark take on humanity would be familiar to the likes of Cornell Woolrich and Jim Thompson. Story after story offers haunting images."Publishers Weekly, starred review

The more you watch Moscow, the more it looks like a huge chameleon that keeps changing its face—and it isn't always pretty. Following Akashic Books' international success with London Noir, Delhi Noir, Paris Noir, and others, the Noir series explores this fabled and troubled city's darkest recesses.

Moscow Noir features stories by: Alexander Anuchkin, Igor Zotov, Gleb Shulpyakov, Vladimir Tuchkov, Anna Starobinets, Vyacheslav Kuritsyn, Sergei Samsonov, Alexei Evdokimov, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Maxim Maximov, Irina Denezhkina, Dmitry Kosyrev, Andrei Khusnutdinov, and Sergei Kuznetsov.

"Sordid crimes, gangsters and other underworld characters, sometimes supernatural themes, and a hefty body count . . . The best stories in the collection have some reverberations of a hoary past on the everyday life of a neighborhood . . . It is hard to over-emphasize the power of the locations described in some of these stories." —MostlyFiction Book Reviews

"This anthology is an attempt to turn the tourist Moscow of gingerbread and woodcuts, of glitz and big money, inside out." —Bookslut

"I am particularly struck by how it is the shortest stories here that seem the most fresh, bold and interesting. There we see often impressionistic touches in the prose or plotting and some really impressive exploration of theme. In particular, I would recommend 'In the New Development' and 'The Point of No Return' as highlights." —Mysteries Ahoy!
"Authors whose dark take on humanity would be familiar to the likes of Cornell Woolrich and Jim Thompson. Story after story offers haunting images."Publishers Weekly, starred review

The more you watch Moscow, the more it looks like a huge chameleon that keeps changing its face—and it isn't always pretty. Following Akashic Books' international success with London Noir, Delhi Noir, Paris Noir, and others, the Noir series explores this fabled and troubled city's darkest recesses.

Moscow Noir features stories by: Alexander Anuchkin, Igor Zotov, Gleb Shulpyakov, Vladimir Tuchkov, Anna Starobinets, Vyacheslav Kuritsyn, Sergei Samsonov, Alexei Evdokimov, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Maxim Maximov, Irina Denezhkina, Dmitry Kosyrev, Andrei Khusnutdinov, and Sergei Kuznetsov.

"Sordid crimes, gangsters and other underworld characters, sometimes supernatural themes, and a hefty body count . . . The best stories in the collection have some reverberations of a hoary past on the everyday life of a neighborhood . . . It is hard to over-emphasize the power of the locations described in some of these stories." —MostlyFiction Book Reviews

"This anthology is an attempt to turn the tourist Moscow of gingerbread and woodcuts, of glitz and big money, inside out." —Bookslut

"I am particularly struck by how it is the shortest stories here that seem the most fresh, bold and interesting. There we see often impressionistic touches in the prose or plotting and some really impressive exploration of theme. In particular, I would recommend 'In the New Development' and 'The Point of No Return' as highlights." —Mysteries Ahoy!
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About the Author-
  • Natalia Smirnova was born in 1978 in Moscow. After studying law and working as a lawyer, she moved to St. Petersburg to work as a foreign rights manager for a publisher. In 2006 she cofounded the Goumen & Smirnova Literary Agency, with Julia Goumen, representing Russian authors worldwid. She and Goumen were also the coeditors of Moscow Noir.
    Julia Goumen was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1977. With a PhD in English, she has been working in publishing since 2001, starting her own literary agency after three years as a foreign rights manager. Since 2006 Goumen has run the Goumen & Smirnoval Literary Agency with Natalia Smirnova. She and Smirnova were also the coeditors of Moscow Noir.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 5, 2010
    As literary agents Smirnova and Goumen note in their introduction to this excellent entry in Akashic's noir series, “A noir tradition does not yet really exist in Russia.” Still, they have managed to find 14 authors whose dark take on humanity would be familiar to the likes of Cornell Woolrich and Jim Thompson. Story after story offers haunting images: a husband interrupts his bludgeoning murder of his wife to sing their daughter back to sleep (Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's “In the New Development”); a cop eats an apple that fell from the shaven head of a drunken deputy chief detective just shot to death, who'd been playing William Tell (Alexander Anuchkin's “Field of a Thousand Corpses”). In Anna Starobinets's “The Mercy Bus,” a taut tale with a wicked bite, a con man poses as one of Moscow's walking wounded to make his getaway from a charity ball he engineered in order to rip off its patrons. This volume's strength bodes well for a second anthology from these able editors showcasing Russian talents.

  • Library Journal

    June 15, 2010

    The "Noir" series now covers 32 world cities, and the Moscow anthology is sure to raise the body count to extreme heights as sex, crime, and gore afflict all the usual suspects. For this newest anthology, the editors, who share top billing at their own literary agency, have signed 14 well-published Russian authors, including headliner Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales). Each story, translated into the colloquial argot of the genre by accomplished wordmeisters, packs a wallop of the blackest noir, sometimes with an unexpectedly cheerful ending--a victim finds her tormentor splayed on the ground below her highrise balcony while his briefcase is safely inside her apartment and full of cash. Moscow's grim metro stations and train depots provide suitable concrete backdrops, though the city's 850-year-old history provides plenty of nooks with more interesting ambience as well.

    Verdict While not at all in the traditional mode of whodunit, these stories resonate like true crime accounts from the point of view of the perps and those who prey on them. The anthology will find its horrified readers in most large public libraries.--Barbara Conaty, Falls Church VA

    Copyright 2010 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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