PositiveZYZZYVA... this wide-ranging selection includes mystery, revenge, gumshoes, and gunplay. Certain stories experiment with form, others with plot ... The early stories are arguably the most exciting, regionally and artistically ... By structuring the book according to time and place, Standiford invites readers to track the setting as it shifts story-by-story ... Miami Noir: The Classics dares readers to explore a geography that may be both unfamiliar and unsettling. If the prose is not always pristine, the setting nonetheless proves as tangible as if you were there, muggy air rising off every page.
Semezdin Mehmedinovic, tr. Celia Hawkesworth
RaveZYZZYVAThe overall effect is of a camera sharpening: the background noise gives way to a crisp foreground, the local details of love and relationships ... This slight yet major existential novel...is itself a kind of letter, a record of subtle, intimate moments ... Mehmedinović writes with the freedom of a person who assumes he won’t be read widely. Loosely he threads scenes, sometimes embellishing them with his own scribbly illustrations, which are included without preamble or justification. It feels, in other words, like a genuine piece of art, not a product to be capitalized on ... My Heart deserves to be read widely, and closely. Each sentence is smooth and precise, cerebral but never grandiose. In Mehmedinović’s novel, life and death emerge most vibrantly alongside one another.
Nicolas Mathieu, Trans. by William Rodarmor
RaveZYZZYVAMathieu writes with an adept omniscience, making hairpin turns into various perspectives from paragraph to paragraph ... Alongside the hard facts, a beauty emerges, because love is also a hard fact. Particularly heartfelt are the evenings Anthony spends with his aunts and cousins ... a deft work of nostalgia, well-suited for this summer season. It calls to mind those little-appreciated moments when one might brush shoulders with a stranger. The book’s most significant occurrences take place in public—at a beach, a bar, a Bastille Day celebration, a bistro where the World Cup is playing. People are smoking, music is playing. You excuse yourself to get some air, and never know who you might run into: a face from the past whom you might remember, or who might remember you.
Fernanda Melchor, Trans. by Sophie Hughes
PositiveZYZZYVAMore than once did I consider abandoning Hurricane Season...Sentences are pages long, and the ones that are not are often fragments. Many times I lost my place. I could barely see through the imagery, which is torrential yet constantly vivid. Even so, I turned its final page after only a few sittings ... Melchor writes in a third person that warps without warning into first then back to third. It’s a technique suited to her architecture of disorientation ... Characters are referred to repeatedly as \'dipshits\' and \'dumb fucks,\' each slur hitting like a fat raindrop, until, eventually, the aspersions become rhythmic. But then over time, as characters become known—not merely a “dipshit,” but a son, a cousin, a friend—a humanity emerges ... There is little time for reflection or introspection, and if it comes, it does so circularly and too late ... Especially noteworthy is Melchor’s evocation of the novel’s swampy, mosquito-ridden landscapes ... The translation by Sophie Hughes is its own triumph, navigating nimbly between the novel’s merciless dread and knife-sharp humor ... Many readers may not be prepared for the pitch blackness inside. And yet, as a storm rages around us, you’ll need somewhere to hide out until it passes.