Review: World Noir: A Tribute to International Crime Fiction

Publisher Europa Editions has recently launched a new series featuring the best of international crime fiction. As a taster, World Noir,World noir is a collection of essays, interviews and short stories on the genre. The book is dedicated to the memory of Marseilles writer Jean-Claude Izzo and has, as you would expect a strong Mediterranean feel. But we are also promised taste of noir from around the world in the forthcoming series that includes writers from Australia, the US and Ireland.

World Noir is broadly split into two parts. The first is a set of essays, interviews and tributes. I haven’t read any of Jean-Claude Izzo’s works but I have one sitting on my shelf. And the best compliment that I can give this book is that I’m now dying to try the author. Essays from fellow crime writers such as Massimo Carlotto and Andrea Camilleri give a sense as to how influential Izzo has been on a generation of authors. Writers and readers seem to have fallen in love with the central protagonist of Izzo’s books, Fabio Montale. The essays do widen in scope of to include an assessment of Irish crime fiction by Gene Kerrigan and the influence of Michael Didbin.

The rest of the book is a taster of fiction from writers around the world including Benjamin Tamuz from Israel and our own Stav Sherez from Britain.  A Dark Redemption was the only book that I had read (I’m a fan) but a taster from the other authors has thrown up some future reading from me. I particularly liked the  passage from the quaintly name Summertime, All the Cats are Bored by French writer Philippe Georget.

I’d recommend this new series to anyone who is hoping to expand their knowledge of noir. This reader was very well produced –  for a paperback it has lovely thick pages and this is a foretaste of things to come from the series. The books that I’ve seen have been produced to a similarly high quality.

The digital edition of the free World Noir reader can be downloaded by following these links: epub (Nook), mobi (Kindle)or PDF

Many thanks to Europa Editions for sending me a copy of the reader.