Noir

Noir - Christopher Moore Christopher Moore’s fantasy novels have explored a wide variety of topics, from vampires to Shakespeare to Jesus, with his characteristic humor and unique perspective. In his latest outing, Noir, Moore takes on the stereotypical hard-boiled detective stories set in the post-WWII era. At the front of the book is a disclaimer that reminds readers that the story’s historical and cultural context differs greatly from today’s, and that some may find the attitudes and vocabulary of the characters offensive if viewed through a contemporary lens. Sammy “Two Toes” Tiffin is a salty character working a bar in 1947 San Francisco. As in many Noir tales, he encounters a mysterious and alluring femme fatale who saunters into the bar one night, and he is immediately entranced by her. Sammy attempts to continue their flirtation while chasing down a money-making scheme involving poisonous snakes and the elders of Chinatown. His boss also wants him to use his connections to obtain some “company” for a party thrown by a General from the area of Roswell. Of course, with Moore at the helm, things soon spin off into strange and amusing territory, tying together the different character and plot elements. Noir is fast-paced and witty, but probably not Moore’s best. In attempting to parody the hard-boiled genre, he piles on the misogynistic and racial stereotypes he is trying to skewer. Some might find the result to be a bit tiresome and repetitious. Still, Moore is always entertaining and innovative, making Noir a worthwhile addition to a list of summer reads.