You won’t find any “cozy mysteries” on this list! Author of the dipso-pocalyptic Virgins in Reverse/The Intrusion, noir/transgressive author Gabriel Hart’s taste supports the more debauched, boundary-exploring underworlds of crime and punishment; places where “hard-boiled” can’t thrive without a nuanced emotional experience for the reader.
A word from our curator:
"While I do not consider myself an end-all authority on Noir, it remains my looming inspiration both as a writer and reader. This is far from a completist's list or comprehensive guide – some from my list either weren't available or were out of print, therefore forfeiting their inclusion here. But the books you see below are ones that continue to cast heavy shadows on me, past and present, from my own bookshelf at home.
"Let it also be known that I didn't create this list for anyone to argue the definition of Noir; there's some included here such as Hinton's The Outsiders and Tartt's The Secret History that might be considered more of the literary fiction ilk, but I do maintain these are feral stories that have become such an integral part of my DNA, ones that I've caught myself unconsciously utilizing as a sort of prism for my personal efforts in the genre." - Gabriel Hart https://mrgabrielhart.blogspot.com/
Thanks to our guest curator!
Virgins In Reverse is a hypnogogic, coming-of-age kitchen sink drama set in a metamorphic Los Angeles, where young alcoholism clashes with the naivete of domestic idealism. Using an analogy of the Emerald Wasp hunting the Cockroach, a parallel narrative will pursue the couple’s unraveling until… it doesn’t quite end, as much as it teeters on a mere cliffhanging layover.
The purgatory continues in The Intrusion. Exploring the staggering correlations between alcoholic blackouts and what we perceive as spirit possession, we follow the same young man from VIR through his own jagged personal apocalypse. Part bat-shit noir, part Bildungsroman, and part clinical study, The Intrusion is destined to be the definitive take on what this generation refers to as “the fear.”