Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Starred Review in PW for Robert Coover's NOIR
Publishers Weekly awards a star for Robert Coover's new novel, Noir: "Metafiction lustily mates with hardboiled mystery in this hilarious homage to Raymond Chandler and company. A sexy widow with plenty to hide hires private eye Philip M. Noir to look into her husband’s mysterious death. Noir slips on his gumshoes and lacy underwear and hits the mean streets, where he encounters the Creep, Fingers, Rats, Snark, and an elusive fat man named Fat Agnes. He even meets people who “live in a different world. It was called daytime.” Prolific postmodernist Coover (The Public Burning) adds his dazzling two bits to the deconstructionist turf Paul Auster prowled in the New York Trilogy. “There’s a mystery here, but you’re a street dick, not a metaphysician,” the second-person narrative explains. Like Thomas Pynchon in 2009’s Inherent Vice, Coover pops off laughs on every page: “Her brother is in it somewhere and he is said also to be wearing women’s underpants and a bra.... Is he your double? No, you don’t have a bra.” And don’t forget, Chandler was really funny, too."