Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.


Akashic Books

South Central Noir ed. by Gary Phillips

South Central Noir is a spectacular addition to the Akashic Noir Series. Here's the thing. I always know each volume in the Noir Series will be interesting and enjoyable, but some locations simply are more noir than others. In some... Continue Reading →

Police Brutality and White Supremacy by Etan Thomas

Police Brutality and White Supremacy is a collection of interviews by Etan Thomas of people in the movement for police reform and accountability, in the press, and even in the police. Thomas approaches each person with warmhearted openness that inspires... Continue Reading →

Zero O’Clock by C. J. Farley

Zero O'Clock is the story of Geth, a Black high school senior in New Rochelle, and her friends and family all navigating the COVID crisis, the alienation, and fear, and the summer's uprising after the murder of George Floyd. Get... Continue Reading →

Palm Springs Noir by Barbara Demarco-Barrett

Palm Springs Noir is the most recent of the Akashic Noir series. Set in the legendary resort city about a hundred miles from Los Angeles. In any resort area, there is always an innate tension between those who visit and... Continue Reading →

Speculative Los Angeles by Denise Hamilton

Speculative Los Angeles seems like the start of another fabulous Akashic series. I hope it is. Akashic publishes a series of noir anthologies focused on different cities around the world. Speculative Los Angeles is a similar anthology focused on speculative... Continue Reading →

Miami Noir: The Classics ed. by Les Standiford

Miami Noir: The Classics takes a long look back at noir stories from the past. Editor Les Standiford cleverly excerpted novels to provide a broader view of classic noir from Miami. The stories were published between 1926 and 2006, eighty... Continue Reading →

Belgrade Noir ed. by Milorad Ivanovic

Belgrade Noir is an excellent installment in the Akashic Noir series of traveling anthologies. This one takes us to Belgrade with a reporter editor who did an excellent job of choosing stories. Serbia, like the rest of the Balkan nations,... Continue Reading →

Tampa Bay Noir edited by Colette Bancroft

Tampa Bay Noir is an excellent addition to the Akashic Noir series of anthologies. Each edition of this series is edited by a local, usually an author, a bookseller, or book critic. In this edition, the editor is Colette Bancroft,... Continue Reading →

Particulate Matter by Felicia Luna Lemus

Particulate Matter is a memoir in the form of poetic fragments. My mother kept a sort-of diary, year in and year out. Every day she noted the temperature with additional observations about the weather such as seeing a bird chasing a... Continue Reading →

Addis Ababa Noir ed. by Maaza Mengiste

Addis Ababa Noir is another edition of the fantastic Akashic Noir collection of anthologies. There are fourteen short stories, though few are what I would normally think of as noir. Maaza Mengiste is a literary writer and most of the... Continue Reading →

Berkeley Noir edited by Jerry Thompson and Owen Hill

Berkeley Noir is an anthology of noir short stories that take place in Berkeley, that famous next-door neighbor of San Francisco known for its protests and activism. In many ways, this anthology fulfills all the stereotypes of Berkeley while challenging... Continue Reading →

Alabama Noir edited by Don Noble

Alabama Noir is another release in the Akashic Noir series of anthologies set in cities, states, and countries of the world. Each edition calls upon a local author to curate and edit the book for their locale. Don Noble has... Continue Reading →

Out of Mesopotamia by Salar Abdoh

Out of Mesopotamia is one of those rare books that I know I will read again and again. The prose is beautiful, the emotions raw and authentic in their confusion and contradiction. It is everything a true war story must... Continue Reading →

The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri

The Freedom Artist is a very poetical novel with short chapters and simple declarative sentences that read like free verse. It is primarily about a young man named Karnak who loved Amalantis, a young woman who asked: "Who is the... Continue Reading →

The Schrödinger by Laurel Brett

Garrett Adams is a behaviorist, a college professor whose life consists of operant conditioning of rats and occasional nights of drinking with his old college buddy Jerry, a Freudian. It is the Sixties and he is so outside the flow... Continue Reading →

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