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Joe's Word: An Echo Park Novelby Elizabeth Stromme
Synopses & Reviews
In a neighborhood of mostly have-nots, Joe, a cool cynic, lives marginally. Ironically, he finds himself becoming involved in the lives of his clients, linked to their despair and dreams, and sometimes to their dirty secrets. This noir-style novel brings to life a community trying to sruvive the daily grind with humor and sheer grit.
"It's hard to understand why this delightful novel made its debut in France in 1996 and has only just graced its hometown, but it may be that the French love our L.A. noir almost as much (the French publishers even more) than we do. The Joe of the title is a writer for hire, the modern equivalent of a medieval scribe." The Los Angeles Times
"Stromme packages her moral message in a pitch-perfect rendition of a postwar crime novel, complete with an existentially slow buildup to the main action and a large helping of sexual perversion. This is the novel Jim Thompson would write if he were still kicking." Booklist
"[I]ntriguing, offbeat noir fiction." Lev Raphael, Detroit Free Press
"Good things always seem to come in the small, neat editions packaged in the City Lights Noir Series. Joe's Word...gets my nod for the wry wit of its author, Elizabeth Stromme, and for the amused affection she has for an unglamorous neighborhood at the losing end of Sunset Boulevard." The New York Times
A writer-for-hire in L.A.'s inner city finds his emotionally distanced world jeopardized by a client's special desires.
This noir-style novel vividly brings to life an embattled community of mostly have-nots who attempt to survive city corruption, police harassment, and the daily grind with humor and sheer grit.
In Echo Park, a neighborhood at the wrong end of Sunset Boulevard, Joe, a cool cynic, lives marginally. Ironically, he finds himself becoming more involved than he’d planned in the lives of his clients, linked to their dreams and to their despair, and in some cases to their dirty secrets. His financial reliance on a sleazy character who needs pornographic letters to send mail-order brides soon complicates his relationship with his girlfriend, the beautiful Clio. This noir-style novel vividly brings to life an embattled community of mostly have-nots who attempt to survive city corruption, police harassment, and the daily grind with humor and sheer grit.
Elizabeth Stromme has published two noir novels in Gallimard’s Serie Noir in France. She also writes for Le Monde and the L.A. Alternative Press.
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