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From Barnes & NobleMany of the same compliments can be paid to this collection of pieces on the film noir approach to hard-boiled fiction. Writer-director Paul Scharader writes a dazzling -- if somewhat debatable -- piece on the themes of noir cinema over the years, and the estimable Raymond Durgnat contributes an overview of noir that is stunning in its scope and lucidity. There are also fine essays on such noir icons as Anthony Mann, Cornell Woolrich, and Raymond Chandler, and what is now being called "neo noir," notably Quentin Tarantino. Alain Silver is a formidable scholar and vital writer. Even by his high standards, this is an excellent and engaging book.