Orange County Noir

Orange County Noir

4.3 3
by Gary Phillips, T. Jefferson Parker
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


Orange County, California, brings to mind the endless summer of sand and surf, McMansion housing tracts, a conservative stronghold, and tony shopping centers. It's a place where pilates classes are run like boot camps, real estate values are discussed at your weekly colonic, and ice cream parlors on Main Street, USA, exist side-by-side with pho shops and taquerias

Overview


Orange County, California, brings to mind the endless summer of sand and surf, McMansion housing tracts, a conservative stronghold, and tony shopping centers. It's a place where pilates classes are run like boot camps, real estate values are discussed at your weekly colonic, and ice cream parlors on Main Street, USA, exist side-by-side with pho shops and taquerias. Orange County Noir pulls back the veil to reveal what lurks behind the curtain.

Features brand-new stories by: Susan Straight, Robert S. Levinson, Rob Roberge, Nathan Walpow, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Dan Duling, Mary Castillo, Lawrence Maddox, Dick Lochte, Robert Ward, Gary Phillips, Gordon McAlpine, Martin J. Smith, and Patricia McFall.

Editor Gary Phillips is the author of many novels and short stories. He lives in Southern California.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“There's a dark side to most places,” even California's sunny Orange County, Edgar-winner T. Jefferson Parker observes in his foreword to this outstanding entry in Akashic's noir series, one of the stronger of the all-original anthologies. The crisp, often seductive prose of the 14 contributors, most of them relatively unknown, is a tribute to the critical judgment of the editor, whose own assured story, “The Performer,” involves a heist at a dog food factory that ends with more than one surprise. Robert Ward, a writer-producer for such TV shows as Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice, offers some wicked twists in “Black Star Canyon,” in which a fictional alter ego gets bounced from the program he created. Gordon McAlpine uses his narrator's job as a security officer at Disneyland in “The Happiest Place” as an effective catalyst for a classic noir plot of betrayal. Other notable tales include Susan Straight's “Bee Canyon” and Dick Lochte's “The Movie Game.” (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936070039
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Publication date:
04/01/2010
Series:
Akashic Noir Series
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.93(d)

Read an Excerpt

Orange County Noir


Akashic Books

Copyright © 2010 Akashic Books
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-936070-03-9


Introduction

Behind the Orange Curtain

Coincidence that I was born the same year Disneyland opened and Charlie "Bird" Parker died. A lot of things begin and a lot of people die in any given year. But those two events have stayed with me-given the accident of occurring in that particular year-and they provide a hint as to how we arrive at this collection of all-new, tough, unblinking stories in Orange County Noir.

As everybody probably knows, Disneyland is located in Orange County, the city of Anaheim specifically. When I was a kid growing up in South Central Los Angeles, what I knew of life behind the Orange Curtain-beyond bugging my dad to take me to the theme park-was nil. None of my relatives lived there, nor did my folks have friends in the area. Except for going to Walt's Adventureland or Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, all I knew was that getting to Orange County was too long a trip on the freeway for a nine-year-old anticipating the thrill of riding the Matterhorn roller coaster and realizing the birthright of Southern Californians of driving a car-at least for a few minutes solo on the Autopia.

Now, I'd heard of the Beach Boys and associated their songs of the endless summer with the surfers I'd seen on TV piloting those majestic waves down in Orange County (even though it turned out those guys grew up in the South Bay area of Los Angeles). By the time I was a teen, I finally understood the chuckles my dad and his friends had over beers when they joked about not letting the sun go down on them in Orange County, "where all them Birchers are." Referring, I'd find out, to the ultraconservative, anti-civil rights John Birch Society.

Time and the social evolution of the Southland have brought change even to vast Orange County with its forty-some miles of coastline. I was recently told by a resident of Newport Beach, one of the tonier enclaves of the county, that her district, which launched ex-pro quarterback Jack Kemp to office, went for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.

Because and beyond being a GOP stronghold, Orange County brings to mind McMansion housing tracts; massive shopping centers with their own zip codes where Pilates classes are run like boot camp and real-estate values are discussed at your weekly colonic; and ice-cream parlors on Main Street, U.S.A., side by side with pho shops and taquerías. Los Angeles has been and continues to be explored as the place where noir, if it wasn't spawned there, sure as hell flowered. But what about its neighbor to the south? What secrets do Orange County's denizens have to tell ... or hide?

This volume, like coming in from a sudden storm and then being gripped by a heavy riff from Bird's horn, takes you on a hard-boiled tour behind the Orange Curtain. Among those you'll meet are a reclusive rock star who has lived way too long in his twisted head, a crooked judge who uses the court for illicit means, a cab driver prowling the streets with more than the ticking meter on his mind. In Orange County Noir, cultures clash, housewives want more than the perfect grout cleaner, and nobody is exactly who they seem to be.

Enjoy.

Gary Phillips Los Angeles, CA January 2010

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Orange County Noir Copyright © 2010 by Akashic Books. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Gary Phillips is the author of several crime-fiction novels, including "Bangers" and "The Perpetrators." He writes in several other mediums -- from screenplays to comic books -- and remembers vividly the days of disco and the fever that coke, then crack, unleashed.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Orange County Noir 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago