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4.0 out of 5 stars A Big Smokey Noir
Toronto hides. It conceals the dark vices found in any city of size. From time to time, these vices bubble to the surface creating headlines in the Sun and Star that shock the populace and Canada. More often, much more often, these stories are buried. In this collection, some of those stories are told and told eloquently. I lived in Toronto from 2001 to 2007 and have...
Published 2 months ago by Jeffrey Swystun

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really all that good
I picked up this book because a) I used to live just outside of Toronto and b) I'm a big supporter of Canadian writing. So it is fair to say I had high hopes for this book. Despite my high hopes for the book, I was disappointed.

This book contains a series of short stories all set in the Toronto area. All the stories are by Canadian authors who have, at some...
Published on Nov. 13 2008 by NorthVan Dave


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4.0 out of 5 stars A Big Smokey Noir, May 3 2015
By 
Jeffrey Swystun (Toronto & Mont Tremblant) - See all my reviews
Toronto hides. It conceals the dark vices found in any city of size. From time to time, these vices bubble to the surface creating headlines in the Sun and Star that shock the populace and Canada. More often, much more often, these stories are buried. In this collection, some of those stories are told and told eloquently. I lived in Toronto from 2001 to 2007 and have visited extensively before and after. It has never felt big. It never felt overtly scary. Trouble can find you anywhere. What pulsed through Toronto for me was possibility but possibility can be good or bad.

I loved the depictions of the Big Smoke's various neighbourhoods. They were all artful and accurate even if a few of the stories fell short. You can pick the location by some fine descriptions, such as, "Lingering Ukrainian bakeries and speciality shops" and "It was the only place in the city where you could get rolled by crackheads, but six whit miniature eggplants for $1.99, and see female U of T students rushing from their psychology classes to get hammered on vodka ice coolers at O'Grady's Irish Pub, all within a six block radius."

Not all deliver as is the case with any anthology. The notables for me included 'The King of Charles Street' that showcases revenge of a familial nature. 'Walking the Dead' explored deception but with a few, new cool layers. 'Numbskulls' was a distasteful but oddly intriguing yarn. 'A Bout of Regret' was a favourite and began powerfully with this line, "It's bad news whenever a policeman walks into your bar, but it's worse when you've been having an affair with his wife." Andrew Pyper's 'Tom' best summed Toronto for me as it explored the amazing differences that the city presents. The main character has waitressed only in strip bars and why so is laid out with masterful psychology (I admit to visiting For Your Eyes Only on one or two occasions). I look forward to exploring other cities in this noir series.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really all that good, Nov. 13 2008
This review is from: Toronto Noir (Paperback)
I picked up this book because a) I used to live just outside of Toronto and b) I'm a big supporter of Canadian writing. So it is fair to say I had high hopes for this book. Despite my high hopes for the book, I was disappointed.

This book contains a series of short stories all set in the Toronto area. All the stories are by Canadian authors who have, at some point in time, had dealings with the Toronto area. Therefore their stories, while fiction, are based to some extent on their own experiences. Usually this proves to good story telling.

But the stories in Toronto Noir are a let down. They don't reach out and grab the reader. They are plain, dull, and dare I say it, uninteresting. And this is a real shame because Toronto is a vibrant city with lots going for it and it is too bad the authors couldn't capture that feeling and put it down on paper.

The classification for this book is fiction/mystery. The mystery bit also puzzles me because there really isn't any mystery in any of the stories.

Finally, I understand this book is one in a series of 'Noir' novels that are set in different parts of the US. I can't comment on those books, but if this if your first time looking in to the 'Noir' series, I'd suggest looking elsewhere.
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Toronto Noir
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