Tales of (Yankee) Power (Senor?)
The corridors of power, it turns out, are even nastier than Chandler's fabled mean streets, although in Gary Phillips' fierce new book, Politics Noir: Dark Tales from the Corridors of Power, a collection of politically-charged tales from the dark side from some of the best of the HB and noir crowd, sometimes it's hard to tell the two apart.
This book is about as in your face as it gets, an unapologetic no-holds-barred slice of venom aimed at the powers that be and the corruption that is. To be sure, a lot of these nasty black-hearted stories have nothing to do -- theoretically -- with the current administration per se, and as editor, Phillips' attempts at a fair and balanced tone in his intro are admirable. But the actual stories (including his own) make it pretty clear which side of the line most of these writers are coming from -- and are all the more powerful for it. Contributors include Mike Davis, Darrell James, John Shannon, Robert Greer, Twist Phelan, Ken Wishnia, Pete Hautman and Sujata Massey, and I haven't come across a dud yet.
This is primo stuff, angry and pissed off, its bleak cynicism and impotent despair perhaps best summed up by a character in Ken Bruen's heartbreaking contribution, "Dead Right": "Call it politics. I call it shite."
I call the entire collection an essential read. Try to get it done before November...