I've read all or parts of three books recently by the great historian Henri Pirenne, who wrote in the last century, and never once does he use the words narrative, storyline, or interventionist. That's one reason I like him better than I do his successor in our time Chris Wickham. Another is that Wickham writes under the name Chris, even though his name is Christopher. Call me old school, but I say save that informality for the pub. If you're going to write a book about ancient Rome and its heritage in the Middle Ages, use your full name.
2) Black Wings Has My Angel is as chilling a work of noir as it is said to be, and it has been reprinted by New York Review Books, so you know it packs a ton of literary respectability. But don't hold that against Elliott Chaze's 1953 novel, originally published by Gold Medal. The novel follows several conventions of mid-century noir (readers of Jim Thompson might like it, or of Charles Williams at his darkest, for example), and it does does so thoroughly and well. But Chaze's writing is so understated, its narrator/protagonist's reaction to his hellish so circumstances so heartbreakingly matter-of-fact at times and so tragically noble at others, that the book becomes at the same time something more.
© Peter Rozovsky 2016
Labels: Chris Wickham, Elliott Chaze, Henri Pirenne, history, noir, Stark House Press