A delicious, darkly comic work of new urban noir from an original new literary talent.
Meet Virgil Strauss, a physically and emotionally unkempt yet somehow appealing tabloid photographer whose passion is bearing photographic witness--à la Weegee--to the obscene, malevolent and sanguine viscera of New York culture.
To his disapppointment and defeat, The New York Graphic--the city's most renowned shock-based tabloid daily--has routinely rejected Virgil's work. But when Virgil and his friend Larry Onions rip off a local church, he gets the picture of a lifetime, a job at the Graphic, and a generous measure of trouble, leading to serious indiscretions that include (but aren't limited to): grave robbing, straining his neighbor's dog's feces for an inadvertently consumed diamond, widely circulating the work of a renowned "art terrorist," and being an FBI informant in a serial bombing case. Helping Virgil through his hard times is Marcy, HIV-positive porn-star girlfriend, whose wispy, hardened, tragic strength brings tenderness and humanity to Virgil's cold-blooded reality.
New York Graphic is a winningly fresh contribution to the noir genre: alternately hilarious, vulgar, touching, seriously disturbed--and a delightfully heady reading.
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Penzler Pick, June 2000: For noir fans still nostalgic for the feverish (un)reality of Englishman James Hadley Chase's concocted American underbelly and its depraved denizens, here's the book you've been waiting for. The 1939 hit No Orchids for Miss Blandish was Chase's debut effort, and New York Graphic is Baker's: what they have in common is the sense readers will have that both British authors are more concerned with ultimate impact than any verisimilitude. What we get is the USA as hard-boiled theme park. For Baker--onetime gravedigger, embalmer, movie projectionist, and theology student, all of which stints he puts to gleeful use--the city of New York provides the perfect staging ground for going far, far, far over the top. And into this urban nightmare, where rats are as common as dogs and sky-high Japanese shopping malls charge admission, he plunks down just the right sort of protagonist: Virgil Strauss, a tabloid photographer waiting for his big break.
Originally published in London, New York Graphic follows Virgil into its own version of metropolitan hell, one that just happens to have "Business Improvement Districts" and a city dump appropriately named Fresh Kill. But the title isn't just a description of Baker's visceral style; it also refers to the newspaper where Virgil is finally employed and the pinnacle to which he's aspired. (The guiding spirit of New York Graphic owes less to William Randolph Hearst than it does to, say, John Waters or James Ellroy.)
With its references to iconic mystery-genre masterpieces such as Psycho, The Maltese Falcon, and "The Fall of the House of Usher," New York Graphic reminds us of tradition at the same time that it abandons many standards of characterization and plotting. Does such knowingness make it postmodern? I'm not sure, but such voyeurism as Virgil Strauss's is always one way to illuminate crime fiction's darkest corners. "So many stories. So much random death." That's what Virgil thinks. And if you take the ride with him and his buddies--ex-junkie Larry Onions, porn pinup Marcy, Johnny from Jersey, among others--so will you. --Otto PenzlerFrom the Back Cover:
"For those who like their comedy very black, a brilliantly scabrous portrait of urban life." --The Bookseller
"A compulsively readable debut."--Publishing Weekly
"Well-written, bursting with panache, [New York Graphic] should probably carry a public health warning. Read and enjoy."--The Tangled Web
"A disturbing and dazzlingly assured achievement."--The Observer (London)
"You will be helplessly hooked by [New York Graphic].... Sick, cynical, and rather wonderful" ----Time Out London
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Descripción ORION. Estado de conservación: Very Good. . Nº de ref. de la librería N14D-00957
Descripción Orion, 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Good. 9780575066106 Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Nº de ref. de la librería 9053-9780575066106
Descripción Orion 03/09/1998, 1998. Estado de conservación: Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Nº de ref. de la librería 2341-9780575066106
Descripción Orion 03/09/1998, 1998. Estado de conservación: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Nº de ref. de la librería 6545-9780575066106
Descripción -. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Very Good. New York Graphic This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Nº de ref. de la librería 7719-9780575066106
Descripción -. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Good. New York Graphic This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Nº de ref. de la librería 9053-9780575066106
Descripción Orion, 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Very Good. No.1 BESTSELLERS - great prices, friendly customer service â€" all orders are dispatched next working day. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000448737
Descripción Orion, 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Good. No.1 BESTSELLERS - great prices, friendly customer service â€" all orders are dispatched next working day. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000466872