Second Annual Postmodern Private Detective Feature: Robert Coover’s “Noir”

By Jason Boog Comment

Coover.gifWhile reading Flavorwire’s list of books to watch in 2010 list, we spotted “Noir,” an experimental private detective novel by Robert Coover (pictured, via).

The book will come out in March from Overlook, recounting the adventures of Philip M. Noir in second-person narration rather than the traditional first person private detective narration (“you” versus “I”). Blinded by our love of the genre, we have unwittingly created an annual feature spotlighting private detective novels written by critically acclaimed postmodern novelists. Just like Thomas Pynchon’s “Inherent Vice” last year, we are looking forward to this experimental re-write of the pulpy genre.

Last year Vice magazine released an excerpt from the novel and the Kelly Writers House recorded an MP3 of the author reading from the novel. Here’s an excerpt from Vice: “The city as bellyache. The urban nightmare as an expression of the vile bleak life of the inner organs. The sinister rumblings of the gut. Why we build cities the way we do. Why we love them the way they are even when they’re dirty. Because they’re dirty … It’s all about digestion. Or indigestion. What in the city we call corruption. Eaters eating the eaten.”