Long Island Noir

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“The Great Gatsby could be seen as the first noir novel of Long Island—a poor boy who doesn’t have two cents to rub together falls for a rich girl who would never marry him. So he makes himself a massive fortune the only way he can—illegally. And buys himself a mansion on Long Island. Despite his fortune he is never truly accepted, never truly safe, comfortable, or content. And of course, she leaves him because he’ll never be part of her set.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s mansions of Great Neck and Little Neck are still there, lording imposingly over their lesser neighbors. The American dream of suburban bliss has never died, only grown more desperate, more materialistic, and less romantic as it has shoved its way further east, until now there is literally nowhere left to go . . . The most diehard fans of noir fiction may find a few of these stories a little gris. Not everyone here is literally down and out, though spiritually, they’ll give you a run for your money . . . They are all characters driven by some twisted notion of the American Dream, which they feel they must achieve at any cost. This is real-life noir. These people are our neighbors.”

—KAYLIE JONES, from the introduction

 

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