Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"Black Wings Has My Angel" by Elliott Chaze (NYRB)

ISBN: 9781590179161 NYRB

"Black Wings Has My Angel" by Elliott Chaze (NYRB)

Fucking and crime are the basis of all classic noir, and clearly the novel, "Black Wings Has My Angel," has that in spades.  Elliot Chaze wrote a noir tale that is basically a definitive frame of what noir is.   A man against a system or himself, and falling for his weakness or the power of the sexual pull.  One's life starts from the bottom, and goes straight down to Hell.  It's a classic premise for a crime narrative, and Chaze's novel is another example of that shadowy world. 

The peaks of heaven are always cash in the pocket and the sexual urge being satisfied.  The beauty of "Black Wings" is that it is written beautifully and there is a tinge of real sadness that comes with the despair.  On the other hand, this book is very much the typical noir literature of the 1950s, but well thought out and written with great skill.   For me, nothing is better than David Goodis' series of novels of the underworld, and this book comes close to that insane landscape, but follows a guide rule to write the practical crime book.  Still, it's a pretty amazing read, and the crime itself is very livid with overtures of the definitive existential angst.   Lovers of noir will love it, and no one will be bored.   Enter and don't be afraid. 



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