Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

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Las Vegas Noir

Edited by: and

In this chilling portrait of America’s Sin City, lady luck is just as likely to dispense cold hard cash as a cold-hearted killing.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:


Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: John O’Brien, David Corbett, Scott Phillips, Nora Pierce, Tod Goldberg, Bliss Esposito, Felicia Campbell, Jaq Greenspon, José Skinner, Pablo Medina, Christine McKellar, Lori Kozlowski, Vu Tran, Celeste Starr, Preston L. Allen, and Janet Berliner.

From the introduction by Jarret Keene & Todd James Pierce:

“‘Ooh, Las Vegas,’ sang the pioneering country-rocker Gram Parsons. ‘Every time I hit your Crystal City, you know you’re gonna make a wreck out of me.’ As Las Vegans, we regularly read about these wrecked lives in newspapers and magazines. We routinely observe people going about their wildly destructive antics on mainstream TV. Often we can’t believe these stories are unfolding in our city. They almost seem like put-ons, elaborate pranks borrowed from atrocious cut-rate screenplays. But there they are, these inhabitants of our city, their mug shots staring us down, making us wonder if what Parsons said is really true—that in Las Vegas your only real friend is the queen of spades . . .

The stories gathered in Las Vegas Noir are written by longtime residents and avid chroniclers of Sin City, authors who take you far beyond the neon of Caesars Palace and into the neighborhoods too dangerous for CSI. Absolutely cliché-free, these stories are full of flesh-and-blood characters trapped in dire circumstances that only real Las Vegas neighborhoods can spring.

Table of Contents


Part I: Sin City
“The Tik” by John O’Brien (Scotch 80s)
“Pretty Little Parasite” by David Corbett (Fremont)
“Mitzvah” by Tod Goldberg (Summerlin)
“Babs” by Scott Phillips (Naked City)
“This or Any Desert” by Vu Tran (Chinatown)

Part II: Neon Grit
“Benny Rojas and the Rough Riders” by Pablo Medina (West Las Vegas)
“Bits and Pieces” by Christine McKellar (Green Valley)
“Crip” by Preston L. Allen (Nellis)
“Three Times a Night, Every Other Night” by Lori Kozlowski (North Las Vegas)
“Disappear” by Jaq Greenspon (Sunset Park)
“All About Balls” by José Skinner (East Las Vegas)

Part III: Tales from the Outskirts
“Atomic City” by Nora Pierce (Test Site)
“Dirty Blood” by Celeste Starr (Pahrump)
“Guns Don’t Kill People” by Bliss Esposito (Centennial Hills)
“Murder Is Academic” by Felicia Campbell (Mount Charleston)
“The Road to Rachel” by Janet Berliner (Area 51)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Published: 5/1/08
  • IBSN: 9781933354491
  • e-IBSN: 9781936070336


JARRET KEENE is author/editor of multiple books, including Las Vegas Noir, the poetry collection Monster Fashion, the alt-travel tome The Underground Guide to Las Vegas, and the unauthorized rock bio The Killers: Destiny Is Calling Me. He lives in Las Vegas.

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TODD JAMES PIERCE is the author of three books, including the novel A Woman of Stone and the short story collection Newsworld, which won the 2006 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. He is the coeditor of Las Vegas Noir. He is an assistant professor of English at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California.

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