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Manhattan Noir 2: The Classics

Edited by:

Following the commercial success of the original Manhattan Noir, mystery titan Lawrence Block explores the historic literary roots of this dark island.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Praise for the first Manhattan Noir anthology:

“A pleasing variety of Manhattan neighborhoods come to life in Block’s solid anthology . . . the writing is of a high order and a nice mix of styles.”
Publishers Weekly

“A fun read that’s sure to please mystery lovers and fans of New York fiction.”


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.

Featuring stories by: Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, O. Henry, Langston Hughes, Irwin Shaw, Jerome Weidman, Damon Runyon, Evan Hunter, Jerrold Mundis, Edgar Allan Poe, Horace Gregory, Geoffrey Bartholomew, Cornell Woolrich, Barry N. Malzberg, Clark Howard, Jerome Charyn, Donald E. Westlake, Joyce Carol Oates, Lawrence Block, and Susan Isaacs.

From the introduction by Lawrence Block:

Noir seems to me to transcend form. Film and theater can fit comfortably in the shade of its dark canopy, and so surely can poetry. Some operas make the cut—Verdi’s Rigoletto, it’s worth noting, had its plot lifted in Damon Runyon’s oft-anthologized “Sense of Humor.” And who could look at Goya’s black paintings and not perceive them as visual representations of noir? And what is Billie Holiday’s recording of “Gloomy Sunday” if it isn’t noir? Or the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby, who died in the church and was buried along with her name? I’d include them, and I’d pull in Beethoven’s late quartets while I was at it.

Rather than exercise false modesty (which is the only sort of which I’m capable), I’ve included a story of my own . . . Really, how could I resist? How could I pass up the opportunity to share a volume with Stephen Crane and O. Henry and Edgar Allan Poe and Damon Runyon and Irwin Shaw and Edith Wharton and, well, all of these literary superstars? My mother would be so proud . . .

Table of Contents


Part I: The Old School
“Mrs. Manstey’s View” by Edith Wharton (Greenwich Village, 1891)
“A Poker Game” by Stephen Crane (East 40s, 1902)
“The Furnished Room” by O. Henry (Lower West Side, 1906)
“Spanish Blood” by Langston Hughes (Harlem, 1934)
“Sailor off the Bremen” by Irwin Shaw (West Village, 1939)
“My Aunt from Twelfth Street” by Jerome Weidman (Alphabet City, 1939)
“Johnny One-Eye” by Damon Runyon (Broadway, 1941)
“The Last Spin” by Evan Hunter (Washington Heights, 1956)
“New York Blues” by Cornell Woolrich (East 37th Street, 1970)

Part II: The Poets
“The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe (West 84th Street, 1845)
Selections from Chelsea Rooming House by Horace Gregory (Chelsea, 1930)
Selections from The McSorley Poems by Geoffrey Bartholomew (East Village, 2001)

Part III: The Darkness Visible
“The Luger Is a 9mm Automatic Handgun with a Parabellum Action” by Jerrold Mundis (Central Park, 1969)
“The Interceptor” by Barry N. Malzberg (Upper West Side, 1972)
“Crowded Lives” by Clark Howard (Sixth Avenue, 1989)
“Young Isaac” by Jerome Charyn (Lower East Side, 1990)
“Love in the Lean Years” by Donald E. Westlake (Wall Street, 1992)
“A Manhattan Romance” by Joyce Carol Oates (Central Park South, 1997)
“In for a Penny” by Lawrence Block (Eighth Avenue, 1999)
“Two Over Easy” by Susan Isaacs (Murray Hill, 2008)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Published: 9/1/08
  • IBSN: 9781933354576
  • e-IBSN: 9781617752223


LAWRENCE BLOCK has won most of the major mystery awards, and has been called the quintessential New York writer. His series characters—Matthew Scudder, Bernie Rhodenbarr, Evan Tanner, Chip Harrison, and Keller—all live in Manhattan; and like their creator, they would not really be happy anywhere else. He is the editor of Manhattan Noir and Manhattan Noir 2: The Classics.

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