Jamaica Gleaner A portrait in gripping storytelling Jamaica GleanerWriters, one after another, present a literary canvas of a Kingston that is hardly comely.
Kingston Noir is an eclectic and gritty melange of tales that sears the imagination, living up to its boiler room genre. Writers, one after another, present a literary canvas of a Kingston that is hardly comely. Yet, it pulsates and magnetises the reader. Sure, it is edgy, predictably unsettling - be it from the sweltering heat that Ian Thompson bemoans in A Grave Understanding, or, from the hooliganism of Soft Paw and bwoy-dem who terrorise residents in Kei Miller's The White Gyal and the Camera. Not that Lil Croc and his gang in Christopher Farley's crime thriller, 54-46 (That's My Number), are not equally disturbing. Interestingly, it is in this tale that the reader is mesmerised by the island's argot. "Wa a gwaan?" says one character, quickly followed by the response: "Im two ears hard," ... "A good mek 'im tengle up ... dat deh a fi uno!").
Noir delivers crisp snapshots of Kingston neighbourhoods that are gnawing realities of an existence that is void of justice and equanimity. Perennial social problems seep through every page, and are deftly addressed with bewitching rhyme and cadence.