A fun noire, a nice welcome back to audiobooks!
Nobody Move by Philip Elliott, narrated by Robert Svetlik is a Noir Thriller, comedy.
Eddie Vegas made a terrible mistake. Now he has to pay the price. After a botched debt collection turned double murder, Eddie splits, desperate to avoid his employer, notorious LA crime boss Saul Benedict, and his men (and Eddie’s ex-partners), Floyd and Sawyer, as well as the police. Soon, he becomes entangled with the clever and beautiful Dakota, a Native American woman fresh in the City of Angels to find her missing friend – someone Eddie might know something about.
Meanwhile in Texas, ex-assassin Rufus, seeking vengeance for his murdered brother, takes up his beloved daggers one final time and begins the long drive to LA. When the bodies begin to mount, Detective Alison Lockley’s hunt for the killers becomes increasingly urgent. As paths cross, confusion ensues, and no one’s entirely sure who’s after who. But one thing is clear: They’re not all getting out of this alive.
As much a love letter to neo-noir cinema and LA as it is satire, the first book in the Angel City novels is a lightning-speed crime thriller equal parts Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarantino.
About the Author: Philip Elliott
Philip Elliott is an award-winning author, freelance editor, and founder and editor-in-chief of award-winning literary journal and small press publisher Into the Void. Philip was a National Juror of the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and a winner of the 2018 Big Pond Rumours Chapbook Prize. His writing has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. A music and film obsessive, Philip lives in Toronto with his wife and their spoiled pug.
Top 10 Best Cover
Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
This cover screams neo-noir. I love it. While Pynchon and I could not be any more different (his Gravity’s Rainbow is one of the most important books of our time; Nobody Move is trashy pulp), the cover of Nobody Move was designed with this Inherent Vice cover in mind. It evokes sun, surf, and sleaze—pure California neo-noir.
Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
Like many before me, I idolize crime fiction legend Elmore Leonard, still the master of dialogue and the pioneer of the minimal, maximised-action/dialogue style. Get Shorty is frequently considered the best example of Leonard’s strengths, and I LOVE this hardback cover. You really have to see this one in person to get the full effect: that solitary rectangle of color positively pops out of the cover—and I mean that literally, it’s embossed. And with that pop of color representing the Hollywood sign, you don’t need to be a genius to understand the symbolism. It makes we want to read the book all over again.
Too Young to Know: Poems by Kevin Ridgeway
This painting by James Avanti is classic pulp fiction to the core. It pairs excellently with Kevin Ridgeway’s gritty, unflinching poetry. Best served raw.
The Middle Ground: Stories by Jeff Ewing
I’m totally biased because I made this cover myself for this amazing short story collection published by Into the Void. But to me it introduces so perfectly the strong sense of place that Jeff Ewing’s stories evoke, particularly of California, where the bulk of these stories are set. But as the title suggests, these stories are set specifically in the places people forget about—or don’t know exist at all. Ewing is one of those rare writers of literary fiction whose every line contains multiple layers of meaning. The stories in this collection are rich and intricate, demanding to be read again and again. True literature.
Slade House by David Mitchell
Despite this head-spinning cover, this book by the author of Cloud Atlas is an oddly simple horror yarn. That’s actually why I like it so much. It’s gripping from the first page and entertains until the last. To be fair, there are a couple big twists and unreliable narrators, but next to Cloud Atlas it’s simple stuff. It’s quite a forgettable book but that doesn’t mean it’s not loads of fun. I bought this one because of the cover and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Arctic Smoke by Randy Nikkel Schroeder
With a cover like that doesn’t this book just beg to be read? This cover art was created by the very talented Michel Vrana whose innovative design used real-life disposable biodegradable ice packs. The book is by fellow Canadian (I’m actually Irish but a permanent resident of Canada) Randy Nikkel Schroeder. It’s a wholly original psychedelic trip through Arctic Canada and you should read it.
Angels by Denis Johnson
I’m including two cover versions of Denis Johnson’s Angels because together they formed part of the inspiration for the cover of Nobody Move. They’re just stunning, I love them, particularly the neon-drenched one of the left. It symbolizes the filthy glamor of the novel perfectly. After Elmore Leonard, Denis Johnson is probably the greatest influence on my writing. I’m simply infatuated with his every sentence, and Angels is a flat-out neo-noir masterpiece complete with Johnson’s shockingly, starkly beautiful prose.
The Corpse Wore Pasties by Jonny Porkpie
I’ll be honest, I included this one as much for the title and tagline as the cover. It’s ridiculous, and I mean that as a compliment. I’m absolutely infatuated with the Hard Case Crime books. Their fantastic throwback pulp covers breathe such life into their reprints of classic pulp and new releases. The thing about pulp covers: they’re cinematic, making clear the link between noir fiction and cinema, and they’re sleazy, drawing you in and bringing out the dirtbag in you. That’s the essence of noir.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This is the Folio Society’s version of Rebecca, and honestly I could fill this list with only Folio Society books, they’re all majestic. While I don’t think this cover says much about the actual story of du Maurier’s masterpiece, it’s so beautiful it doesn’t matter. This is an astounding novel. Published in 1938 and selling millions of copies, it has never gone out of print, and is Gothic horror, psychological thriller, and tragic romance all at once, as well as a blistering dissection of the patriarchy, female sexuality, classism, and more, with some of the most eloquent yet appropriate language ever put to paper. A film adaptation was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. du Maurier’s style is the polar opposite of my own, but Rebecca taught me a valuable lesson: Atmosphere is character is plot.
Vampyr by unknown
This list would not be complete if I didn’t include the Slayer Handbook from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nothing, and I mean nothing, consumed my childhood and lit my imagination on fire like Buffy did. The seminal TV show stimulated my love of story and my belief that imagination is our greatest gift. It also made me appreciate and seek out complicated female characters in the fiction I consume (and create). And of course it was full of ancient demonic tomes. How I wished to get my hands on one of them. They birthed my obsession with books, and now here I am with more on my shelves than I could read in ten years and always more incoming. Thanks, Buffy . . .
About the Narrator: Robert Svetlik
Robert Svetlik is an actor and voiceover artist based out of Los Angeles. With a background in stage and classical theater, Robert has acted in works such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Twelfth Night. He has also lent his voice to commercials and audiobooks. Recently, Robert has enjoyed traveling and perfecting his homemade marinara recipe.
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Audiobook Tour: Nobody Move by Philip Elliott, narrated by Robert Svetlik and Meet the Author #bibliophile #bookclub #booksy #booknerd #bookworm #bookblogger #bloggerstyle #audiobook #thriller #noireTweet