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A slice of 20 LA noirs, for reading and watching

Denise Hamilton -- writer, former reporter and editor of the new anthology "Los Angeles Noir 2: The Classics" -- has shared some of her noir knowledge with The Times' LA magazine. There she's come up with a list of 20 Noir Essentials focused on Los Angeles.

Going chronologically, her list begins in 1932 with "Fast One" by Paul Cain -- no relation to the better-known James M. Cain -- and ends with 2009''s "LA Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City" by John M. Buntin.

Interestingly, Hamilton's noir list includes books, stories and films. I guess in Los Angeles, the movie of a book casts a long shadow. I've only read (or seen) seven:

"The Long Goodbye" by Raymond Chandler

"The Postman Always Rings Twice" by James M. Cain

"Devil in a Blue Dress" by Walter Mosley

"Blade Runner" (film)

"Chinatown" (film)

"L.A. Confidential" by James Ellroy

"L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City"  by John Buntin

I'd consider all of these classics, too. But since I'm missing 13, that means I'm a little behind on my noir consumption. Reading "Los Angeles Noir 2" might help -- but in the meantime, what are your classic L.A. noir suggestions? 

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Images: "Fast One" cover from Davy Crockett's Almanack; "In a Lonely Place" from Pocket Book Covers.

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Just off the top of my head, I'd add:

"All the Lucky Ones are Dead" by Gar Anthony Haywood, "Paint it Black" by Janet Fitch (more noir than you'd think), and William Friedkin's film "To Live and Die in LA".

My classic LA noir suggestions ? 'The Black Dahlia' by James Ellroy and 'Collateral', the movie with Tom Cruise as a baddy.


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