From Elmore Leonard to Cormac McCarthy, noir fiction and its cinematic spin-offs have seldom been as popular as today, prompting a small army of cultural commentators to seek explanations for the genre’s success. Is it the clear-cut gender roles we crave? Maybe the appeal can be found in its rough-and-ready codes of honour and revenge, fictional comforts in an era of less black-and-white values? Or perhaps noir holds up a mirror to a culture of barely restrained individualism?
Whatever the answer (and it may be all or none of the above), with Nobody Move Denis Johnson needs no highfalutin excuse for escaping into a world of goons, guns, and women who shoot from both hip and lip. The Idaho-based writer’s last novel, the kaleidoscopic Vietnam War