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Critics & Others on the Writings of Jim Nisbet

Re: The Gourmet aka The Damned Don't Die (novel; published in France as Les damnés ne meurent pas, in Italy as I dannati non muoiono):
1st American Edition 2nd American Edition 3rd American Edition 1st French Edition 2nd French Printing 1st Italian Edition 2nd Italian Edition 3rd Italian Edition
"Ah, sweet mystery... where sex has come a long way since Adam and Eve and murder can be a synonym for love... a super thriller." L.A. Times; "An excellent plot." Gai Pied Hebdo; "Too bad for the voyeurs... from the start a knowingly chaotic novel, full of unmerciful and delicious false trails and uncertain identities." Journal de Genève; " [A] plunge straight into the universe of sociopathic violence in the back alleys of San Francisco, where surprises and breathless moments await the reader..." Regards: Le Mouvement des Idées; "Might be the best novel Jim Thompson never wrote." Woody Haut; "Christ what a crackerjack -- you really can do it, man. It's a classic thriller, and I read it in one go. It's not very often I feel envious of another man's work... but I felt envious of that book all right. What I liked about it best was not only the way it was put together like an artisan making a watch, but also that I could see how much it seemed to have cost your soul (have people like us really got one, then?) to write it. ...And just think what a Widmark-size actor could have done with Windrow!" Letter to the author from Robin Cook (aka Derek Raymond); "I´ll start off this review real simple: Someone reissue this 1981 book now. This truly was a find like no other for me: raw, brutal and a bit kinky -- okay, full-on kinky. ...Nisbet paints a very graphic picture of this world of sadists that would make Larry Flynt blush. ...Oh, and if I already haven´t sold you, I´ll just add this little bon mot: Trimble dresses up like his wife and passes himself off as such, since he/she was the one who wanted to divorce himself/herself. I´m not ruining any surprises since that´s revealed early on in the investigation. So hop to it, reissue publishers. This is truly a forgotten classic that should be rediscovered. Maybe Oprah would hawk it. "; "First published in Italy in the mid-80s, now reappearing with the timeCRIME license plate, for this new edition of The Damned Don't Die Nisbet has written a new and surprising final chapter. Thus we are faced, in effect, with a captivating new book, as beautiful as it is cruel. Nisbet's writing is fast and dynamic, rich and detailed, always effective. Lean and ruthless moves nail the reader to every page without frills and without mercy. Essential, tight dialogues enhance the rhythm of a narrative that becomes increasingly obsessive page after page. The characters reflect to perfection the standards of the best, and, I stress, better, "hard-boiled"... But the Nisbet novel is appreciated not only for writing and characters, including the theme, but also for wanting to face the dark maze of human desires, and [cleaving] to the impalpable line between licit and illicit, passionate cruelty, a limit that sometimes becomes thin and sharp as a razor blade -- or the pen of a writer. A great narrator for a story without forgiveness and without redemption. Bellissiomo!" Thriller Magazine; "A great little book." Libri da; "And when you get to the end, there's a final paragraph waiting for you that hits like an oven mitt full of lead, right in the fucking breadbox. This book is all meat." The Factual Opinion.

Re: Small Apt (poetry):
"Nisbet's is a pleasingly direct voice making precise observations of small things only rarely drawing the 'big' conclusion. There is often sly humour, a wry acceptance of life and delight in the 'fiddly bits of existence. ... at its best the approach offers genuine pleasure." New Hope International Review; "...delightful book..." Sipapu; "[Rappaccini's Daughter] is a memorable dope poem.... a fine passage..." Robert Peters' Black and Blue Guide; "...a quality we may designate tentatively as wit... tough lyric grace..." Tom Clark; "[Nisbet] is a Giant of Actualism, that brief though permanent brilliance in American poetry... To read these small and utterly apt poetic actualizations is to know exactly what went wrong in Am Po these past two decades of Languageo-Academic reaction, namely that it parted with the joy that these works contain and court, and with the life they stand for." Andrei Codrescu; "...flies to the zany. ...a catalytic crinkling that multiplies mental surfaces... poetic eloquence crosscut by...irony." Richard Silberg, Poetry Flash; "Poetry City USA. No sensory deprivation here." Joanne Kyger.

Re: Valentine (play):
"...laugh after laugh..." East Bay Express; "Th[is] hilarious obscene phone call skit set a high standard..." A.M. Johnston, Poetry Flash; "The [8th (sic) Actualist] convention [Mar. 1980 (sic), Berkeley, CA.] opened with a funny obscene phone call, written by Jim Nisbet & acted by Daf Schein & Whoopi Goldberg who put a straightjacket on Nisbet's usual literary excesses. It was hilarious." Life of Crime.

Re: Note from Earth (monologue):
"A swan song for the planet..." Chicago Tribune; " extended performance poem on the nature of love, the earth, and the universe. images and language." Chicago Reader; "Whatever terrible wreckage he sees on his scorched planet, we see, as he speaks, hides, crumbles a clay sculpture; standing, leaning, hanging off pegs and ropes, his grace, not only of body, but of language, is divine." New City Chicago News & Arts Weekly; "Nisbet´s poetry is mesmerizing. And Schein´s performance is an urgent, desperate force to the very bitter end." Seven Days

Re: Alas, Poor Yorick (play):
"...stretches from baroque existentialism to apocalyptic prophesy. ...draws its raunchy spirit from the burlesque gravediggers in Hamlet as well as the forlorn tramps who wait for Godot." Chicago Tribune.

Re: Lethal Injection (novel; published in France as Injection mortelle; in Germany as Tödliche Injektion; in Italy as Iniezione letale):
1st American Edition 1st French Edition 1st German Edition Italian Edition 2nd American Edition 2nd German Edition 2nd French Edition
"Jim Nisbet's power of suggestion... seduces the imagination without churning the stomach." Wichita Times Record News; "A more depressed outlook on life would be difficult to imagine. ...this is the real stuff." Vancouver Sun; "Jim Nisbet is a lot more than just good. ...harsh and harrowing. ...isn't a nice book. ...powerful, provocative...remains in the mind long after the novel is finished. Nisbet's style has overtones of Walker Percy's smooth southern satin, but his characters -- losers, grifters, con men -- hark back to the days of James M. Cain's twisted images of morality." Toronto Globe-Mail; "...this roman is about as noir as you can get. ...relentlessly bleak. Not for the squeamish." Publisher's Weekly; "...truly, hellishly gritty..." L.A. Times; "...stark black imagery against the white of reality. ...horrifying, riveting... ...a book worth reading." United Press International; "...Jim Nisbet's controlled prose and his unblinking examination of real human horror and self-destruction combine to make the story absolutely fascinating and compelling." Roanoke Times & World-News; "...a novel of rare ferocity... a veritable nightmare. A great and terrifying roman noir!" Le Figaro; "One of the best novels Jim Thompson never wrote." Woody Haut, Neon Noir; "...a terrifying world. ...makes one's hair stand straight up on one's head. ...nightmarish... A very good suspense novel. But this isn't surprising coming from Jim Nisbet." Le Tribune de Genève; "Jim Nisbet plays in the key of absolute blackness. ... [His] world is a cesspool draining straight to the abyss. Of this absurd world, Nisbet paints a very literary tableau  ...the quality of his style, at once rich and precise, offers a surprising counterpoint to this tragic denuding of humanity." Le Monde; "There are pages in this terrifying marvel...which mock...the distinction between minor and major genres of literature." La Quinzaine Littéraire; "Had Nisbet written nothing else, he would still merit all our esteem and admiration." Polar; "Neither Norman Mailer nor Truman Capote has in their writing been able to produce such an intensity as Nisbet has achieved." Die Welt; "Nisbet, one of several modern crime novelists carrying the noir torch, has written a genuinely horrifying novel--equal parts Kafka and Jim Thompson.¨ Booklist; "...Beckett, Kenzaburo Öe, ...Skvorecký and Dostoevskji... Here, of this book I will say only this: that it is as if it had been written by one of these four -- and instead, [Nisbet] has written it." La Repubblica; "Lethal Injection is one of the true cornerstones of modern noir, a classic to stand alongside the best of Goodis, Thompson and Willeford, and it's about damned time it was brought back into print. If you haven't read it yet, brace yourself." Scott Phillips; "LETHAL INJECTION is an unheralded masterpiece of the Noir genre. Everyone who loves Noir should read this brilliant book." James Ellroy; "Jim Nisbet is criminally under rated......truly nobody has his distinctive Style/Humour/and sheer craft/ Lethal Injection is a total kick to the gut novel and you keep going...did I just read that? He's that good/With 2 books due now, maybe justice will be done and Jim be granted his rightful position as one of the finest masters of noir in all it's guises/read him and rejoice, Noir is alive and darkly magical/He truly puts the neon in noir" Ken Bruen; "Remain calm, don't use big words: the first 57 pages of this novel is one of the best written things I have ever read in my life."; "Nisbet has been flying under most readers´ radar screens for decades and has all the while been quietly producing one of the strongest, most daring and original bodies of work in modern fiction. ... Lethal Injection is one of the rare books that really makes you appreciate what dark fiction is capable of and how diluted other purportedly dark fiction is." Spinetingler Magazine; "...[T]here is no shortage of good ideas or surprises, right to the end. So much energy springs from this book that it is read in one breath." Free Art News; "Not to be missed." Woody Haut; "Although this is basically a crime novel's a lot more Coetzee than it is Thompson. ...There's something special about this book, but it's hard to put a finger on what that is. It reads quickly, and the twisted, nasty people that fill its chapters are somewhat familiar, and you can vaguely see the end of the book coming. It's larger than that though, poetic and unique, with a weirdly perfect mix of bisexual cravings and mythic, meaningful violence." The Factual Opinion; "With sharp humor and a poet's ear for language, Nisbet's world may be bleak, but it is frighteningly real."; "Friends, this is midnight noir, dark and dank and infused with doom, but rendered with beautiful phrasing and full of that human ache, that longing for connection and fulfillment and the assumption that there has to be a heaven for this must be hell, that elevates it above the level of pornographic despair." Jedidiah-Ayres Friday, Lump of Coal Ransom Notes: The Barnes & Noble Mystery Blog; "Ingeniously twisted and absolutely noir. If ever a crime novel deserved the label noir, this is it. Jim Nisbet's Lethal Injection, first published in German in 1989 [Black Lizard Buchen], now re-issued in a new translation, should under any circumstances be considered a classic. ...A brilliantly twisted book. And absolutely noir." taz.die tagezeitung; "Pure excitement from beginning to end." www.buechertreff; "If ever a crime novel deserved the label noir this is it. ...[U]nder any circumstance should be considered a classic. ...[A] cunning mixture of cynicism, heart-breaking melodrama and absurd humor... A brilliantly twisted book." Catherine Granzin,; "First published [in Germany] in 1989, this new edition [2011] proves this novel has not aged a single day." Stuttgarter Zeitung; "A brilliant noir thriller." 1LIVE/WDR; "Jim Nisbet´s newly translated crime debut from 1989 is a brilliant noir novel, taut and cynical, pitiless and dark, black is the Limit." Reading Lounge; "Book of The Week: Jim Nisbet's noir thriller is already hailed as a modern classic by connoisseurs of the genre. With eloquent prose this US author produces the atmosphere of cold neon light to illuminate the darkest turmoil and self-destruction in a violent civilization." KingKingShop; "Irony of Humanity. A short 20 years later, Jim Nisbet´s 1987 novel Lethal Injection belongs to the classic noir book inventory. ...Lethal Injection has long been a timeless, insider tip for those who know the genre. For Sandro Veronesi, whose article out of La Repubblica serves as forward to the new German translation, author Nisbet is a "phantom genius", little known and admired by few... but these readers are spread out all over the entire world and all in all aren't so few in number. ...The reader only notices at the very end of the book the sophistication Nisbet used in composing this early masterpiece. ...For Sandro Veronesi, it's like Nisbet's beloved Samuel Beckett, [Kenzaburo] Oe, Josef Skvorecky and Fjodor Dostojewski, whose voices he heard when reading the novel. Occasional associations with the famous Malcolm Lowry impose themselves on the reviewer. These few names, no matter how clearly they might be woven into the intertextual network of Lethal Injection show the caliber you have with Nisbet."; "Overlook [Press] was launched in 1971 to serve ¨as a home for distinguished books that had been ´overlooked´ by larger houses." ... This year [2010], the publisher revived a trio of darkly brilliant neo-noir novellas by Jim Nisbet, a tragically overlooked master of dark American fiction. Nisbet, whose challenging work anticipated the literary crime revival of the 2000s, has long enjoyed cult-status in Europe. Now, thanks to Overlook, Americans have another chance to get hip to his distinctive blend of lyrical acrobatics and blacker-than-black plots, rendered with a Kafkaesque sense of the absurd. Overlook reprints include The Damned Don´t Die, Lethal Injection and Dark Companion, but they´ve also published the latest of Nisbet´s novels, Windward Passage, a remarkably dense sci-fi/crime epic. Recommended Read: Lethal Injection by Jim Nisbet [T]op-shelf noir classic." Literary Kicks; "[C]lassic ...highly original... This book has a vitality and rawness that give the protagonist an impressive plasticity and humane dimensions that hold the reader fast." Claus Kerkhoff, CultUrMag; "Top shelf noir classic." LitKicks; "Had the master of horror Hitchcock got his hands on the Lethal Injection of Jim Nisbet, we would certainly have seen another film shocker!" Gedanken Spinner; "A novel that shocked me, stirring and touching. A book you'll think about for a long time!" Suite 101; " absolute masterpiece." Pegasus Descending; "Jim Nisbet´s Lethal injection (Black Lizard, 1989; Pulp Master, 2011) is one of the most impressive Noirs of the last three decades." Goon Magazine; "...Nisbet´s use of language is magnificent, at times almost poetic and together with some sharp humour serves to at least partly lighten and illuminate this ghastly tale. It's not bedtime reading and some readers will not enjoy this roll in the slime at the very bottom of life's gutter, but if you've a strong stomach and a not too vivid imagination this will keep you riveted." Reviewing The Evidence; "The pitch black mood in this book is practically a character. Nisbet uses his skill as a poet to deliver a tight tale that has the flow of a dark stream of conscious[ness], moving at a rapid pace. He covers class, race, and addiction through characters instead of thematics. Nisbet relies on us to read between the lines, but those dark spaces are so clear. Lethal Injection is one of those books that brands itself in your brain. It taps into the visceral side of noir, looking at the genre from a unique perspective. You enter a sinner´s fever dream that culminates in sex, drugs, and violence where the only peace comes from not waking up." MysteryPeople; "...a furious descent into darkness that will chill the heart of even the most jaded reader." Literary Kicks; Recommended 2014 Summer Reading! Radio West; "With its attention to detail and its raw art, Nisbet delivers a powerful, realistic and capitvating novel."; "Terrifying, sublime." Sabrina Champenois, Libération; "The first three chapters of this book you will stay with you for a long time. Their blackness, their violence and − despite everything − their humanity are overwhelming literature, moments that enter the pantheon of imaginative readers. ...[U]nforgettable pages. ...Deep, impeccable style... Will there still be readers of this book to say that roman noir is not great literature?" La Cause Littéraire; "Un classique de noir. Un bijoux." La Chronique littréaire de Michel Dufranne; "Hard as a rock, uneroded by time. This text remains obdurate, an object of worship. ... It´s masterful, it´s Jim Nisbet, it´s cult, it´s brilliant. ... A story by way of a nightmare." UNWALKERS; "Q: Three crime novels that everyone should read? A: American Tabloid: James Ellroy; Lethal Injection: Jim Nisbet; Pop. 1280: Jim Thompson." Marc E. Fitch on

Re: Death Puppet (novel; published in France as Le démon dans ma tête):
1st American Edition French Edition Italian Edition 2nd American Edition

"...vivid echoes of Jim Thompson and David Goodis will certainly please noir fans." Booklist; "...Nisbet beautifully expresses the feelings and failings of being human in small-town America. Death Puppet reeks of alienation in the 1980s tightly wrapped in 1950s nihilistic and existentialist prose. ...the kind of novel that would make a glorious black and white shadowy film with a scorching color sequence for its fiery and unreal climax." Drood's Review of Mysteries; "Jim Nisbet is a poet. ...[who] resembles no other crime fiction writer. He mixes the irony of Dantesque situations with lyric narration, and achieves a luxuriant cocktail that truly leaves the reader breathless." Lire; "...a tale in which Nature's grandeur has the best role. A tale twisted, fantastic, joyous, then brutally tragic." Le Soir; "Jim Nisbet...leaves no one indifferent." Sud Ouest; "A really superb novel, original and intelligent..." Le Figaro Littéraire; "...a very strange novel... Jim Nisbet has the art of drawing us where we do not expect to go, toward the very darkest depths of the soul. As each translation appears..., he proves himself as one of the most original American authors of the noir genre." Impact Médecin; "It is richly written, the finale is an authentic bravura piece, and the whole novel leaves a bitter taste in the neurons." Le Méridional; "Nisbet is a marvelous illusionist... a master stylist overflowing with humor... This work is unique in the genre; it is irreducible. It requires practically a line-by-line commentary... totally impressive..." Polar; "...magisterial... Its flabbergasting love scenes and convulsive violence are light-years ahead of the scenarios of Tarantino." Magazine Littéraire; " amazing, dark and compelling journey..." Letturatura Horror.

Re: Ulysses' Dog (novel; original title, Ulysses' Dog):
Rivages/Noir Inedit, 1993. Overlook Press, 2012.

"Jim Nisbet displays here all his narrative expertise, full of passion for the exactitude of a gesture or a behavior, and of precision for the conduct of the plot." Humanité; "...a gifted writer who leaves behind the conventions of the genre, a poet...who has mastered as no one else has the art of the action scene." Mad; "Surprise follows surprise and corpse follows corpse into a finale as black as a nightmare."; "Jim Nisbet is definitely more than a thriller writer, in his book there is a lot of humor and especially what is missing sometimes the authors of thriller: not only a good story but a style, a beautiful writing: just read the first few pages to realize this. Trés bonne lecture. Very good reading." L'avez Vu Lu?.

Re: The Price of the Ticket (novel; published in France as Sous le signe du rasoir):
French Edition1st American Edition, Front Cover by S. Clay Wison1st American Edition, Back Cover by S. Clay Wilson2nd American Edition

"...Nisbet proves all the resources of his many facets and talents as a writer by regaling us with true bravura pieces... great art... undeniably powerful writing and emotion... total mastery..." Polar; "...four [previous] novels...which have made of him one of the authors of the moment. ... A scenario that one would find desperately ordinary if Nisbet did not take a gleeful pleasure in thwarting all the reader's expectations  ... In the three principle characters and those who gravitate in their orbit, Nisbet succeeds in painting one of the best portraits ever of these simple citizens abandoned by the American dream. ...long, tortuous sentences of great dialectical mastery, defining in themselves the plan of the book... The opening is a quasi-musical prologue with an obsessive rhythm, a kind of novella in the heart of the novel, which makes of The Price of the Ticket an unpredictable diptych, undoing all foregone interpretations and categorization. As if this dive into the mental universe of an ordinary citizen had no less ultimate purpose than to open pathways rather than to close doors." Libération; "...unclassifiable... The reader is advised to venture prudently into the unknown Nisbethan worlds, where a neophyte might well be driven mad. ...[A]ware that absolute evil is identical to holiness, [Nisbet] labors to increase the inventory of demons that, infesting our western consciousness, will deliver us body and soul to our intimate apocalypse." Magazine Littéraire; "It's difficult to summarize Under the Sign of the Razor. It's a dense book with a complex, multi-faceted style. Jim Nisbet is a sorcerer who takes his readers into his own territory, that of sheer narrative and scenaristic power. A book that lovers of American roman noir have to read." Mix; "[This] bleak noir novel...etches the lives of two wretched misfits in acid prose. ...[An] unforgettable prologue... If Elmore Leonard had created Pauley and Martin they would shine with a fine comic sheen. In Nisbet's hands they scratch, prickle, sweat and stink. Nisbet... presents with wrenching effectiveness the fragile accomodations his characters have to make in order to survive in a hostile world they can never overcome and can keep at bay only for a time." Publisher's Weekly; "...spirited, delicious prose rich with keenly imaginative simile and metaphor and sparkling with amused irony... red meat served with sad joy... Five Stars. Reader's Review; The Poisoned Pen [Scottsdale, Arizona] April 2003 Hardboiled Crime Club Pick: "For the reader who revels in hardboiled crime fiction." "One ought to thank Dennis McMillan Publications for reissuing Jim Nisbet´s The Price of the Ticket. Originally published in French as Sous le signe du rasoir, Nisbet and his oeuvre, seven novels and five volumes of poetry, are unknown to readers who haven´t scratched the surface beneath the best seller lists. ...When not employing a stream-of-consciousness which allows the reader to experience not only what the characters experience but why they experience it, the narrative uses a third person point of view that has the off-hand and carefree feel of Charles Bukowski. The guiding principle... is what Nisbet calls psychic metabolism, or the intersection of fate and character and how one adjusts the two and tries to harness them through the journey of life. The price of the ticket? $600. Ticket to where? You´ll just have to read the book.¨ Steve Nester,; ""I do not understand why Jim Nisbet´s masterpiece has never been made into a film. From its traumatic beginning to its liberating finale, a dark, cynical novel of disillusion, which under the pretense of film noir divinely revisits the notion of the "happy ending". Not an easy ride but, once over the reef, the reading is not only clement, it becomes a one-way journey into anxiety-land, which, if rouged, is hospitable nonetheless." tenebrae nectaris; "Written in the 90s, this very dark novel has lost none of its relevance. ... It's worth reading just for the emotion of its finale." .

Ten years after this novel's first appearance, in France, and one year after its American publication, critic Woody Haut (Neon Noir, Pulp Culture, and Heartbreak and Vine) posted the following review on England's Crime Time website in April, 2004. We think it's worth quoting in its entirety.

A decade after it was published in France, Jim Nisbet's novel The Price of the Ticket is finally available in the language in which it was written. And, for me, it qualifies as one of the year's best crime novels. But then Nisbet has long been one of crime fiction's best kept secrets. I must admit that when I wrote about this novel in my book Neon Noir, I'd only read the French version, and, though I liked the book immensely, thought it witty, dark, funny and filled with acute observations about contemporary culture, I was unable to fully appreciate the novel's stylistic shifts, moving, as it does, from the Joycean to the surreal, from psychotic rant to standard linear noir. The Price of the Ticket (I actually prefer its original title You Stiffed Me) revolves around Pauley. An ex-con who grew up being abused by his father, Pauley is now in his early 50s, is familiar with all the prisons in California and all the bars in San Francisco. But he's living a more or less settled life with his girlfriend, Celeste, and gainfully employed crafting torture racks for San Francisco's gay S&M crowd. Some 30 years younger than Pauley, Celeste is a tough, independent woman who sports a day-glow bone through her nose, a straight-edge razor in her purse, and a series of tattoos on her back depicting every episode of Star Trek. Despite his job, Pauley is in desperate need of a short, but is himself short of cash. This leads him to answer an ad placed by Martin Seam -- a creepy, sexually warped, fashion addict who works as a cosmetic clerk in a department store and lives a life of self-deception and petty theft -- for a mid-80s Toyota pickup. It's a snip at $600. Of course, the pick-up turns out to be a lemon, from which point Pauley's problems move with the momentum of a freight train on a downhill slope to hell. Forget any preconceptions you might have about the style in which crime fiction should be written, for Nisbet has been influenced as much by poets Ed Dorn and Tom Raworth as by Thompson and Goodis. And this is definitely Nisbet at his best: cranky, scary, excessive, with a cast of characters that are realistic but always on the verge of going over the top, if not the edge, as they try to dodge some disaster that's about to descend upon them. Then there's Nisbet's luscious but ludicrous stream of consciousness rap that will leave you playing catch-up for days. Moreover, The Price of the Ticket contains what is probably the best description of a cocaine high in literary history, or at least the best description of a cocaine high in which the snortee holds court to a corpse. All of which falls in line with Nisbet's definition of noir, loosely paraphrased as the following: things are bad at the beginning of the novel, and they are only going to get worse. And how can anyone resist a book with gems like, "Some men revel in the poetry they imagine to exist in violence. While their idea of violence is equally imaginary, its poetry has little more sustenance for reality to chew on than a leaf of lettuce for Tyrannosaurus Rex." Or when Celeste goes for an interview in a sleazy club, she objects to wearing a dress "about the size of one of those paper cuffs six thin cookies come in" which covers her "like a butterfly covers a bus". If you like the book as much as I did, you'll want to track down Nisbet's half-dozen other books. Unfortunately, only one, Prelude to a Scream, remains remotely available. But The Price of the Ticket is as good a place as any to start your Nisbet addiction. So snort it up at $30 a hit. At least until someone can convince Mr McMillan to issue it in paperback. By the way, don't be put off by the horrifying S. Clay Wilson cover. It, like le dos de Celeste, perfectly reflects the novel.

Re: Across the Tasman Sea (poetry):
2nd Printing.  Cover by Carol Collier.
"...the zing [at first, is]... about a new love -- in its beginnings. Is it the equilibrium that print gives to words or was it the editing, or is it that the romance is over? Whatever oh sweet, bittersweet book! I'm always amazed that the guy who wrote Lethal Injection could have written the saddest story ever ["Mind Entire"1]... & the most tender love poems... Beautiful book!" Lucia Berlin; "...I think Across the Tasman Sea is really one of the best books of poetry of the past decade. It's smart, sincere, playful, and sweet (in the best sense). Congratulations -- it should win an award." Barry Gifford; "In Across the Tasman Sea you will find an international voice with the sure cadences of urban American language informed by a sometimes rueful (and even faintly rural...) American pride. If you want language poetry as the term should have been applied, poems that make the most of the available language to express the confluence of body, heart, mind, the impulse to art, and the impulse to confront The Man, in terms The Man will never understand, but we do: this is it. The tradition of the love lyric is resurrected for the end times here. I can't help but be convinced, in spite of what hack critics and other propagandists persist in calling the "real world", that the kind of love these poems discovers: playful, passionate, of the mind and of the body, suggesting as it does both the possibility of some spirit beyond them and the possibility that they alone are maybe even more than enough, will indeed conquer all." J.P. Seaton; "If Americans don't read poetry it's partly because not much American poetry is like this poetry. Dr. Williams would approve the colloquial, surprised to find himself ecstatic, always in love. Dr. Johnson (Boswell's buddy) would extol the wit. ... Buy it and read it aloud to a friend. Then read it out loud again. Love of life can begin (again?) as easily as that." Amazon .com Reader's Review. "...a wrenching volumette of the heart..." Andrei Codrescu, National Public Radio.

Re: Prelude to a Scream (novel; published in Japan under its original title; in France as Prélude à un cri; in Italy as Prima di un urlo):
1st Italian Edition Japanese Edition, Vol 1 Japanese Edition, Vol 2 American Edition French Edition 2nd Italian Edition 2nd American Edition
"The opening is jocular and its diction florid... The rest is playful too but, as always chez Nisbet, completely unpredictable  ...revealed by the end of the book in an irresistible anthology of scenes worthy of the famous comedy, M*A*S*H, of Robert Altman. In a vein akin to that of Marc Behm, Nisbet masterfully orchestrates a macabre crescendo, a festival of black humor, by way of making, once more, a portrait -- with a scalpel -- of the savagery of men (and women...). ...without doubt the most delirious of his novels, it also offers the least hope. A cry of laughter and of terror." Le Monde; "...another author, like Ellroy and Auster, that we [French readers] have discovered before the 'Ricains... we, who have the best publishers in the world. So, no question, READ Prelude to a Scream before they do. Skip the jacket copy: go into it dry, without foreplay...first we smile, then it hurts. He has a talent, this guy, for trimming our fat with his scalpel. Then we re-relax... we almost forget the pain: Bing! back on the butcher's block... The final dis-assemblage is apocalyptic, it smells of blood, of ether, of gunpowder -- everything, in fact, is a prelude to a long cry of terror.... Beam me up, Jimmy!" Pschhhh...; "Jim Nisbet is a stylist. ... The hero screams in horror by the last page -- and the reader with him. This is great art." Le Pointe; "Tough-guy burlesque. ...Hyper-black splatter-camp that will appeal to the completely heartless." Kirkus Reviews; "...the literary equivalent of a David Lynch film: surreal, grotesque and more than a little kinky. [The protagonist's] trek through the criminal and digital underground brings a tragic, absurdist resonance to the hard-edged medical horror idiom.  ...[T]he denouement...will have readers clutching their managed-care medical cards for security." Publisher's Weekly; "... macabre masquerading as chic, quick to the punch with a philosophical underbelly that questions the human propensity toward greed and revenge. Not for the faint of heart." Library Journal; "This is one wild story...not stingy with crazy plot twists, gory details, digressions, and surrealistic dialogues... [Nisbet is] very much at ease in a comic- dramatic vein that brings him very close to the mode of Donald Westlake. ...This capacity to play with the reader's nerves -- using a rock 'n' roll of violence, cruelty, humour, absurdity, psychoanalysis, oneirism, and poetry -- is the marque of Jim Nisbet... carried to its ultimate paroxysm in this book with a richness of style and formidable precision." Libération; "...a little jewel that ought to attract the attention of readers who like beautiful writing and macabre humour... Nisbet...excels in dialogue, which is always lively and colorful, and in drawing characters of astonishing complexity. Prelude to a Scream is a perfect summer read -- a potent cocktail of horror, suspense, and black humour." Options; "Nisbet, one of several modern crime novelists carrying the noir torch, has written a genuinely horrifying novel -- equal parts Kafka and Jim Thompson." Booklist; "Nisbet's prose drives and sparkles as it takes the reader into a world without morality or ethics. This is not your ordinary detective story." San Antonio Express-News; "...a take-no-prisoners thriller if ever there was one." San Jose Mercury News; " A riveting new novel from the author of Lethal Injection... Recommended." Microsoft Network Reading Forum; "BE AFRAID... BE VERY AFRAID... Jim Nisbet has written a horror-thriller novel guaranteed to make grown men squirm, quiver and cower.  ...[U]nderground pulp in the tradition of Jim Thompson, James Ellroy and Eddie Dunbar...[Prelude to a Scream] draws one in and refuses to let one go before the last...painful revelation." Boca Raton News; "Suspense guaranteed, insomnia assured.... The novel's maelstrom of humor, verve, anguish, oneirism and, finally, despair (for is not humor the polite form of despair?), must be read as a horrifying metaphor for America today.... Jim Nisbet, who is a grand master of the thriller, has by no means ceased to astonish us and to shake us out of our politically correct torpor with this acid mixture of terror and macabre humor." Nice-Matin Dimanche; "Nisbet goes further, both literally and figuratively, with this book: a 450-page descent into the hell of traffic in human organs that neither Ballard nor Cronenberg, two other great destroyers of reality, would be ashamed to claim. Daily life here becomes fantastic, unreal, surreal, profoundly unhealthy. Sensual and violent, yet with a zest of the black humor that saved Noah from depression after the Flood, this novel shows Nisbet moving further and further away from the formulaic crime fiction.... Prelude to a Scream should finally bring him the recognition he deserves. A book to discover without delay." Rage; "...[M]acabre humor and pitiless social criticism.... The style is incisive, the narrative never comforting.... Nisbet cuts with a scalpel." 24 Hours [Switzerland]; "...[G]rand cru, vintage Nisbet, taken to the limit." Le Republicain Lorrain; "Dedicated to Robin Cook [aka Derek Raymond], this new novel by Jim Nisbet...possesses the same qualities as that British author: brilliant writing in the service of wonderful black humor and a quasi-pathological sense of physical terror." Le Méridional; "Wonderfully written, Jim Nisbet's is halfway between a thriller and a horror story. As pages turn, layers of medical assault accumulate as a total loser of a hero goes through one disastrous step after the other. But this anti hero is also close enough to anyone that you still can relate, and numerous twists add to the entertainment. ...a story you will remember." Customer Review; "...[F]rom the very first pages -- which are like [a] musical overture -- the reader finds himself transported to hitherto-unexplored territory, where the ground seems to slip away under his feet no matter how familiar he is with the geography of crime fiction, where the adventure is not complete without strong emotions and side effects.... [V]erbal profusion is the Nisbet touch, tinted with a vitriolic and wild black humor.... Nisbet has no equal in guiding us through hell on earth.... [H]e puts a scalpel to America, because he makes us face our society's demons as well as our own, and because he has a true style, Jim Nisbet is one of the authors who count today. Still too little read in the United States, it's a joy for us that Nisbet has been recognized here..." Regards: Le Mouvement des Idées; "Nisbet has the gift of the invisible snicker and a penchant for mockery. He's convinced that life's ordinary happenstance can set off avalanches, that a shout can bring down a mountainside -- with comedy and tragedy, horror and burlesque, together in its wake. The result is equal to Nisbet's ambitions. The reader screams with both terror and laughter because of the slight discrepancy between the scabrous subject of the opening pages...and the long, almost Henry James-ian sentences that describe it. We're a long way from Jim Thompson in terms of narrative style, but not too far in spirit: the interior heartbreak, the comic cynicism. ...Jim Nisbet, by means of a dazzling work of fiction, manages to make us face up to the sickness of our society." Alfred Eibel, Polar; "Nisbet's use of language is magical. The words leap off the page, spinning and dancing in drunken arabesques. ... If you like your fiction pulpy and evocative, check this one out." Houston Chronicle; "...a stunning novel that goes well beyond the boundaries of propriety.  ...powerful narrative that runs the distance with such tough guys as Jim Thompson and James M. Cain... a harrowing tale... [a] relentless push into the deep psychology of everyday life... Not to be missed." Speak; "Four Stars: An Existential Shocker. [The protagonist's] empty life style reminded me of nothing so much as Albert Camus' The Stranger. The detective's speech to Stanley after the first, tragic deaths caused by Stanley's foolishness occur is absolutely brilliant, a classic that I felt compelled to re-read after I had finished the book. And the ending...let's just say Nisbet saves his unkindest cuts for last. ...I heartily recommend this book to the strong of stomach and nerve, who like excellent, crisp dialogue and don't mind being subjected to some nasty shocks." Customer Review. "Nisbet runs a hard-boiled story full of imagination that, like a flooding river, brings with it the debris of old farces and baroque dialogues. Sure, you smile and you laugh... until your blood chills, and then in the following page you laugh again, but this time your brow is drenched in cold sweat and your smile uneasy, until your uneasiness becomes horror." Wu Ming, Nadropausa #2; "It is rare to experience ferocity in a book. To represent ferocity, you need Literature with a capital L -- and today there are very few great writers. Who are the most ferocious writers? Ellroy, for sure, Roth (Philip)... Vollman and Palahniuk. And then? And then Jim Nisbet. One of the darkest and deepest abysses of evil and desperation in contemporary of the most memorable characters of contemporary noir.  ...It never happened to me, with the exception of Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, to be afraid while reading, but Nisbet made me shiver, cross my heart.  ...We are at the same level of suspense found only in White Jazz by Ellroy or in the best Derek Raymond. A black and enveloping nightmare, a dark storm of horror and tension... Jim Nisbet's existential aplomb changes into some kind of infinite perversion that, sometimes, reminds us of the darkest and brightest Kafka. [Nisbet is] today's best horror-thriller supplier." Societé Della Menti. "It is possible to trace a direct line from Dashiell Hammet that brings us straight to Jim Nisbet's books, including (for sure) his Prelude to a Scream...[which] contains some of the scariest pages that I've ever read. Jim Nisbet is one of the best American writers." Sandro Veronesi; A top rating of four checkmarks: "An existential shocker... Wonderfully written..." engineering-books-; "If there's a shade darker than noir, it's characterized by this terrifying novel. Sensitive souls abstain!"; "...probably one of the best crime novels ever written..." Review by "Noir Guy" H.F. Gibbard; "Prelude To A Scream finds Jim Nisbet at the dizzying height of his powers: brilliant writing at the service of a terrifying imagination and a macabre sense of humor."; "Jim Nisbet is a Sick Fuck. ...[O]ne of the most authentically twisted authors I have ever read... His work is a byword for originality." Talking To No One; "Thanks to the author's ability to get inside the heads of his characters, squeezing out the best and the worst, Pelude to A Scream is an excellent demonstration of the possibilities of subversive literature... And thanks to Nisbet´s maniacal attention to the moods, the doubts, the minute emotions of his characters, the novel does not miss a shot right up to its almost Swiftian finale... "; "The last pages are worthy of the best noir literature." So Busy Girls; "The thriller Prélude à un cri marked me for life, and it's the standard by which I measure the degree of fear a book is capable of inducing." Nyctalopes; "...courgeous and well written. excellent demonstration of the subversive possibilities of genre fiction ... a full representation of the black humour of Western society ... the novel does not miss a beat to its almost Swiftian finale..." LN |

Re: The Syracuse Codex (novel; published in France as Le Codex de Syracuse, in Poland as Kodeks Kartaginski, in Hungary as A Szirakza Kódex):
Rivages/Noir Thriller Rivages/Noir Poche American Edition, cover by Carol Collier Polish Edition Hungarian Edition Rumanian Edition Greek Edition Overlook, 2nd American Edition
"With Nisbet, you know you can expect anything and you're rarely disappointed. The man is full of resources. He proves it with this story, that Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler would have appreciated.... Nisbet the carpenter has crafted this wild story to order, with scenes of violence, action, hilarious dialogues, historic raids. A 500-page cocktail -- startling at the very least!" Le Figaro; "A well-behaved guy finds himself wrapped up by a tipsy beauty who deploys the best shag he's known since square one. At this point, the reader is on familiar terrain. Losers irradiated by a sex bomb are a marvel Jim Nisbet has offered us before, cf. Stanley in Prelude to a Scream, his previous novel, published seven years ago. But afterwards, nothing to do with it: hardly is the lovely Renée killed by a bullet (at the end of the very first chapter), and behold Danny, the peaceful picture-framer, muddled up in a grinding and delirious comedy of morals, but one much less hopeless than the eye-opening nightmares for which one venerates the author of Lethal Injection and Under The Sign of The Razor [The Price of The Ticket]. Danny is evidently in a pretty mess: First, a cop practitioner of "metaphorical insalata mista", "a new interrogation technique that scars only the psyche", accuses him of rape and murder; next, he is kidnapped and threatened with sodomy by a dildo-wielding hombre with a strong cajun accent -- meanwhile, cadavers accumulate; on top of everything else he discovers that this unfettered violence is attributable to an antique manuscript of which he has never seen nor heard but which his one-night stand was supposed to have given him... A billiard table with lots of cushions among which to lose the ball but whence Danny rebounds every time, a pulp fiction in which a hundred Bozos compete in impeccable dialogues (the superrich girlfriend to Danny: "Honey, why would I read Proust when I'm living it?") It's as if Nisbet had suddenly digested Westlake, Tarantino and the Coen brothers altogether, without ceding anything of his stylistic class: supple, smooth and flamboyant." Sabrina Champenois, Libération; "Ancient narrative and Machiavellian thriller, a satire on decadence and greed, The Syracuse Codex is a tour de force that traps its reader between laughter and fear." Librairie Pantoute; "Jim Nisbet is a writer who reads and who writes about it all. There is no doubt his thrillers have a quality as rich as it is varied. ...As a self-respecting author of polar he does not hesitate to flog society in general, and contemporary America in particular." Troisieme Rue; "A passionate mélange of history, suspense and humour." Staff Pick (Pascal), Librairie La Gallerne (Le Havre); "Sumptuous roman noir mixed with history (and yes, the Codex...), the geography of the San Francisco Bay, and in passing the riddle of the behaviour of various of its inhabitants. The Syracuse Codex captivates you right through its 500 pages. Nisbet shows you his tastes at will, transports you with his savory style, and you feast on his talent (how can the Americans ignore a man such as this!!)... This is the prototype of the unputdownable book, which one regrets having finished and of which one tells oneself that if it had gone on for another 500 pages, it wouldn't have been a bad thing." Entre2Noirs; "A scream, a long, terrible scream to discover that, all that, everything that's destroying your life hasn't been very funny either -- until now. A scream that comes before the chase to find the ones who did it to you. And then, Nisbet has a really unbelievable style to tell you incredible stories." From staff picks & reviews, Le Librarie de Paris, Place de Clichy; "How does one recognize a Nisbet novel? At first by its style, which leaps to the eye. Nisbet isn't an easy read, for he swiftly treats us to fabulously rich metaphors, extravagant humour, dialogues absurd as they are masterful. Nisbet equally distinguishes himself with his characters: at the very least jolting and surprising. A gallery of colorfully-talking nutcases, iconoclasts with confused motivations, and, quite a feat, we care about them nonetheless. Plot comes next, and here Nisbet gives free rein to his incredible imagination. Understand: our man amuses himself with the conventions of genre, but with such brilliance that one never feels put upon. Diverted, without doubt, but all the better to serve the efficacy of his tale, which brings soon enough an intense jubilation. All these ingredients Nisbet brings to the best of the lot, The Syracuse Codex, an incredible game of duplicities surrounding a Byzantian manuscript. From its faux-naive heros to its psychotic and murderous antique dealer, not to mention its erudite cops and vapid bourgeois, the whole boatload of characters inhabiting this Nisbethan universe docks for a first-rate massacre. As usual, when in the hands of our gentleman, the violence explodes with maximum menace and is revealed with his habitual hopeless irony. The Syracuse Codex is the 7th novel from Rivages by the priceless Nisbet. Like the Codex the detour is worth it. Lovers of the novel, you're on notice." À l'ombre du Polar; "A magnificent historical roman noir, dense and erudite...the end of which one regrets seeing so quickly (500 pages!) ...It is the prototype of the book that you can't put down.", Le Webmagazine Culturel Independent; "A floozy's murder jump-starts a caper mixing scholarly skullduggery and hard-boiled mayhem in Nisbet's byzantine biblio-mystery. ...The convoluted plot makes for a roller-coaster ride of a thriller, but it calls for more talk than action. Fortunately, Nisbet knows that translating esoteric arcana through the speech of colorfully eccentric characters can make the stuffiest details entertaining. These and other amusing winks and nudges poke fun at the Dan Brown school of suspense fiction, even as they evoke it." Publishers Weekly; ¨*STAR*: 'With a thrust of her hips, she met me in a way I´d always wanted to be met.' Unfortunately, Renee Knowles is killed before the postcoital bliss has had a chance to wear off, and our narrator, San Francisco picture framer Danny Kestrel, is the cops´ top suspect. What starts off like a classic wrong-man thriller turns out to be that and about 15 other things, each successively more bizarre and compelling. Nisbet, a cult favorite among the French and other noir cognoscenti, pulls out all the stops here, combining genres and subgenres like a coked-up Julia Child tossing ingredients into a bouillabaisse. It turns out that Knowles, an antiques picker for the rich and famous, had stumbled upon the well-traveled and seriously bloody trail of the Syracuse Codex, a Roman Empire artifact already being sought by a hardy band of fortune hunters right out of The Maltese Falcon. Danny, like Sam Spade, lands in the middle of this motley crew and, inevitably, is caught up in the chase. What is this thing? Is it The Da Vinci Code with less faux piety and more Hammet style; a bibliothriller dirtied up for the noir crowd; a full-frontal satire of the San Francisco art scene; a Wild at Heart-like love story written by a multisyllabic Barry Gifford? Well, it´s all of those, but most important, it´s an over-the-top piece of bravura storytelling that grabs you in its helter-skelter narrative frenzy and won´t let go." Bill Ott, Booklist, Oct. 1, 2005; "After reading this clever, 500 page roller-coaster I slapped the cover shut and then panicked realizing that I had to try and summarize the thing! ...Jim Nisbet is a cult favorite in Europe and it's easy to see why. I've talked to a few people about this author and comparisons abound; he's Thomas Pynchon crossed with Raymond Chandler; the lovechild of Patricia Highsmith and Don Delillo, and on and on it goes. For my money I'd say he reads like Jasper Fforde meets Ken Bruen. One thing for sure, he's unique and man does he have a vivid imagination. Da Vinci Code lovers who also enjoy crime fiction: get this one ASAP."; "... a heightened, drug-influenced vision of a poet suffused with dark images, not dissimilar to Quentin Tarantino's films or Frank Miller's comic books. ...unique, both in its vision and its language. ...entertaining, and bound to become an underground magnum opus. Nisbet is not for everybody, but I doubt whether he gives a damn." Robin Smiley, FIRSTS; "A passionate roman policier.... The writing is admirable, the sense of humour magical, the scenes at once dramatic and burlesque. Multi-faceted characters reveal themselves much like those in The Alexandria Quartet. A 5-star novel that enchanted me from beginning to end." alignement sur un blog; "Un roman machiavèlique."; "Read -- devour -- this vertiginous and diabolic thriller." Delphine Peras, France-Soir; "Crime and violence in the heart of the contemporary art world, a novel of decadence and cupidity, provoking fear and laughter, from a universe not far from those of the Cohen brothers or Tarantino."; "An exhilirating thriller."; "[E]ach new thriller by Nisbet is a descent into the abyss. His latest, Le Codex de Syracuse, doesn´t break the rule. And it confirms his immense talent." Telerama.

Re: Dark Companion (novel; first published in France as Sombre Complice; published in Germany as Dunkler Gefährte; in Italy as Cattive abitudini):

1st American Edition, cover by Carol Collier French Edition German Edition Italian 2nd

"Comparatively slender relative to his earlier works, this novel by Nisbet is no less inspired. This is a brilliant book on luck, randomness, and the caprices of fortune. The author's acerbic reflexions on our televisual society do not prevent him from evincing a great tenderness for his characters." Librarie Cdiscount; "After the long Le Codex de Syracuse (one of the best books of 2004, don't tell me you haven't read it...) Jim Nisbet offers, to our greatest pleasure, an excellent variation on the farce of destiny. A quiet little story that gets out of hand in a fashion quite unexpected, well-wrought characters, acerbic reflections on the social and economic model of work in America, such are the principal elements of this too short book by the great Nisbet." Entre2Noirs; "Jim Nisbet returns with a really short novel that's really successful. To be read without delay.", Le Web Magazine Culturel Independent; "Nisbet is a true original, and... a short summary doesn´t begin to do justice to this insightful and intelligent novel." Patrick's Staff Review for Poisoned Pen Books; "Nisbet's novels... always look like one thing but turn out to be something else entirely. It is a rare talent, not accessible to all, perhaps, but no less special." Bill Ott, Booklist; "Missing any book by Nisbet should be considered a crime in all 50 states and maybe against humanity. Erudite, perspicuous and sanguine. ...[T]his California philosopher, etymologist and savant will take you on a trip like no other writer I know. Do not miss this one or any other of his great books!" Lou Boxer, Summer Reading List, The Swarthmorean; here follows the best review ever received from Publishers Weekly by either Dennis McMillan Publications (coming up on 25 years of publishing) or Jim Nisbet (45): "STAR :: Nisbet (Price of the Ticket) captures the absurdities of present-day America with a rare pungency in this noir gem, which not only succinctly illuminates a complex process like a California pharmaceutical company's rapid rise, growth, takeover, corporate squeeze, outsourcing and inevitable decline but also puts a human face on it. Banerjhee Rolf, a bright, levelheaded Indian-American scientist, is content to spend his days with his wife, tending his garden and studying his beloved astronomy. Despite unfairly losing his lab job at the pharmaceutical company he helped start, he accepts his fate without anger. When Rolf's relationship with his seedy, drug-dealing neighbor, Toby Pride, and Pride's stoner girlfriend takes a weird turn, Rolf's placid world is shattered and he becomes a fugitive from justice. Crime, cosmology, politics, philosophy, physics and more enter into this cautionary tale, which climaxes with the suddenness of a cobra strike and then delivers a denouement that's both stunning and absolutely perfect. While Nisbet will never hit a bestseller list or be anointed by Oprah, his work will be praised and enjoyed long after that of more celebrated writers has been forgotten." "Jim Nisbet's Dark Companion came out a few months ago and is one of the San Francisco writer's best. It's a wild existential scramble of corporate avarice, cultural schisms, astrophysics, and the war on terror, all laid over the classic noir premise of a life suddenly unhinged by coincidence. The result is a book that perfectly captures our particular blip on the California historical timeline. Nisbet is one of those writers who love to dig in and tinker with the workings of genre fiction, then send his stories soaring off in unexpected directions. Readers find the results either unfathomable or ineffable. Number me among the latter." Eddie Muller, The San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Book Review; Nominated by The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers for the 2006 Hammett Prize; "The Black Hole award for the darkest noir writing must go to Jim Nisbet for his 2006 novella-length book Dark Companion. In 144 pages Nisbet exposes the American Dream as a farcical vehicle for cynics and misanthropes. ...The book " equal parts commonplace and stunner -- the definition of noir." Loveland Public Library Shelflife, by Ted Schmidt; "FIVE STARS: A tragicomedy with a lot to say. Part farce, part indictment of our corporate culture, part parable on the fragility of human existence. ¶The book opens with a style and pace reminiscent of Thorne Smith and Damon Runyon and Peter De Vries--comic in the way of TOPPER, say, but updated to recent times. With just a few deft brush strokes, Nisbet paints a picture of a simple and reclusive man in a happy marriage, just trying to get along. But as Damon Runyon used to say, "all life is 6-5 against," and soon his life begins to unravel. ¶Jim Nisbet writes well and he interlaces his narratives with images and ideas, laughter and madness, and just as supernovas flare and die, a human destiny might follow its own falling-star-arc as if by deathwish. Here, we watch and admire the beauty of it. ¶And this is indeed a work of art, all the way around. Jim Nisbet's novels are instant collectors' items. The dustjacket of DARK COMPANION is especially gorgeous and symbolically relevant to the text. This is a quick read, even though I made myself slow down to relish it, with just 144 pages and set in an easy-to-read font. ¶A small gem, and easily one of the best novels I've read this year." R. L. Pangburn, Customer Review; ¨Jim Nisbet is a great writer...¨ Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind; ¨San Francisco´s Jim Nisbet has a voice so original... it might remind you of a younger Kurt Vonnegut...¨ Chicago Tribune; "Pitch black satire on California dreams." Arte.TV; "He who lives is always just one step away from the precipice, and there is no security, for anyone: this frequently claimed, oft-related core theme of cultural history is told by Jim Nisbet in a contemporary version. It wears a horrid smile as it plays with the social realities of the age... The boundary between "good" and "evil" in "Dunkler Gefährte" isn't just questioned - it's turned into a football in a reality gone awry, in which reason doesn't triumph over events, but blind chance does. The result: "Dunkler Gefährte", on the surface "just" a little noir mystery, asks a very large question about the legitimacy of the entire capitalist system of the US. And it's quickly clear that this question is purely rhetorical in nature, because the answer is clear. No, the system has absolutely no legitimacy anymore. It has run itself into the ground." Ulrich Noller, Funkhaus Eurpoa; "In his noir novel "Dunkler Gefährte", Jim Nisbet tells the story of interference in a ruined society, in which darkness doesn't come out of the Underworld, but from the endless eternity of the Cosmos - and only a senseless final act can bring comfort, in which the game ends." Süddeutsche Zeitung; "Jim Nisbet has written a book that describes how one day someone can have his life slip away (and can't do anything to stop it). ... The novel begins with an almost enervating peace and twists to a totally surprising (and absolutely believable!) conclusion. When this end arrives and a few people are laying there dead, Nisbet has even more to give us. This much we can give away: anyone who likes books with happy endings should read something else, but those who have the courage for surprises will not be disappointed." krimi-00; "...You definitely can't say that ["too bourgeois"] about Jim Nisbet. In unusually elegant prose, Jim Nisbet's novel "Dunkler Gefährte" (Pulp Master) describes the implosion and final disintegration of the unemployed pharmacologist Banerjhee Rolf, who must learn that the world is never what you believe it to be. An extremely funny, insane, headstrong, philosophical noir novel." Kaliber 38 :: Krimis in Internet; "Similarly shocking is Jim Nisbet's "Dunkler Gefährte", although it's subject is a familiar one: a good citizen landed in a perverted parallel world. But Nisbet, whose thriller was nominated for the Hammett Award in 2006, gives this theme new facets by incorporating the events of 9/11. ...Not just the fabric of Banerjhee's life gets dangerous rips in it: an entire world collapses. Chaos takes its deadly course." Badische Zeitung; "The book has an open subtext, that explicitly functions synechdochically. ...Banajhee's great passion is astrophysics, especially neutron stars. These are objects with extreme density and an odd kind of gravity. The laws of physics as we know them no longer exist, or exist only in their strangest forms. He who concerns himself with neutron stars lands very quickly in Chaos theory, which is really an Order theory. ¶And this is "Dunkler Gefährte" exactly: a book over chaos and order, which brings us the unappetizing details of the American Dream (which in the meantime has almost overtaken us here in Germany), the effect of a brutal capitalist mechanism on individuals, and its reflection in the entirety of the Cosmos. Not just the laws of larger Nature (the Cosmos), but also the inner moral and ethical world are repealed, skidding into a scurrilous turbulence. ¶The beauty of Nisbet's book: As open as his subtext is (a technique which can be rather boring), it still remains open to a variety of interpretations. A synechdochal game, which is like the old gold miner who appears at the end of the book and brings us back to the reality of current US ideology. You make a fortune, give it out immediately for junk, and then head back on out to make a new fortune. In the meantime, a pair of willing girls in the bath tub will wash you clean again. But we never lose sight of Banerjhee as a human being, despite his purpose as universal example. ¶So I definitely recommend this book." Watching The Detectives; "Crime, cosmology, politics, philosophy, physics, and much more make this story uncoil with the velocity of a cobra strike, until we come to a denouement that is both stunning and absolutely perfect." Pegasus Descending; "Dunkler Gefährte is an angry, slim, sly, extremely powerful, and -- in addition -- totally philosophical noir novel." Deutschlandradio Kultur; "Jim Nisbet´s Dunkler Gefährte is a big existential thriller, a literary lecture in dramaturgy, language, and the focus on the question of choice in life, and the philosophy of blind luck. Nisbet brilliantly juggles realism and slapstick grotesque, and balances it all together on the smoking ruins in a good old socially critical novel, where -- to quote the forward written by the publisher and translator Frank Nowatzki: the flaws in the system are laid bare. ...The slow motion of the final scene's 20 pages alone make the entire novel worth it." Berliner Zeitung; "...a simplicity almost hypnotic, brilliant dialogue. ...ruthlessly fast and the ending is one that screws you to the chair, leaves you there to stare at the page, and make you say: Bravo!" AtlantidEZine; "Two-thirds Carver, one-third McCarthy. Not a word too many, not a word missing." tumblr; "You don´t often find a slow-burn, textured character study (complete with meditations on chemistry, physics and, cosmology) that is also a blazing page turner -- but then again, you don´t often find a writer like Jim Nisbet. In his Dark Companion, Banerjhee Rolf is a middle-aged scientist, recently downsized by his pharmaceutical company Toby Pride is his scuzbag drug-dealing neighbor. Now you may think you know where this is going . . . annnnd you would be wrong. So many of the wonderful surprises are packed within both characters, revealed one onion-skin layer at a time, and by the time Nisbet stomps his foot on the accelerator, you realize you´re trapped in a world where there´s roiling chaos in the heavens, death lurking at the microscopic level, and of course, a serious amount of bad luck on earth -- all in 144 blistering pages. If noir is about a lone man making his way through a hostile universe, then Nisbet´s masterful Dark Companion takes us to the outer reaches." Duane Swiercynski via BookListOnLine; "Dark Companion is a nasty, slender, hard-boiled, extremely eloquent and also entirely philosophical detective novel." Thomas Wörtche, kaliber .38; "This is noir for today's reader. ...Nisbet updates the genre, making you excited about it all over again." Sacramento Book Review; "[C]lassic...highly original... [N]oir with an intellectual touch, a philosophic noir novel." Claus Kerkhoff, CultUrMag; "A deep, intelligent novel, being full of meanings and readings as well as an ideal representation of what literature should be, a lectern for the human soul and society." Pegasus Descending; "This book is a real diesel: a slow start, an accelerating middle, and an ending that nothing can stop...." Garoupe.

Re: The Octopus On My Head (novel; published in France as Comment j'ai trouvé un boulot):

1st American Edition, cover by Carol Collier French Edition German Edition, Spring 2014 2nd American Edition
"Descriptions equal part meticulous and hilarious of three outsiders (two on the edge and one gone, one should say) in America at the end of the reign of Bush, with junkie dialogues worthy of Phillip K. Dick. Their tragi-comic adventures in the repo field are likely to leave them hungry. For the rest, lovers of knife-edge dialogue and grotesque situations under the aegis of a very fine analysis of the American psyche at the beginning of the 21st century will find their accounts paid in full." BlackBlog; "Le Joli Job de Lord Jim: The portrait of a serial-killer in all his splendour and stereotypes (without limits, cold as a Lemon Drop, organized beyond belief), is here unfolded by Nisbet with the skill of a machinist of best-sellers. At a blow, it upends the machine completely. For the rest, Comment J'ai trouvé un boutlot, and the work of Nisbet in general, is a badge of honor in efficacy, its richness derived from the capital, and right up the alley, of the roman policier." Sabrina Champenois, Libération; "Nisbet´s latest starts out singing a common crime-fiction refrain (regular guy tries to do a buddy a favor and winds up wagging the tail of a very angry dog) but quickly changes keys and zooms off into uncharted territory at a pace that would leave Charlie Parker gasping for breath. ...[J]ust when we´re adjusting to the tempo and settling in to enjoy the hysterical banter among these three stoned musketeers (imagine Elmore Leonard on speed), Nisbet pulls the rug from under our legs and switches the focus to a serial killer as creepily straight as Curly and company are endearingly bent. Sure, Nisbet breaks all the rules, but that´s really the whole point. His novels are the literary equivalent of road trips, and a good road trip follows no map. You may be exhausted when you get to the end of the road, but you´re damn glad you didn´t stay home." Bil Ott, STARRED REVIEW, Booklist; "...completely terrifying. A passionate cocktail." Le Progrés; "Jim Nisbet belongs to the family of Tarantino vis a vis cinema, that of Westlake for the off-the-wall whodunnit. Heads up, fans of absurd digressions and peripheral scenes." Télérama; "Black tar heroin and murder infuse this quirky, highly literary novel... Poet and novelist Nisbet (Dark Companion) offers perfect descriptions of the addict's world..." Publishers Weekly; "What's great about Jim Nisbet is that one never knows where he will take you, and this How I Got Work [The Octopus On My Head] confirms it well. The story starts rather slightly, you learn a thousand and one ways how best to get loaded, you succumb to the charm of Lavinia, and just when you're wondering what it all means... the great Jim takes care of business and, in short, you are not at the end of your surprises. With its particular narration, its extraordinary characters, and the talent of the storyteller, Jim Nisbet plays you this ballad for more than 350 pages. It's a treat." Christophe Dupuis, Entre2Noirs; 4-1/2 Stars: "The first Nisbet I read, The Damned Don't Die, is his most accessible... Since then he has written a dozen more novels, each more original than the one before it. If you only enjoy thrillers by the like of Harlan Coben and John Grisham, Jim Nisbet is clearly not for you. His extremely sophisticated style, filled with cultural and historical references, can be daunting but, believe me, it's worth the trouble because his novels are very interesting and at their core is a great originality. A mixture of dark, dark humor and a dense style forces the reader to be constantly vigilant. Deep characters, a complex plot. Jim Nisbet is not an obvious read at first, but once you get used to his style you find yourself immersed, and when you've finished one of his books, you have the impression of having lived an adventure from the inside out... But I'm not going to say any more, I leave you to discover this author on your own." Critiques Libres; "Jim Nisbet... has a very distinctive style. Laid-back, humourous, off-beat, whatever you want to call it, there is nobody quite like him -- recognisably American, with occasional touches reminiscent of Richard Brautigan or Elmore Leonard, but essentially unique. ...[A] character and events as chilling as you can find anywhere in crime fiction. The Octopus on My Head will appeal to those who like an 'alternative' style as well as the gruesome end of the crime spectrum. But it is certainly different from the normal fare, and those who enjoy black humour will find plenty to keep them amused." Crime Review; "Another masterpiece from Jim Nisbet, an absolute must for anyone who likes good books." Eckendenker; "Tough stuff, angry, sad, but also absurdly funny." Marcus Münterfering, Krimi-Welt & Der Spiegel On Line; "This book is a must." crime noir; "The craziest piece of serial killer noir in a long time." Top Ten Thrillers August 2014 Krimi Zeit; "A dark sociogram of a city. And dialogues that you want to learn by heart. Infinite fun. Please read." Die Welt; "Interesting story, very good writing style, a must for any fan of good books. Five Stars." Sumikai; Recommended. "Jack Kerouac meets Tarantino meets David Foster Wallace. ...The strength of the novel, in addition to the surprising psychological twists, resides especially in the wonderful conversations between Curly and Lavinia. ...For all the readers of genre literature in search of...exceptional subjects and dark abysses, it will be a great pleasure to read." Write About Something; "[Jim Nisbet] is the master of the intellectual trash novel. ... Because of the very peculiar way he combines pulp with high culture, he stands towering over the genre. His stoned protagonists are educated people, they always have a quote on the lips and manifest the art of the quick-witted dialogue. ... As in Lethal injection and Dark Companion Nisbet´s art is to mix these per se incompatible worlds into a cocktail that releases pictures in the reader's mind that long remain difficilt to forget. ... Masterful figure drawing...not to mention dust-dry wit occasionlly reminiscent of Chandler." Hannes Hintermeier, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; "Bitter and unconventional with a lot of black humour. It´s a miracle, and thanks entirely to Pulp Master, that The Octopus on My Head got published in German at all." Die "An incredible, ironic, exciting and allusive Crime Noir by a great author, who not in vain has made it to the top list of Crime-TIME. Recommended!" Frankfurter Allgemeine Feature; "One of the great masters of the genre." Lesen Mit Links; "[A] fine, blackly humorous Noir and an interesting portrait of San Francisco and how the city changed in the past decades." Kriminal Lakte; "A crazy piece somewhere between hard noir thriller and delirious Beat Generation poetry from a gifted storyteller." Krimikritic; "This book is for me the Surprise of the year!" Alles über; "Jim Nisbet unknown? Not really. He has written thirteen novels. Some of his books are already considered modern classics. And his latest, The Octopus On My Head, has what it takes to become a real cult novel." Krimi Couch; "[A] template for skillful dramaturgy and narrative economy. ...[M]asterfully playing with the nerves of his readers. ...[S]tunning." FIXPOETRY; "[M]erciless chronicler of American mania and social implosion... Nisbet delivers." Badische Zeitung; "As fast as it is bizarre, a hilarious roller coaster ride through different environments, states of consciousness, phases of mind, and crime. ... Wonderful intelligent, witty dialogues, animated discussions about Marx and Johann Sebastian Bach, drug abuse, a solid right hook to the plot, bitingly-lucid views of the San Francisco of the dot-com millionaires and digital Bees: Jim Nisbet does not care about genre conventions, but mixes them with clarity and eloquence into a cracking Noir. A book like a shout: fast, highly comical, colorful, oblique, shockingly brutal, full of tenderness and love, and a little melancholy."; "If you only like commercial thrillers...Jim Nisbet is clearly not for you. [Comment j´ai trouve un boulot]´s extremely sophisticated style, full of cultural and historical references can be daunting, but, believe me, it must be stressed because [Nisbet´s] novels are very interesting, and of great originality. A dark mixture, and dark humor, a dense style that forces the reader to constant vigilance. Deep characters, a complex plot...[T]he path Nisbet follows is completely different. I do not tell you more, but leave you to discover this author on your own."; "One of the ten best thrillers of 2014." Krimi Kritik; "A slow inexorable descent punctuated by atavisms of addiction and losses, received blows both moral and rational. The sordid marries the impoverishment of the marginal forever faced with shams and other utopias. Shocking, poignant, visceral, raw and dripping with sick humour! In other words, vintage Nisbet ... Chouchou." NCYTALOPES; "Comment j´ai trouvé un boulot, or, roman noir in its best. Jim Nisbet succeeds in slipping an acerbic vision of society into a droll reality. By a writing always inventive, with fine precision, without losing sight of the fantasy, Comment j´ai trouvé un boulot is a great novel. ... The opening scene immediately captivates the reader. ... This is an opportunity to highlight how fine a writer of dialogues Jim Nisbet is. The repartees are always hilarious, coldly lucid ... In the best tradition of the black novel, we talk a lot and we act as we can. Let us note that this lightness of tone, this apparent casualness which conceals an incredible mastery of the intrigue, creates an atmosphere.¨ La viduité.

Re: Windward Passage (novel):

American Edition, cover by Carol Collier Rivages/Thriller, Oct. 10, 2012
"Attention: chef d'oeurvre! ...And it's never boring." Murmures; "This is a gripping conspiracy thriller. ... Fast-paced throughout. ... Timely yet eerie in many ways, fans will enjoy this strange but exhilirating tale as political bias triumphs over logic, fairness and common good in Jim Nisbet's strong suspense." Harriet Klausner: Midwest Book Review, The Mystery Gazette, Genre Go Round, etc.; GROK Bookotron's amazing notice (or read it under the NEWS button). Sample: "Even though Nisbet doesn´t come from or in some senses inhabit the ghetto of genre fiction, he is truly, deeply weird. The deal is that he is as weird as the world. And for some readers, that's a quality to cherish."; "VERDICT: Nisbet mixes noir mystery, dystopian sf, and a great deal of humor into a bubbling, complex stew. ...scruffy characters, political and philosophical bent ...striking simile[s]... Highly recommended." Library Journal; "...compelling tale... addictive narrative..." Publishers Weekly; Staff Pick! City Lights Books; "Nisbet...hits another one out of the park. ... Readers who like their fiction to be tidy and linear might not want to go anywhere near this novel. On the other hand, lovers of the unorthodox, the intellectually challenging, and the aggressively offbeat will enjoy themselves immensely." Booklist; "Jim Nisbet...has long been one of my favorite noirists. In Windward Passage, his tenth book, he pulls out all the stops, combining his long-standing noir sensibilities with an off-the-wall post-modern disposition and cultural critique. ... Scrambling genres and voices...dove-tailing from fast-talking, never-less-than-witty dialogue to tangential asides, reportage, paradoxical quips and a novel within a novel. With his ear to the ground, Nisbet not only updates the traditional noir narrative, combining it with a sea adventure story, conundrums, a dash of cyberpunk, and a sprinkling of literary concerns (including the likes of Tom Raworth, Paustovsky and Leonard Clark´s The Rivers Ran East). From a prologue that will leave you scratching your head for at least a hundred pages, Windward Passage sometimes reads like a hardboiled Saragossa Manuscript, and [is] bound to appeal to anyone looking beyond the confines of the genre. ...[T]his is Nisbet at his wildest and weirdest. I´m still not sure what it all adds up to, other than an entertaining, insightful and highly recommended adventure." Woody Haut's Blog. "Jim Nisbet is a long time favorite of mine having discovered his work sometime in the late 90´s. The guy has been penning some mighty classics for years now and in 2010, with two new releases and the start of Overlook´s ambitious reissue project of his back catalog, it feels like the time is right for people to get tuned in to his unique world view. Windward Passage is the first of the new releases this year. From the rambunctious and unruly opening section where the reader is just along for the ride to the deep character development and realistic, natural and revealing dialog through to the ending where the reader suddenly finds himself unknowingly deep in another genre Windward Passage is a bold novel that will amply reward the adventurous reader. ...a stunning and wholly unique novel that defies easy categorization." Spinetingler Magazine; "As crazy and outlandish as this plot sounds, Nisbet does a wonderful job of kneading this storyline into a tight, thrilling novel." The Algona Public Library; "...[T]his unsettling novel combines mystery and action with in-your-face political verve to prick at the very center of modern existence. ...Nisbet pushes the boundaries of fiction with brave experimental forays... Fans...will find this a welcome addition to an already impressive collection of gritty and adventurous work." Foreword Reviews; Declared one of 2010's best novels by City Light's Paul Yamzaki on NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook: "If you crossed Melville with Jim Thompson, it might give you a sense of where Jim [Nisbet]'s coming from...." "Powerful and impressive... what a joy to read, a true gift. The world nailed to a cross by a carpenter and not the reverse or a son... A damn good Nisbet... We laugh a lot in this book, there is also the part of reflection, action, but it is melancholy that eventually won me over to the last page... Master stroke of Rivages, offering its readers a literary voyage."; "Now boarding: It is out of the question not to read Jim Nisbet... [His] is an exhilarating and exciting literary madness. Each of his books is a gem. Some are short and dry, others long-term, such as this. Windward Passage spans nearly 600 pages, but one must state that the author could have done twice that without losing the intensity. ...Reading Jim Nisbet should be mandatory!;" Christophe Dupuis, Le Nouvel Observateur; "Erudite and hallucinogenic." Black Libelle; "This breathtaking novel takes us on an incredible voyage. In this thriller irreparably atypical Jim Nisbet takes us to the heart of a world of navigators. Attention to those who do not have sea legs, in this book, the deck is heaving. This is a complex and enjoyable read... where the sea air and the mysterious past of the Caribbean are some of the rewards for the player. The political vision of the author, his consistent dialogues, detours and many digressions are all nuggets that readers will savor without moderation." Alle Retour Dans Le Noir; "Mixture of thriller, cyberpunk and sea adventures, this book is a total literary experience in which Nisbet defends its aesthetic and political worldview with panache and affirms his immoderate desire to tell stories." Babelio.

Re: A Moment of Doubt (novel):

American Edition

Year-end No. 3 pick by The Pulp Primer: "[O]utdated it's not. Nisbet's mystery writing protagonist's paranoia, perversion, and surreal visions all ring as fearfully true today as they did when the book was written in 1985. Strap in and let A MOMENT OF DOUBT take you into the bizarre world of the pulp fiction writer, where reality and fantasy are never far apart. [I]t's a great book."; An amazing review from The SF Weekly's Jonathan Kiefer, here: "The San Francisco poet and novelist Jim Nisbet's new book is an old book, reportedly conceived in the mid-1980s as he was making a name for himself with crime novels while also feeling disgusted by the marauding prosaicism of detective fiction. From necessity, he came up with a different kind of noir-pulp novella: literarily neurotic, self-deconstructing, hardboiled private-dick lit. Perhaps to cover his tracks, Nisbet also took the trouble of rendering the thing obscenely hilarious. ... A Moment of Doubt reminds us that he's been doing right by the reader from moment one." "A Moment of Doubt by Jim Nisbet is one of the most insane things I´ve read in a long time. ...[A] messed up literary fever-dream of a book & worth a look. If anything, A Moment of Doubt reminds us that [Nisbet]'s been doing right by the reader from moment one." Spinetingler; "Nisbet proves to be a sly stylist as he chronicles the unlikely relationship between the writer and his machine... a good self-conscious stab at the hard-boiled private dick, the publishing biz, and the culture of writing." Publishers Weekly; "This hot-shot of nasty riffs on writing, technology and sex focuses on a parallel writer named Nisbet attempting to finish another one of his detective Martin Windrow (The Damned Don't Die) novels, hustle the rent and use a computer program to formulate a best-seller. It´s all over the place, but the Windrow segments are surprisingly tense (for a semi-comic piece), the erotic passages are over the top and it´s all rounded out with an unhealthy chunk of what I could only call retro-tech porn." Jedidiah-Ayers, Chasers: My Year In Novellas Ransom Notes: The B&N Mystery Blog.

Re: Old and Cold (novel):

American Edition

"Noir master Nisbet (The Damned Don´t Die, 1986, etc.) slaps readers right in the face with this stream-of-consciousness rant by an alcoholic narrator who makes Clint Eastwood sound downright squeaky by comparison. Nisbet´s protagonist lives under a bridge abutment in San Francisco, where he does the math calculating how time is running out for him, pining for the daughter he thinks he has somewhere and betting whether the ¨smart money¨ will keep him in the two-to-ten martinis a day he needs to get by. "The one thing about binge drinking is that the one thing you know for sure is that sooner or later, while you know you´re going to wake up under that bridge abutment again, the question is whether you´re going to wake up there in one piece," mulls our nominative hero. This is experimental stuff in a somewhat traditional genre, with chapters composed of unbroken paragraphs filled with the bleak but verbose monologue by a dying man. There are lots of ruminations here, marinated in Andrei Rublev vodka (an in-joke by Nisbet, naming his fictional cocktail after a medieval painter of Orthodox icons), ranging from notes on the economy to mathematical expressions of alcoholism to clinical observations on the little humiliations of one´s lifestyle, like spitting out teeth from time to time. Through the fog and psychic whiplash of this guy´s brain, we somehow learn that he´s taken one more hit, a $5,000 gig that will keep him on another bad bender for a while. There´s a couple of cops nosing around and a bartender who riles things up by raising the price of martinis to $6.50, which changes the math for our geezer killer. But plot is secondary to voice in this fractured fairy tale, where the lessons aren´t cautionary -- they´re fatal. A grim, fiercely written entry whose best feature is one baleful voice, one step from the grave." Kirkus Reviews; "Jim Nisbet's protagonist is old, cold, and totally cool.¨ Emily Hunt, San Francisco Bay Guardian; "There's a sharp mind hiding inside an alcoholic fog tinged with schizophrenia and hideous personal hygiene stalking the streets and martini bars of San Francisco, and [it's] supplying the first-second-and-third-person narration in this brief, but densely rationalized discourse on twenty-first century America masquerading as a thriller." Ransom Notes: The B&N Mystery Blog; "Oh the places you'll go when you give yourself over to one of Nisbet's books." Jedidiah Ayres, Hardboiled Wonderland; "I´m no connoisseur, but I enjoy me some strange literary fiction from time to time. ... Nisbet...presents about as whacked out a book as you can get and still be readable. The unnamed main character, a 63 year old street dude, is admirably, deeply drawn. ...Push through the first 20 pages; your reward is a rollicking, if unclean-feeling, experience." Library Journal; Nominated by SpineTingler's readers and/or editors for their 2013 Best Novella/Short Novel award, along with nine other titles. View details (and vote for your favorite) here; "Staff Pick!" City Lights Books; "This novel is tour de force." Mystery People Magazine; "And while I´m on the subject of San Francisco, I have to mention Jim Nisbet -- author of hard-bitten noir novels that go where few writers dare travel. I recently got around to reading OLD AND COLD (Overlook Press) and let me put it this way: only Nisbet could get away with two nonstop interior monologues in the head of a homeless, schizophrenic hitman addicted to martinis. Yes, this book´s beyond "offbeat." It has strains of black humor and enough suspense to keep you flipping through its 160 pages in a single sitting. Thumbs up to Overlook for keeping Nisbet´s seedy San Francisco within reach." ZoomStreet.

Re: Snitch World (novel):
PM/The Green Arcade, 2013; cover by Gent Sturgeon Freench Edition German Edition

"What plot there is focuses largely on a top secret under development phone app, but the real entertainment is in Nisbet´s prose and vivid depiction of San Francisco. An enjoyable book, both funny and sad..." 10badhabits; "Another example of absurdist noir from one its foremost practitioners... with an added dose of San Francisco psychogeography thrown in for good measure. But Snitch World is also an homage to blue collar San Francisco, or at least those on the margins who can still remember it. A kind of last stand against killer apps, with survival techniques be they drugs, drink, crime, wit or public disorder. With its barroom scenes and taxi cab rides, this is Nisbet at his most painfully humorous. Could there be, as SW's Klinger might wonder, an app for this kind of writing? I doubt it." Woody Haut's Blog; ¨... [A] warped valentine to an all too quickly disappearing San Francisco... Nisbet´s writing is both meticulous and anarchic, and given his mastery of English it´s no surprise that his published output includes five volumes of poetry. He is an incredibly erudite prose powerhouse... Snitch World is a fun, twisted book, and if as widely read as it should be, will further solidify Nisbet´s reputation as a writer´s writer.¨ Counterpunch; 4.5 Stars from Goodreads; "I´ve never had an orgasm," she suddenly announced." To which Klinger replies: "There´s probably an app for that." ... Fans of the movies Detour and Barfly will identify. Publishers Weekly; "San Francisco's asteroid belt of petty crime and criminals [and], San Francisco-chic app shark[s]... Nisbet, who has a cult following (Windward Passage, 2010), alludes insightfully to the dualities of America's favorite city. ...The Hawse Hole [bar] and its regulars are fascinating." Booklist; Selected as one of 2013's Ten Best Noir Novels by critic Woody Haut for The Los Angeles Review of Books; "´The Miata jumped the curb and sheared off a light pole.´ That´s the opening sucker punch and this contemporary noir masterpiece just keeps getting better. Nisbet´s old school con men confront high tech San Francisco. It´s a shadowy, unforgettable ride through Fog City." zoomstreet; No. 3 among "Ten Favorites Reads of 2013" at 10badhabits; " ending of tragic irony which demonstrates the writer´s command of formal narrative structure." Mystery People Magazine; "[B]risk, funny, thought-provoking entertainment." Goodreads; "The unfolding of the plot and its resolution leave plenty of room for astonishment, pleasant surprises, and a startling aray of secondary characters." Bibliosurf; "So one smiles a lot, one delights in the dialogue and, finally, one is surprised by a logical conclusion which, besotted by the pen of Nisbet, fascinated by the small world of Klinger, we have not seen or not wanted to see coming." Encore du Noir!; "Great art, a great writer, a book to savor, and to read, read, this one is not ready ... the ..ah he quotes Stendhal ..." UNWALKERS; "...what is said in this ´small´ novel is better than all the talk about the state of our society." EmOtions; "A walk in the rain in San Francisco painted by a genius author, nothing new, nothing new at last !!! With an ultra-worn story, the author manages to make us climb the steps of 7th Heaven ... " Bibliosurf II; "Without much why or wherefore, the nonchalance of Klinger, his detachment and humor, but also his fears and inhibitions, eventually render him sympathetic. And we follow this character that we could find in the Coen brothers with great pleasure, until the inevitable collapse." Actu du Noir; "Jim Nisbet is back, and he is in top form, this time to give us a social satire that flirts between surrealism and grotesque with in the background the little scam to meet the great..." k-libre; "Here we have all the elements of classical drama: unity of place − various direputable streets of San Francisco; of time − three days in the life of a complete loser; of action − a descent into hell." Le Progrés; "Jim Nisbet is the free electron of the thriller, equally at ease with a gangster story, the social novel, an existenstial fable, or black humor. ...Here a classic opening leads into a tragi-comic spiral... a comedy with tasty dialogues, coupled with a clever portrait of low-life taking on the big city and World 2.0." Lire; "Snitch World sweetens a cold winter with humorous zest. But it fails to assuage the dire straits of Klinger, a recidivist loser, and as ever, chez Nisbet, funny stories end badly." Sud Ouest; One of << Cinc polars en poche à lire cet été! >> L´EXPRESS; "Jim Nisbet ... creates the archetype of a thriller that will delight the author's fans and contrives a good introduction to the discovery of the beautiful writing of the master -- and a disturbing universe for others." Nyctalopes; "A walk in the rain in San Francisco painted by a genius; nothing new, nothing new at last !!! With an ultra-worn story, the author manages to make us climb the steps of 7th Heaven." Bibliosurf; "A paperback for Christmas but a paperback of quality: Here is a small nugget of roman noir as we love them. A novel that in many ways recalls the great Thompson!" Noël 2016: les conseils de 12 libraries: Choix de Lamia -- Gibert Joseph Barbes à Paris; "In Welt Ohne Skrupel, American Noir master Jim Nisbet...with casual derision and scathing irony crashes the world of old-fashioned crooks and the unscrupulous managers of the new digital economy ... [with] his humor and wonderful prose." Tages Anzeiger [Zurich]; "The last will be the first. This is proclaimed not only by the New Testament, but also by us, because WORLD WITHOUT SKRUPEL, from the house of Pulp Master, which was the last thriller to be included in the list this month, is a really great novel." Weltexpresso [Hamburg]; "A bitter swan song on humanity, society and human communication."

* * *

For further information, contact
Jim Nisbet
1001 Bridgeway #626
Sausalito, Ca.
email: In the hope of avoiding Frodo's struggle in the cave of Spiderville,
add and make all one word psi plus func plus the @ plus g plus mail plus le dot {.} plus com
-- for which inconvenience we thank you.

As regards literary representation, please contact

Matthew Bialer
Sanford Greenburger Assoc.
55th 5th Ave.
New York, N.Y.

* * *

1 City Lights Review 3, pp. 160-166.

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