June 18, 2013

Cocktail Talk: Black Alibi

black-alibiI’ve had some Cocktail Talk from Cornell Woolrich here on this blog already, and sung his praises. Which are deserved, cause he created the whole genre of “noir” as much as anyone, and was a pulp-a-teer of the first rate. His book Black Alibi fits as noir, too, though it’s different in a way, as it takes place in South America, has a killer jaguar (or does it?), and is told from a number of perspectives, including the victims in the book. It took me a bit to get in to, but once I did, I was hooked. There’s also lots of drinks and bar talk, including the following, which is part of one character’s musings about the bar scene throughout an evening.

Midnight to about two was the zenith. Meridian of her “day.” That was when the shows let out. They let out late in Ciudad Real. The Casino Bleu, the Madrid out in the park (she never went out there, though; too far to walk back in case you didn’t connect), the Jockey Club, the Tabain, the Select. Those were the places to seek out then. This was the cream of the night life, swarming with the sports, the swells, the heavy spenders. Most of them had cabaret entertainment; if not, tango bands and dancing at the very least. Benedictine, then. Crème de menthe. Sometimes even Champagne.

–Cornell Woolrich, Black Alibi

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