Noir City by Richard Godwin

Noir City by Richard GodwinDangerous, blonde Gigolo, Paris Tongue, uses his looks to seduce beautiful and wealthy women and introduce them to the Secret Hour, that hidden time when they can escape their lives. Using his inheritance to travel, he penetrates the erotic essence of different cities, from London, to Paris, Rome, Madrid and Dusseldorf. But his sexual escapades begin to catch up with him. When he sleeps with the wife of a Mafia Boss he is hunted across Europe by hit men. He manages to evade his assassins, until they find him in Spain. But by then he has understood the deeper philosophy of Eros at the villa owned by the illegitimate granddaughter of Georges Bataille, and he sees them off. He is, after all, the bastard child of a killer, who knows how to survive. In Germany he meets Anja from Croatia, the first woman he wants to settle down with, and he realises he inhabits the Noir City, that place of intoxicated night and endless seductions.

NOIR CITY is available from Amazon.

 *****

Richard Godwin’s Noir City is a lyrical hybrid of noir,erotica,crime fiction and psychological drama worthy of Hitchcock or Argento. Godwin unflinchingly and masterfully digs beneath the surface of London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Dusseldorf and the cities’ recalcitrant denizens as he follows the trail of gigolo Paris Tongue. Paul D Brazill.

Richard Godwin has managed to subvert nicely the genre of hard-core porno or, as some call it (in the tradition from Victorian “private case” books through Henry Miller to Marco Vassi and Michael Perkins ), “f books.” Paris Tongue and his girl friends of “the secret hour” are sometimes funny. All wear the same clothes, have the same bosomy shapes,” pert” nipples, long tanned legs (nice use of the language of pornotopia), short skirts, revealing blouses, and are the perfect inhabitants of an erotic paradise of “soft primitive” pleasure. Of course they are all affluent, bored, and know all the intimate restaurants with rare food and wine. So Paris gets bored, with the women (probably each gained 10 pounds during the affair) and even with the five cities in the book (I loved the metaphor as city as body in flagrante delecto. )

But each of these cities is noir, most significantly due to the fact that all the lavish sensuality is a chimera. Does Paris, “loveless whore,” even exist, apart from his tongue and penis? He sees himself as a kind of night visitor or ghost, coming to (and on and all over) women who seem ripe to conjure him from the rich vacuum their lives are. It’s no surprise they end up killing their husbands an in one case sister, while Paris always pulls a hairbreath escape. At the end he is off to (hmmm) Split with Anja with something more permanent in mind. That’s a good one.

Godwin suggests that the feral shock of orgasm is as violent as it is uncannily fulfilling. And what comes after is violent too: a casting off of all compromises, which makes an opening for what used to be called deadly sins.
The noir is inherent in almost every line. And it is noir, not satire. On one level, all the intercourse works fine to arouse. But the circular structure might make readers dizzy. They might see the merry go round they are on is really a date with anarchy. The basic reality is the “little death” the Renaissance poets played around with.
Frankly, and I may be way off here, _Noir City_, in style and narrative, reminds me of Boris Vian’s wonderful _Foam of the Daze_ (of course, that novel is not pornographic). I mean the total detachment from the mundane, the over ripe descriptions, the lusciousness, and the sweetness and beauty, all asserted as a reality preferable to an organized regimen. It’s what Alfred Jarry called “a science of imaginary solutions.” The evanescence of it all is a given, but when jealousy, satiation, or the blandishments of novelty intrude, the author—Godwin or Vian– makes the reader feel a let down, and does not care. In fact, he wants to make the reader see that his/her own identity with the characters is just as insubstantial as the characters’ own lives and feelings. That does not mean that either the characters themselves or the readers are insubstantial or worthless. It just means that the latter need to be brought to realize what they are, without pretentions. It’s kind of like Artaud’s “theater of cruelty.” And I think Godwin pulls that off. Professor J.A. Gertzman.

 *****

Richard Godwin is the author of critically acclaimed novels Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour and One Lost Summer.
One Lost Summer, published June 2013, is a Noir story of fractured identity and ruined nostalgia. It is a psychological portrait of a man who blackmails his beautiful next door neighbour into playing a deadly game of identity.

He is also a published poet and a produced playwright. His stories have been published in over 29 anthologies, among them his anthology of stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man. He has also been published in The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime.

Apostle Rising is a dark work of fiction exploring the blurred line between law and lawlessness and the motivations that lead men to kill. It digs into the scarred soul of a cop in the hunt for a killer who has stepped straight from a nightmare into the waking world.

Mr. Glamour is about a world of wealthy, beautiful people who can buy anything, except safety from the killer in their midst. It is about two scarred cops who are driven to acts of darkness by the investigation. As DCI Jackson Flare and DI Mandy Steele try to catch the killer they find themselves up against a wall of secrecy. And the killer is watching everyone.

Richard Godwin was born in London and obtained a BA and MA in English and American Literature from King’s College London, where he also lectured.

You can find out more about him at his website www.richardgodwin.net , where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.

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