Strange Noir is an apt description for this intriguing, lyrical story nugget. Tristan Grieves, a man whose alcoholism seems his best quality, meets a desperate woman who asks for his help. However, following the time honored tradition of noir, not all is as it seems.
Hofstatter’s writing is crammed full of imagery. When it works, it’s genius, imparting rich meaning and description in a few words. However, I thought some of the metaphors fell flat near the end of story, creating unnecessary confusion.
The story itself is dark and dirty. With such a short, tightly woven tale I can’t say too much lest I give away spoilers, but I loved how the last line echoed something that had been set up earlier in the narrative.
The standout here is Hofstatter’s writing style, and I imagine it might divide readers into love it or hate it territory. You’ll either want to sink into the stylized prose, happy to reread it to glean further meaning, or it’ll turn you away with a sea of language you’re unwilling to navigate.
If you love Noir, and language, I recommend you give this original and cleverly written short story a try.
I award Soaking in Strange Hours…