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Black Maria : being the adventures of Delilah Redbone & A.K.A. Jones
Young, Kevin.
Adult Nonfiction PS3575.O798 B57 2005

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Tough and unlucky in a rainy city or on a Hollywood back lot, poetic detective A.K.A. Jones seeks answers, dodges bullets, and drowns his sorrows as he pursues the alluring and mysterious Delilah Redbones in Young's fourth volume, a book-length sequence of linked short poems grounded in film noir scenarios and in the short, bluesy lines Young has made his signature. In just ten years since his debut, Young has become a leading poet of his generation: the splendid Jelly Roll (2003), whose poems of erotic devotion and heartbreak imitated an encyclopedic range of musical styles, rightly landed on many year-end best-of lists. The saga of Jones, Redbones and their quirky, mostly anonymous supporting cast ("The Gunsel," "The Boss," "The Snitch") confirms Young's mastery of his syncopated verse line, his way with witty rhyme, and his facility with his chosen genre. Yet the many lyrical asides and point-of-view changes make any plot hard to grasp, a problem alleviated, but not quite solved, by prose summaries which introduce each of Young's five sections (called "reels"). And Young's devotion to film noir atmosphere here makes it hard for the tone to vary from poem to poem: in visits to Las Vegas, the sagebrush West, even the set of a science-fiction film, their beat-up, hard-done-by gumshoe sounds more or less the same. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Mining the mythology and Chandleresque lingo of film noir and detective fiction for their poetic possibilities is nothing new, but in this follow-up to Jelly Roll, a 2003 National Book Award finalist, Young throws himself into the world of "fedoraed darkness" and smoky nightclubs with enthusiasm and grace. He doesn't try to subvert the cliches of the genres so much as amplify their ironic dimensions, as in "Even my shadow/ has me followed" or "You couldn't find me/ with the wool/ she pulled over/ her sighs." Organized in five "reels" or sections preceded by introductory "voiceovers," Young stages this episodic epic of underworld schemes and doomed love through a cinematic conceit, with the internal monologs of its major protagonists-a black private eye ("In this/ bidness love is just/ a symptom & death/ a side effect") and a femme fatale appropriately named Delilah ("All my accessories/ are crimes")-taking the spotlight. Employing the musical, carefully measured lines, primarily couplets, and characteristic of Jelly Roll, Young relies less on plot twists than on the reader's familiarity with noir conventions and willingness to have respectful fun with them. Recommended for academic and public libraries.-Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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