Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Very happy to say that my essay collection The Blind Alley: Investigating Film Noir's Forgotten Corners is now available in paperback!

Here's some nice stuff some very cool people have said about the book.

“Jake Hinkson is the Roger Ebert of film noir studies. His stylish prose bristles with memorable insights and the kind of fun only a true movie lover can bring to the table.”
Ed Gorman, co-founder of Mystery Scene and winner of the Anthony Award for Best Critical Work for The Fine Art of Murder

"Newcomers to noir and connoisseurs alike can both revel in Jake Hinkson's riffs on the subject. He brings to the films a wealth of insight, valuable context, and—most vitally—real passion and a sense of fun. It was a privilege to publish many of these pieces the first time around, and it's a pleasure to read them again in this smart and savvy collection."
Eddie Muller, author of Dark City and president of the Film Noir Foundation

“Even though it is hard to believe that there are any dark corners left in the study of classic film noir, Jake Hinkson in The Blind Alley manages to shine light into a few of its more obscure niches with perceptive and entertaining studies of character actors like the redoubtable Art Smith, unrecognized femme fatales like Peggie Castle and Joan Dixon, as well as taking on neglected social issues in noir such as lesbianism and unwanted pregnancy.”
James Ursini, author The Noir Style and editor of the Film Noir Reader series

“Jake Hinkson’s concise, highly readable essays cover the wide waterfront of film noir, offering insightful new perspectives both on monumental films like Double Indemnity and Touch of Evil and overlooked figures such as Peggie Castle and Norman Foster.  A must-have collection for every student of this eternally fascinating genre.”
Dave Kehr, author of When Movies Mattered: Reviews From a Transformative Decade

“In The Blind Alley, Jake Hinkson ventures down some of the darkest and most unfamiliar back streets of film noir. A knowledgeable and passionate tour guide, Hinkson illuminates neglected corners with insightful essays on noir’s treatment of subjects from religion to childhood, lesbianism to the “crisis pregnancy.” Incisive profiles of overlooked figures—Norman  Foster, Richard Quine, Tom Neal, Mickey Rooney—rescue their contributions from the shadows while revealing lives often more noir than their films. The Blind Alley is especially to be treasured for its loving tributes to women who never quite had the careers they deserved, but who left their indelible mark on noir, among them Peggie Castle, Martha Vickers, and Thelma Ritter. For the noir fan, delving into this collection is like opening a box of extra-dark chocolates.”
Imogen Sara Smith, author of In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond The City

“If you want to learn more about film noir, read The Blind Alley. Jake Hinkson is like a literary Reed Hadley. His lively, informative essays comprise an essential voiceover tour of the characters and foibles of film noir.”

Alan K. Rode, author, Charles McGraw: Film Noir Tough Guy and Sit On The Camera, Pant Like a Tiger: The Life and Films of Michael Curtiz

1 comment:

John said...

I discovered your noirness on Criminal Element back in December. I plowed through every post and every one in the archives. I came to expect a new post from you every couple of days, not realizing that December was an anomaly. Sometime in the wasteland of January/February, I discovered you were working on a book of noir essays. It came yesterday (Amazon) and it was like noir Christmas. I plowed through the whole thing in a day and, as with the blog posts, I'm sure I will be rereading it in chunks pretty much constantly.

Your noir essays are the first I've come across that are inspiring and invigorating for me on the level of that great little Barry Gifford book from the 80s. I couldn't care less about dry academic writing. I'm sure I'm not alone in craving cock-eyed idiosyncratic opinions of people who love what I love only more so. I don't need someone to tell me what x means. I want someone at my kitchen table saying, "holy **** you have got to see this!" We all have those friends who perform that function for us in different areas, music, movies, books, etc. One of the great things about blogs and the internet is that it's possible to bump into many more of such people. Genre Obi Wans.

The book is great and I'm sure I will be responsible for selling a couple dozen copies as I foist it on my friends and anyone who will listen. But I have a question: what's the deal with the bazillion typos and proofing errors in the book? Okay, not a bazillion, but at least ten or so that popped out at me. The weird thing is that there are misspellings in the book that are not present in the original blog post of the same essay (e.g. "smoother" for "smother" in the Where Danger Lives essay). I don't actually give a shit about that stuff usually, and in fact expect it on blogs where things are written quickly and there aren't editors and stuff. But for typos that weren't there in the blog to be ADDED to the presumably proofed book is bizarre.

Anyway, I was pissed off on your behalf. I am a huge fan and will be studiously buying and reading everything of yours that's available. (Also, if you wouldn't mind publishing an insightful blog post on an under-appreciated noir film or actor, say one a day into perpetuity, that would be awesome. Cool, thanks!)