Okay. I admit I have never heard of the genre Noir. I looked up the meaning and learn that Noir is a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity. It’s no wonder I have never heard of it, for I discover after reading that it’s not my kind of genre. (Dead bodies aplenty.)
Having been admitted in the MAP program has its benefits, chiefly I get to meet many local authors, some of whose writings are found in this book. This book was introduced to me during the Singapore Writers Festival, where a short excerpt were read out by Colin Cheong and Dave Chua. A fellow mantee in the same MAP program highly recommended the book and so I decided to read it.
Edited by Cheryl Lu-lien Tan, whose work can also be found here, the book is divided into four parts, Sirens, Love (or Something like it), Gods and Demons, and finally, The Haves & The Have Nots.
I read almost all the fourteen stories, except for two, which I found too disturbing, but for that, I gather should be compliments to the authors, or maybe not. One was about a homosexual S&M (sadism and masochism) where the male employer staying in a Sentosa Cove house tortures his Filipina maid.
A few of the stories involve Filipina maids and Chinese women, not surprising as they are often in the news. Some stories are just strange. The only one I really enjoyed was by Colin Goh which I at first thought was by the other Colin, for the writing has the same humour as Coin Cheong in person. Another story which stuck was Simon Tay’s only because Colin Cheong read it during the Writers Festival.
The editing though could be improved. I found three glaring editing mistakes (Eg Cold Storage not in caps) and the Singlish in some sentences were more like afterthoughts. Also, do you pause and add a LAH after your sentence? For the LAH appears after a comma in the book.
Still, as a would be local author, we must support local authors. So, do read the book, Singaporeans!