“At the center of Marling’ s approach is the concept of ‘prodigality’: how narrative represents having, and having had, too much. Never before in this country, he argues, did wealth impinge on the national consciousness as in the 1920s, and never was such conscience rebuked as in the 1930s. What, he asks, were the paradigms that explained accumulation and windfall, waste and failure?” – Booklist
“William Marling’s readings of classic hard-boiled fiction and film in the contexts of U.S> social and cultural history and a wide range of narratives and cultural theories are detailed, original, and illuminating. The American Roman Noir is a valuable book and an important contribution to the fields of U.S. cultural history, popular culture, and the literature of the twenties and thirties.”
— William W. Stowe, Wesleyan University.