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My desire with this anthology was to collect stories that in one way or another illuminated the dark end of the Street. I was looking not so much for tales of glitz, glamour and masters of the universe as I was stories about desperate measures in pursuit of that glitz, or the corrosive, distorting effects of proximity to so much excess, or self-deception, or the people who get ground up in the well-oiled gears, or deals with the devil. I'd admired Akashic's crime fiction list, and thought its Noir series might be a great vehicle for what I had in mind.

Akashic publisher Johnny Temple and I had a talk, and happily he agreed. Why do you think that is? Financial wrongdoing didn't start there, of course, but it found fertile ground on the Street, and its roots run pretty deep. And of course there's the fact that to paraphrase Willie Sutton Wall Street is where the money is. But I think there's more to the story than inclination and proximity. Pressure is certainly a part of the Wall Street equation.

Success can bring immense wealth, and failure can end careers. For some of these people, more than just run-of-the-mill avarice is at work. For them, money is merely a proxy for larger, more existential stakes. Failure doesn't only put big bonuses at risk, but their sense of self as well. Corporate culture is another factor. Firms with slipshod controls, or whose managements focus on the generation of revenue to the exclusion of all else, often send ambiguous don't ask, don't tell signals to their employees, and tacit messages about what kind of behavior is and isn't acceptable in the pursuit of profit.

Q: Your contributors are an interesting mix: some veteran crime writers, some journalists, some Wall Street professionals, even a graphic novelist. Was this intentional? A: It was indeed. A varied bunch, but they all had great insight into the noir aspects of the place, and they all delivered great stories. When the project started, I wouldn't have predicted that the collection would include an historical story, but it turned out to have two of them from Jim Fusilli and Megan Abbott.

And while I had high hopes for the book's graphic story by Tim Broderick , the final product exceeded my expectations in terms of its immediacy, impact, and wit. More than anything, though, I was surprised by just how much humor decidedly dark humor some of these stories have. I expected dark and gritty, and I expected social commentary, but I didn't expect funny.

PETER SPIEGELMAN

Q: Other volumes in Akashic's Noir series focus on specific cities, and are organized by city neighborhoods; Wall Street Noir seems like something of a departure. I don't think it's a big departure. If your order has not yet been shipped you will need to send Dymocks Online an email advising the error and requesting a change in details.

If your order has a status of "packed" or "shipped" we will not be able to guarantee any change in shipping details.


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