Cahokia Jazz
February 19, 2024 6:20 PM - Subscribe

A 1920s-noir crime thriller set in an alternate US where the ancient indigenous city of Cahokia is still a thriving metropolis. From Francis Spufford, the author of Red Plenty, and Golden Hill. Equal parts world-building and detective fiction.

Very positive reviews from Cory Doctorow, the Grauniad, and the FT, and Locus. A more mixed review from the NYT.

A mildly spoiler-y interview in Salon
posted by rishabguha (6 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Personally, I loved it. I thought the world building and plotting evinced an uncommon amount of care for the details of the city Spufford was constructing. And while it's easy for "genre" fiction to fall into cliche, I lost track of the number of times I thought I knew exactly what was coming, only to have my expectations subverted.
posted by rishabguha at 6:22 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

I've never heard of it but that's a helluva premise. Put it on the wish list and then it will go on the massive TBR pile. Thanks!
posted by Ber at 1:58 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]

Immediately picked this one up today based solely on the first sentence of your description. What a pitch! I'm excited to get into it.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:59 PM on February 20

As someone who grew up right near Cahokia, I'm all in for this book when I have a space in the TBR pile.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:03 AM on February 21

I skipped the TBR pile and read it as soon as I was done with the current book. Worth it.
posted by andreap at 2:07 AM on February 22

Just finished this one, thanks for posting about it. Really well done, and reminded me somehow of Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. I appreciated the meta commentary inside the book when, in reference to Barrow always turning up at the right time, they compare it with keeping time in the musical sense.
posted by dhruva at 7:18 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]

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