Seriously--Koenig's collection of vintage print advertising for more than 400 American noirs from the 40s and the 50s is both frivolous and profound. After all, it collects advertising art designed to be 100% disposable. But it also manages to capture the ethos of noir as it was purveyed by the studios as the cycle of films became a force on movie screens across the USA.
Lots of variations of the aegis and attitude that embodies noir can be seen in the ad copy that provides teasers for specific films--and Koenig immerses us in that world in a manner that is similar to what Elliot Lavine did at a more metaphysical level with his I WAKE UP DREAM "noir TV Guide" project.
1) Koenig should put 10-15 more pages from the book up on Amazon, as 4-5 samples may not be enough to entice the "on the fence" buyer.
2) The book might gain some historical resonance if Koenig had chosen to present the ads in chronological order rather than alphabetically. Doing it the latter way means that he didn't need to create an index, but the evolution of print advertising from 1941 to 1959 would likely become more noticeable if the book had been organized in a year-by-year format.
That aside, you owe it to yourselves and the ongoing efficacy of your noir obsession to make a place for this book on your shelf. Check it out at the link below...
A brief interview with Koenig, which veers off into a discussion of other topics, can be found here: