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Jean-Claude Izzo

Jean-Claude Izzo

Jean-Claude Izzo was born in Marseilles, France, in 1945. Best known for the Marseilles trilogy (Total Chaos, Chourmo, Solea), Izzo is also the author of The Lost Sailors, A Sun for the Dying, Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil, and one collection of short stories, Living Tires. He died in 2000 at the age of fifty-five.

All Jean-Claude Izzo's books

Latest reviews

  • There's an evoking area of European crime fiction known as Mediteranean Noir that may challenge the Nordic hold on mystery readers. Its origin can be traced to a revitalization of French mysteries in the aftermath of the May 1968 uprisings. Following those politically unsettling...
    — Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, Nov 13 2015
  • In the summertime picnics, outdoor concerts and films are popular. Turks love to have picnics. If invited to a picnic do not expect sandwiches and a thermos. Turks take a full kitchen, including a barbecue (mangal), bottled gas for making tea, porcelain plates, metal knives...
    — Today’s Zaman, Jul 31 2015
  • "In the beginning is the book. And that moment  in which  Cain kills his brother Abel.  In the blood  of this fratricide,  the Mediterranean gives us the first noir novel." When it comes to Euro-Noir, I reserve a special place for the work of Jean-Claude...
    — May 26 2013
  • Izzo published his first novel at the age of 50 in 1995. TOTAL CHAOS – part of the Marseilles trilogy, which is published for the first time in the UK this month – helped define the crime sub-genre now known as Mediterranean noir. Izzo died just five years later. He began...
    — May 10 2013
  • I haven’t read Jean-Claude Izzo’s Mediterranean trilogy, the modern noir series that made him famous, nor have I visited his beloved Marseilles. Reading GARLIC, MINT, & SWEET BASIL: ESSAYS ON MARSEILLES, THE MEDITERRANEAN, AND NOIR FICTION, a collection of his short...
    — Apr 12 2013
  • GARLIC, MINT AND SWEET BASIL is a very motley collection, extremely generously spaced out over just over a hundred pages. Promising in its subtitle Essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean Cuisine, and Noir Fiction, few of the pieces are full-fledged essays — though they do cover...
    — Apr 3 2013
  • Paris is freezing, and when his friend Titi dies curled up in the subway, Rico decides to head for Marseilles, drawn by the sun and sea, and by memories of his youthful love, Léa. So begins the graceful, slow-motion ballet of Rico’s journey to the coast—and back through...
    — Oct 1 2008
  • "A Sun For the Dying" (Reviewed by Guy Savage AUG 25, 2008) “When you were on the street, you lost your bearings, there were no rules anymore. Only the naïve believed in the solidarity of the poor. Like many others, Rico had found that out soon enough. On the street,...
    — Oct 1 2008
  • It's an icy winter in Paris, but Rico, the destitute protagonist of A Sun for the Dying, knows how to survive on the streets. He has a decent "crash pad", a vacant building whose Madagascan security guard buys him coffee and croissants, and thanks to his bookish comrade Titi,...
    — Sep 12 2008
  • from Shelf Awareness Medicating himself with Dolipran, only as sober as he absolutely needs to be, Rico is one of the homeless of Paris, living on the street and managing to stay numb and survive, but the discovery of his best friend's body frozen to death in the subway...
    — Sep 8 2008
  • A drifter escapes to Marseilles in this dark work from Izzo (The Lost Sailors, 2007, etc.) When drifter Rico's entertaining friend Titi, who recited tales from books long gone, dies of exposure in a Paris metro, Rico decides he must flee the cold city. Although leaving...
    — Jul 1 2008
  • A novelist who speaks through music... Jean-Claude Izzo's novels make brilliant use of musical allusions in portraying France's ethnic divisions About a third of the way through Lost Sailors, the most recent English-language translation of the late Jean-Claude...
    — Jun 19 2008

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