Magical Realism Meets Noir

Jake Mearns at the LARB:

THERE IS NO other novel quite like Michael Fessier’s 1935 genre-bending Fully Dressed and in His Right Mind. At first glance, the San Francisco–set tale is classic noir, narrated in the steely patter of Depression-era hard-boiled crime fiction. An average Joe, John Price, happens upon a murder in the street; he then becomes unwillingly entangled in the perpetrator’s subsequent killings; and finally, he must prove his innocence when the police try to railroad Price for the other’s crimes. But what elevates Fully Dressed into a class all its own is how Fessier incorporates fantastical characters and events that are alien to noir. The incongruity between the novel’s deadpan, tough-guy prose and its wildly surreal content makes Fully Dressed and in His Right Mind a haunting novel that’s impossible to put down.

more here.