A tall, dark stranger recently sent me this list by Allan Guthrie of 200 noirs. Guthrie stipulates this is a highly personal and idiosyncratic list, noting that his personal definition of noir excludes most detective fiction (fair enough -- it seems like people argue over the definition of noir all the time anyway): "Bear in mind that this is an entirely idiosyncratic (some might even say perverse) personal selection based on
a) what I’ve read to date (no prizes for spotting the gaps) and
b) what I consider noir (which rules out most detective fiction -- unless the detectives are victims, crooks, lunatics or are generally shafted in some major way -- and yet permits the occasional western and horror. Yikes!)"
Which leaves us a list of 200 titles that span works from James M Cain and Georges Simenon to titles I've barely even heard of, let alone read.
Which is highly tantalizing.
Of particular interest are the volumes with the most bizarre titles, such as "The Shark Infested Custard and a lot of the older ones I've only heard of in movie form, like "Build My Gallows High" (which became "Out of the Past"). This list is daunting and intriguing, and should give you plenty to do should you ever find yourself immobilized after a terrible accident.