Re: RARA-AVIS: The real McCoy/ British McCoy

Etienne Borgers (
Fri, 2 Apr 1999 23:59:18 -0800 (PST) Don't believe the American critics at all!!
NO POCKETS IN A SHROUD is a very good novel, one of
the greats by McCoy. But there is a problem...

Nobody in America wanted to publish McCoy's novel
when it was ready in 1936, because he was taking on
toughly on the "news" establishment with politically
incorrect problems for the USA of the time, like:
racism, fascism, and of course public corruption,
addressed in the book.
Finally a publisher in Europe (UK) issued the book in
1937, and I think it was translated rather quickly
into French as well.
Only in 1948 a "purged" and mutilated version was
published in the USA.

McCoy was villipended by the critics in the USA and
despised as being vulgar, crude... well, you see the

There was a (in)famous article by Edmund Wilson that
compared him to James Cain and concluded that he was
way inferior...! Don't believe it neither.
When in 1948 KISS TOMORROW GOOD BYE was published,
the American critics circus started all over again...

In 1952, a novelization of a script was not published
because McCoy refused to make the cuts and
modifications requested by the American publishers.
That was: THIS IS DYNAMITE. Marcel Duhamel of Serie
Noire, one of the early supporters of McCoy's novels
in France, accepted it and was published there in 1953.
It was finally published in the USA in 1959 under the

Horace Mc Coy is one of the best American writers, by
any standard; just read it to be convinced.
Stay away from the American critics of his time, that
could be echoed in later "literary" valuations of his

But try to find the complete version of NO POCKETS

Hard-Boiled Mysteries wrote:
> Is McCoy's NO POCKETS IN A SHROUD worth a read? I
understand it is an
> autobiographical novel about McCoy's experiences in
the Oak Cliff section
> of Dallas in the 1920s, and some people have
recommended it to me. But
> I've also read that it's just not a very good
novel at all. Hard to
> believe that the guy who turned out THEY SHOOT
> GOOD-BYE could turn out a stinker but....
> Thanks...Kip

Get your free address at

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# The web pages for the list are at