Re: RARA-AVIS: Recent purchases

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 01 Feb 2001

On Wed, 31 Jan 2001, William Denton wrote:

> BRASS KNUCKLES, by Frank Gruber. This is the collection of Oliver Quade
> stories, with a memoir about his time writing for the pulps. I saw it for
> $25 (ex-lib) but didn't get it right away. The only mention of Gruber and
> Quade my web searches turned up were in the list archives, with
> recommendations from Messrs. Taboada and Lochte, among others. I checked
> for Gruber in O'Brien's HARDBOILED AMERICA, to no avail. The only mention
> of him in THE BIG BOOK OF NOIR is in an anecdote by A.I. Bezzerides about
> a time when Jack Warner interrupted him, Gruber and Steve Fisher playing
> craps. (Gruber seems to have been a good craps player.) The mentions in
> the archives convinced me I should grab it, so I went back to the store.
> Is Gruber pretty much forgotten these days? He wrote a lot and it's all
> solid stuff, from what I've read, but I don't think he had any luck with
> fancy Black Lizard reprints.

Gruber seems to be forgotten, but there is (at least was in earlier editions) an essay and a crime-oriented bibliography of him in "20th Century Crime and Mystery Writers" (now, of course, "St. James Guide"). Gruber falls somewhere between the screwball comedy and hardboiled and there's no noir element in his writing, so maybe that's why he doesn't get mentioned any more.

His Fletcher-Cragg novels are quite fun, he made them from the early fourties to the sixties.

> Anyone else picked up anything good lately?

I was reading a Max Smart novel by William Johnston. Even if you liked the series, don't bother with this one.

"America Noir": a collection of essays about undergroud writing and film making in post-war America. Forgot the writer's name, but the book deals with Willeford, Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury (undergroud?), Samuel Fuller, Roger Corman, Richard Condon et cetera. Published last year.

"The Noir Style": a big and stylish coffee table book with great still photos, included with analyse about the visual style and motifs of films noir. A good book - except that there is no filmography and there were some films I knew nothing about and would've liked to check.


# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 01 Feb 2001 EST