Re: RARA-AVIS: Gangster novels: Robison

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 06 Mar 2003

> Todd Mason wrote:
> Is "Enter Scarface" an excerpt from the novel? I don't have
> my copy at hand to check.
> **********
> I'm not sure, Todd. I don't recall seeing any reference to
> it being an excerpt in MAMMOTH BOOK OF PULP FICTION, and I
> don't have the novel so I can't compare the two.
> The story ended with no conclusion at all, so I wouldn't be
> surprised if it was pulled straight from the book. I just
> ordered BRAIN GUY and SCARFACE from Abebooks, so I'll know
> for sure in a couple weeks.
> miker
> --

Yes, miker & Todd, "Enter Scarface" is an excerpt from Scarface the novel. Scarface was re-issued earlier in the Xanadu/Blue Murder series that was also edited by Maxim Jakubowski. (Speaking personally, I hate excerpts from novels being used in anthologies - but due to both lines of Blue Murder reprints & the two "Pulp" anthologies he edited I have magnanimously forgiven M. Jakubowski). It's been a few years since I read Scarface, Al, but I'm not sure that it quite lives up to its rep. From memory, I think I much preferred Little Caesar by W R Burnett. I haven't read Brain Guy but I have read another gangster novel by Appel, titled something like Life and Death of a Tough Guy, I think. That was OK, if memory serves but I think Brain Guy is supposed to be his best. My favourite writer of gangster tomes, as some may remember, is Peter Rabe, from a later era (the 50's) who wrote about the later style of gangster, the organisation man, basically a businessman who controls various lucrative legal, semi-legal and illegal entertainment businesses.Perhaps the earliest of these style gangster stories is Hammett's The Glass Key.


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