RARA-AVIS: Lee Server's new book

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 10 Jun 2003

I bet some of you have Lee Server's new book, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PULP FICTION WRITERS (Checkmark Books, 2002). It was more than 200 entries on sensationalist writers over the last 100 years, from before pulp magazines to after, including even Jackie Collins.

Many of the writers we're interested in on the list are included: Hammett, Chandler, and James M. Cain ("the father, son, and holy ghost of American hardboiled literature"), Paul Cain, Charles Willeford, Frank Kane, Henry Kane, Don Pendleton, Jim Thompson, Ernest Tidyman, and many more. Hammett and Chandler have relatively short entries, while James M. Cain, who's less well known, gets three pages and more in depth coverage. There are some strange omissions: Ross Macdonald gets two pages (and a nice picture with Margaret Millar and daugher), but John D. MacDonald isn't mentioned. Not only does he deserve to be included, but surely he's one of the best examples of a writer making the transition from the pulps to their successors, the paperback originals.

It's $19.95 USD, $29.95 CDN. Some (or perhaps much) of what's in it won't be new to you, but for good coverage of a wide range of writers, and as a handy reference for when you need to check on Vin Packer or W.R. Burnett, I'd recommend it. Also, two rare birds are mentioned on the acknowledgments page.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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