Re: RARA-AVIS: Get out your Woolriches!

From: Richard Moore (
Date: 02 Feb 2008

Ah, SAVAGE BRIDE. I don't consider it a crime novel really. There was once a sub-genre of adventure fiction that were stories of the tropics or jungle. It provides exotic settings (jungle camps, various types of plantations, etc.), savages who can menace, a beautiful girl usually in a scanty hot weather outfit, and often a touch of the supernatural.

Woolrich spent a fair amount of his youth with his engineer father in Mexico and Central America and he used a tropical background in several stories. The most successful was probably his novel BLACK ALIBI
(1942), which Val Lewton and Jacques Tournier did film.

I consider SAVAGE BRIDE one of the weakest novels by Woolrich. He wrote a few that featured such a sappy guy as a lead character that I have trouble reading them.

As I said at the beginning of the month, the best Woolrich novels that I've read were published in the 1940s. I have not read FRIGHT, which came out in 1950 (same as SAVAGE BRIDE) under the George Hopley name and is now in print from Hard Case Crime. When I began buying Woolrich, that was the hardest novel to obtain and now that it is back in print I look forward to reading it.

Richard Moore

--- In, "Jeff Vorzimmer" <jvorzimmer@...> wrote:
> One of the books I'm reading for Woolrich month is Savage Bride, his
> Gold Medal PBO. I'm about a quarter of the way through and it doesn't
> to be crime fiction, though it's pure pulp fiction very noir--kinda
like a
> Val Lewton/Jacques Tournier story.
> For those who've read this one, is it a crime novel?
> Jeff

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