Re: RARA-AVIS: Writers who have "disappeared" from the public eye

From: Lawrence Coates (
Date: 07 May 2008

I'm kind of late getting back to this post. But I recall someone on Rara Avis having access to reprints of "Sin Pit." Am I remembering correctly? It's not available through any public or university inter-library loan source here in Ohio, and the only copy I saw online was seventy-five bucks.

 With a title like "Sin PIt," I'm intrigued.


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>Date: 4-May-2008 15:02:26 -0400
>From: "Jeff Vorzimmer" <>
>Reply-To: <>
>To: <>
>Subject: RARA-AVIS: Writers who have "disappeared" from the public eye
>> ***April 2008: Writers who have "disappeared" from the public eye, either
>> because they stopped
>> publishing or because their work is unavailable.
>Are we still doing this theme?
>I've been trying to get back to Lion Books that I'd overlooked in the past,
>so I read The Peddler (in a HCC reprint), Sleep with the Devil, Sin Pit and
>Brotherhood of Velvet over the last couple months. The last two titles
>belong to writers who definitely fall into this category, Paul Meskil and
>David Karp. In the case of Paul Meskil, it's likely due to the fact that he
>only published the one novel. But I can't understand the neglect of Karp. He
>has definitey disappeared.
>In Hardboiled America, O'Brien mentions Karp as "curiously overlooked" and
>in George's Noir Fiction, he says that a strong argument can be made for
>Karp as being the best writer in the Lion stable, even over Jim Thompson. I
>wouldn't go quite that far. Thompson and Goodis were at the top of the heap
>there and both of them went on to Fawcett, while Karp was able to break into
>the hardcover market. Though I think that the former two, having been
>refugees from that market to begin with, thought they could make a better
>living with PBOs.
>I read Karp's Brotherhood of Velvet, which has mentioned as his best. It was
>well-written with an interesting premise, the familiar theme of the secret
>organization that has people in key government positions and thoroughly
>controls lives of those who belong. But it starts to slowly fizzle out about
>half way through. It's almost as if he didn't know how to end it properly.
>What I see as the problems of the novel I suspect stem from the fact that
>Karp obviously didn't see himself as a crime writer with the need for
>suspenseful moments and actual crime. What actual crime exists in the novel
>is hearsay with the exception of the actual beating he takes supposedly at
>the hands of the Brotherhood.
>Hey, I might have answered my own question as to why he's been overlooked.
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Lawrence Coates Associate Professor of Creative Writing Bowling Green State University

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