Re: RARA-AVIS: David Goodis in the pulps

From: Jeff Vorzimmer (
Date: 15 May 2008

Another thing that strikes me when reading Retreat is how the settings of his novels kept get smaller and smaller. The action in Retreat from Oblivion takes place in New York and Spain, Dark Passage from San Quentin to San Francisco, by the time he wrote Cassidy's Girl, the novels were confined to the city of Philadelphia. Then came novels where action was contained within a neigborhood. Then came novels like Black Friday where the action was contained in a single house or Street of No Return or Street of the lost where the action takes place pretty much on a single block. As you go through his novels they get more and more claustrophobic and increasingly bleak. Even in The Wounded and the Slain, which takes place in Jamaica, the action takes place pretty much in a hotel and the neighborhood immediately surrounding it.


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