RARA-AVIS: Re:Automotive noir

From: William Smith (hangfirebooks@gmail.com)
Date: 13 Jul 2010

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    I'm a big fan of noir novels with a particular job/industrial background. Off the top of my head I can think of these 3 that (more or less) fit the automotive noir category.

    Fever Heat by Angus Vicker (aka Henry Gregor Felsen) Gun-shy stock car racer gets pulled back into the racing circuit by a femme fatale. Felson wrote a lot of teen-focused hot rod fiction that's well-loved but this one fits your bill best.

    The Woman Chaser by Charles Willeford Main character is a used car dealer trying to work an angle by moving clunkers from one city to another. Not completely car-based but what's in there is great.

    Killdozer! by Theodore Sturgeon More SF/Horror but the style and tone is right for noir.

    I've also cataloged these PBs (but haven't read so I can't testify to the quality or noirishness)

    1. Felsen, Henry Gregor. Crash Club (Bantam A2076). New York, NY: Bantam, 1960.

    2. Felsen, Henry Gregor . Hot Rod (Bantam 923). NY: Bantam, 1951.

    3. Felsen, Henry Gregor . Street Rod (Bantam 1437). New York, NY: Bantam, 1956

    4. Jackson, Caary. Stock Car Racer (Signet KD503). New York, NY: Signet, 1957.

    5. O'Rourke, Frank. Car Deal! (Ballantine 111). New York, NY: Ballantine, 1955. Paperback Original.

    6. Ruesch, Hans. Racer, The (Ballantine 17). New York, NY: Ballantine, 1953. Paperback Original.

    7. Runyon, Charles. Death Cycle, The (Gold Medal s1268). New York, NY: Gold Medal, 1963. Paperback Original

    8. Scott, Warwick. Cockpit (prev. published in the UK as: Image in the Dust) (Lion 140). New York, NY: Lion Books, 1953. First US Edition. First American paperback edition

    9. Wurlitzer, Rudolph; Will Corry; Monte Hellman. Two-Lane Blacktop
    (Movie tie-in Edition) (Award Books A897N). New York, NY: Award Books, 1971. First Edition, First Printing. Movie tie-in PBO with the Monte Hellman film starring Dennis Wilson (of the Beach Boys) and James Taylor. Includes 20+ page interview with Hellman, 8 pages of photos, Production Notes and the screenplay.

    Good luck.

    Regards, Will Hang Fire Books

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