Category Archives: Pulp Fiction Thursday

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Vanishing American

The Vanishing American was an atypical work for Zane Gray. He was best known as the author of cowboy oriented Western novels. But he always had a soft spot for Native Americans. Here’s how Goodreads describes this book:

 Considered one of Zane Grey’s best novels, The Vanishing American was originally published in serialized form in the Ladies Home Journal in 1922. It reveals Grey’s empathy for the Native American and his deep concern for the future survival of that culture.

It is the story of Nophaie, a young Navajo, who is picked up by a party of whites at the age of seven. White parents bring the child up as though he were their own, eventually sending him to a prestigious Eastern college where he distinguishes himself by his outstanding athletic skill. The Vanishing American is about Nophaie’s struggle to find a place in society. On a larger scale it is about all Native Americans and their future in America.

Without further adieu, here are two covers:

Baseball historian John Thorn wrote a piece about the book because the main character seems to be based on Jim Thorpe.

Finally, the two film versions of the novel treat it like your basic Zane Grey oater.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Skeleton In The Clock

I’ve heard of having a skeleton in one’s closet but in a clock? Is that grandfather in that long case clock? As always, I have more questions than answers.

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Vintage Hippie Paperbacks

This is first time I’ve used a search term as a post title. It was a helluva search. Dig those crazy taglines, fellow babies.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Cape Fear

Hurricane Florence has me thinking of North Carolina. When I heard a reference to Cape Fear on teevee, I knew what to select for this feature.

John D. MacDonald was among the best hard-boiled crime fiction writers of his era. The book was originally titled The Executioners. It was renamed Cape Fear in Hollywood because that’s where the story’s climax takes place.  It’s one of the few times that movie people improved upon a book title. Subsequent editions of The Executioners all bore the title Cape Fear.

One of the few movie remakes that’s worth a damn is Martin Scorsese’s 1991 version of the original 1962 Peck-Mitchum film. Here’s the poster for Marty’s movie:

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: If Death Ever Slept

I tried a new method in selecting this week’s, uh, selection. I looked at the bookcase in my study and picked the first crime fiction title that caught my eye. That’s how Nero Wolfe’s If Death Ever Slept wound up on First Draft. It beats the hell out of a lottery.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Coffin Corner

I’m not quite sure what inspired this week’s theme but I don’t think it was Della or Paul coffin up a hairball.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Edgar Wallace

Edgar Wallace was a prolific English writer who is best known as one of the screenwriters of the original King Kong, He could also be dubbed one of the founders of pulp fiction.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: I, The Jury

All the talk about the Manafort jury got me thinking of this Mike Hammer tome. It was one of Mickey’s most popular books. If it had flopped, he would have had some Spillane-ing to do…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Glitter and the Greed

This book is NOT about the Trump administration but someone should use the title for a book that is.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Last Hurrah

The Last Hurrah is the story of Frank Skeffington an Irish pol based on Massachusetts legend, James Michael Curley. It’s about his last campaign, which took place in the teevee era thereby dooming a dinosaur like Skeffington. It was made into a helluva movie by John Ford who knew from Irish-American politicians.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Deadly Mermaid

This book has nothing to with either the movie Splash or my friend Charlotte’s post-K blog, Traveling Mermaid.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The High Window

I’m in a Marlowe mood this week: Philip, not Christopher.

The High Window was Raymond Chandler’s third book featuring Marlowe. It’s been published with a wide array of covers over the last 76 years. Here are two representative ones:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Nice Guys Finish Dead

It’s all in the title this week.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Cave

I mentioned this book in my post about the Thai cave rescues. It’s one of those books that lodged itself in my consciousness when I read it many years ago. It’s the story of a young man trapped in a cave in Tennessee. I won’t tell you what happened since the book is well-worth reading for both the tale and the telling.

A point of order: my LSU friends are likely to object to a Warren book popping up in this feature. The Cave is literary fiction but the paperback covers are on the pulpy side. Besides, its my party and I’ll cry it I want to.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: If Wishes Were Hearses

What’s not to love about this book title? In a word: nothing.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Psycho Circus

This book is not about the Trump White House but if they’re in need of an “evening reader,” they could use the title.

This book title has given me a wee earworm. It’s got me singing “Psycho Circus, qu’est-ce que c’est.”

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Chessmen Of Mars

I was a devoted reader of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars books as a tadpole. The Chessmen of Mars was one of my favorites. I somehow doubt if those books inspired Trumpy’s space proposal. Reading is too hard.

There are many editions of The Chessmen of Mars. I like these two early paperback editions that I found on the interweb.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Judas Cat

I’m not sure which of the covers below is from the first paperback edition. I have a guess, it’s the one with the old man and the cat. What’s a vintage pulp fiction cover without either a femme fatale or damsel in distress?

Pulp Fiction Thursday: James Meese

James Meese week continues at First Draft. He’s something of an internet man of mystery. I wasn’t able to learn much about him other than he was as short-lived as he was as prolific as a pulp fiction illustrator. I’ll just have to let his work speak for itself:

I don’t want to give you the impression Meese never did covers for some of the more popular crime fictionistas. Here are two he did for Agatha Christie paperbacks: