Category Archives: Pulp Fiction Thursday

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:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Rififi

In honor of last night’s series finale of The Americans, I’m revisiting Rifii. It began life as a novel by Auguste le Breton before being adapted for the big screen. It turns out that the movie was such a big hit that le Breton wrote more Rififi books. Our focus is on the original tome with this image of a rather battered early edition:

My father taught me to never trust a man in red suspenders. I made that up but he was not a fan of suspenders.

Let’s move on to some posters for Jules Dassin’s classic movie:

Yeah, I know the pictures are a bit crooked. It *is* a heist movie, after all.

Time for le trailer:

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Unhappy Hooligan

Happy Hooligan was an early comic strip character. I guess this bloke is his evil pulp twin.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Hell Crowds My Guns

It’s time for some Western pulpiness.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Silenced Witnesses

Silenced Witnesses sounds like a title for the Trump era. It will never be applied to the Insult Comedian or Rudy since neither ever shuts up.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Fixers

The fixers in question were cigar-smoking guys who fixed college basketball games. In short, the cover features games and gams. The latter are more prevalent on vintage pulp covers. Anyone surprised? I thought not.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Hootenanny Nurse

I’ve long thought hootenanny was one of the funniest words in the English language. This week’s entry has done nothing to disabuse me of that notion.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: If He Hollers Let Him Go

The African-American writer Chester Himes is best known for his noirish crime fiction and books set in Harlem. If He Hollers Let Him Go was his first novel. It’s a racially charged story set in post-World War II Los Angeles.

I read it after reading an interview with Walter Mosley wherein he recommended the book. I kept waiting for Easy Rawlins to show up. He did not but it’s a good book even without Easy and Mouse.

If He Hollers Let Him Go was made into a movie in 1968.

Here’s the trailer:

The whole damn movie is available on the YouTube for now.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Pirate Wench

This was another one of those weeks where I searched for something completely different and found this book. What’s not to love about the title Pirate Wench?

It gives me a pretext to post this ELP opus:

 

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Flying Eyes

Another week, another alien invasion book.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Gods Hate Kansas

I’d never heard of this book until last week. I picked it because it has a cool title and cover, the Kansas Jayhawks made the Final Four, Leftoverture by Kansas was featured yesterday, and my friend Dave Gladow is from Kansas. What the latter has to do with anything is beyond me but Dave *does* like Star Wars and comic book movies.

The book turns out to have a helluva back story:

Joseph Millard was an American pulp science fiction writer who published nearly a dozen short stories between 1941 and 1943, and then apparently gave up writing for good. Most of his stories appeared in magazines like Thrilling Wonder Stories, Amazing StoriesFantastic Adventures, and other pulps. He died in 1989.

In November 1941, he published his only novel, The Gods Hate Kansas, in Startling Stories magazine. It was reprinted a decade later in the November 1952 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine, and then appeared in paperback in February 1964 from Monarch Books, with a brilliantly gonzo cover by Jack Thurston, featuring a raygun-wielding hero riding bareback on a little red number and giving the business to an earnest-looking bug-eye monster.

Here’s the 1964 edition:

The Gods Hate Kansas became the 1967 British sci-fi flick, They Came From Beyond Space:

 

Here’s the trashy trailer:

We’re not in Kansas any more, Toto.

Procol Harum gets the last word: