Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Best (and Worst) Novels of Gil Brewer




Between 1951 and 1967, Gil Brewer published 30 noirboiled novels.  Here are my picks for the must-reads and the must-avoids:

The best . . .

Hell’s Our Destination (Gold Medal, 1953): Brewer found his voice in his fifth published novel. Bleak House in the Florida swamp.

A Killer Is Loose (Gold Medal, 1954): Brewer thought that this tale of an everyman and a psychopath was his best novel. He may have been right.

The Brat (Gold Medal, 1957): The title character is perhaps Brewer’s most memorable femme fatale—and she’s got a lot of competition.

A Taste for Sin (Berkley, 1961): Or maybe this novel contains Brewer’s most memorable femme fatale. Conveniently, she happens to be married to a bank clerk.

Memory of Passion (Lancer, 1962): An ambitious narrative blending a busted marriage and a serial killer.

The worst . . .

Some Must Die (Gold Medal, 1954): Brewer’s attempt at a western. Much of the prose is incoherent.

The Angry Dream (Mystery House, 1957): Thin plot with a laugh-out-loud ending. Also published as The Girl from Hateville.

Appointment in Hell (Monarch, 1961): Even a plane crash in the wilds of South America cannot dampen the horniness of the human spirit.

Sin for Me (Banner, 1967): Brewer running on fumes, lurching his way to one last noirboiled paycheck.

6 comments:

  1. It's nice to know that I haven't read his best yet but own two of them. It will be interesting to see how the stack up to 13French Street and The Vengeful Virgin

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    1. The Vengeful Virgin is definitely in the top half.

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  2. Hey, nice post. I've been meaning to read some Brewer and this is as good a starting list as any.

    I've been checking this blog out for a while now. Nice work.

    Cheers,

    Andrew Nette
    www.pulpcurry.com

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  3. NUDE ON THIN ICE is one of his best

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    1. Agreed. Not in my top five, but very good.

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