Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: Gil Brewer, A Taste for Sin (1961)

David’s Femme Dépravée Theorem: The quality of a traditional Everyman noir is in direct proportion to the depravity of its femme fatale—and it doesn’t hurt if she also happens to be married to a clerk at the local bank. Brewer had written this book before, but not with this much panache. Available in a two-fer from Stark House Press. Grade: A-

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pulp Poem of the Week

Once you’ve
made up your mind,
it doesn’t
hurt so much.
Gil Brewer
“The Axe Is Ready

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review: Gil Brewer, Appointment in Hell (1961)

Gil Brewer didn’t like writing this book, and I didn’t like reading it. Brewer didn’t like writing it because its South American setting required him to do research; I didn’t like reading it because Brewer’s sex-driven characters aren’t believable in this setting. Three men, three women, their plane has crashed in the jungle, and, yes, of course, they want to tend to their injuries, to find food . . . but the main thing they want to do is have sex . . . oh, and to find shelter, too, and maybe to build a raft to take them back to civilization . . . but, hey, is it okay if they screw some first? Please? They’ll worry about that whole survival thing later. Really . . . they promise . . . right . . . after . . . the . . . next . . . LAY! Grade: D+

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pulp Poem of the Week

The halls twisted like a digestive tract
through the spacious house.
They hadn’t been designed to be complicated—
at least I thought they hadn’t—
and yet at each intersection I found myself
losing track of where I was.
As I walked along the black floorboards,
I started to feel the illusion of the halls
languidly moving
like the peristalsis of the intestines.

Black Fairy Tale
(translated by Nathan Collins)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pulp Poem of the Week

do not suspend him until
he is reinstated from expulsion so
I can suspend him as of last month so
I can reinstate him to be expelled, so
Jim Thompson
Bad Boy

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review: Otsuichi, Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse (2000)

I read this one for the title novella, Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse, an excellent juvie noir pageturner narrated from the POV of a murdered little girl. Also included are a short story, “Yuko,” which reminded me of Hawthorne, and a novel, Black Fairy Tale, a J-horror story that weaves together an amnesiac and a serial killer, a winning combination if ever there was one. Translated by Nathan Collins. Grade: B+

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pulp Poem of the Week

The sun was bright and
hot as the insides of
a Russian horse doctor’s valise.
George H. Smith
Bayou Babe