Friday, March 04, 2005

"Was It a Pulp Novel..., Or a Desperate Game of Chance with a Girl on the Road to Hell?"

Neal Pollack reviews Domenic Stansberry::

This year's Edgar Award nominations were very different than any other year's: I'd actually read one of the nominated books. I'm the ultimate weather vane for literary winds, and I believe that Best Paperback Original nominee The Confession, by Domenic Stansberry, is a vanguard of change. The fact that Hard Case Crime published the book was enough to get me to open its pages. Hard Case may be the best new American publisher to appear in the last decade.

Last year, to no trumpets at all, Hard Case began putting out pulp paperbacks that can fit in a jeans back pocket. The books feature lurid old-fashioned cover paintings, the likes of which are usually only seen these days on postcards at independent bookstores. Some of the books are originals and some are reprints. All of them are full of grit and muscle, adventure and sex, written with a kind of barely restrained agony that can only be produced by guys who aren't really worried about their reputation. There's not an ounce of froth in the lot. Pulp has returned, in all its sleazy finery.

I just got a seductive package of these Hard Case Crime books and they look absolutely fabulous--I'm going to read Allan Guthrie's this weekend, I've been wanting to get hold of his stuff for a while. My brother Jon is going to love these books!

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