I am not sure how many Pulp Curry readers I have in Gippsland. In the event there are some, just a heads up that I’m appearing at the Latrobe City Literary Festival, in Traralgon, this coming Sunday, May 27. As part of a panel of talented folks, I’ll be talking about the history of Australian pulp fiction and the book I have co-edited, Girl Gangs, Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950-1980. I’ll also have copies of the book for sale.
Full details of the event can be found here. It is free but numbers are limited so you need to register. Hope to see some of you there.
Posted in Australian popular culture, Australian pulp fiction, British pulp fiction, Fawcett Gold Medal Books, Girl Gangs, Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction & Youth Culture, 1950-1980, Monarch Books, Pan Books, Pulp fiction, Pulp fiction in the 70s and 80s, Pulp paperback cover art
Tagged Girl Gangs Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture 1950-1980, Latrobe City Literary Festival, Pulp fiction
Let’s make one thing clear. I don’t own a gun. Never have and never will. Indeed, the only guns I want to see are in film or on the cover of books like the ones featured in today’s Pulp Friday post.
For a while now I have been obsessed with the cover above of the 1964 Panther edition of Len Deignton’s The Ipcress File. The cover, done by influential English graphic designer, Ray Hawkey, who would go onto to do a number of paperback covers, exudes a style and tone I could never imagine being used today except as a deliberate retro homage.
It speaks to the everyday grime, drudgery and unglamorous boredom of the Cold War spy racket, which the Deighton novels featuring the working class spy, Harry Palmer, evoke so well. There is also the mess that comes with the trade: a cold cup of tea (probably cold); cigarettes, because in the sixties every fictional spy smoked; paperclips for the paperwork; and, a gun and bullets, because sometimes you have to kill someone.
It is a gritty, cluttered layout I associate with mass paperback novels of the type that were largely targeted at men in the 1960s and 1970s. As it turns out, a bit of a dig around reveals it was a style that was widely used in those two decades – but it also bled over into the 1980s – by mass market paperback publishers in the crime, mystery and espionage thriller categories.… Read more
Posted in Belmont Tower Books, British pulp fiction, Crime fiction, George V Higgins, Ian Fleming, Neo Noir, Noir fiction, Pulp fiction, Pulp fiction in the 70s and 80s, Pulp Friday, Pulp paperback cover art, Spies, True crime
Tagged Agatha Christie, Brian Garfield, Death Wish, Dog Day Afternoon, Elmore Leonard, Fontana, Funeral in Berlin, George V Higgins, Ian Fleming, Jim Thompson, John Creasey, Len Deighton, Raymond Chandler, The Getaway, The Ipcress File, The Man With the Golden Gun, Thunderball
I had never pondered the influence of Lewis Carroll’s stories, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1871). This left me completely unprepared for Wonderland, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image’s latest Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition. The enormous influence of young Alice and her strange world of bizarre anthropomorphic creatures on the large and small screen documented in this exhibition is a revelation.
My review of Wonderland is live and can be read in full here on the Australian Book Review Arts Update site.
I am rather partial to a good paperback movie tie-in. And I love Pan paperbacks. So this book from 1969, which I had never previously seen before stumbling across it in a second hand bookshop this week, presses all the right buttons.
The Riot, the only novel credit I have been able to find for Frank Elli, was first published in 1966. It is the story of a cynical con who finds himself thrown into the centre of a brutal hostage situation when the prison he is incarcerated in, erupts in a riot. Apparently the novel was based on an actual riot in an Arizona prison in which Elli, a former inmate of the prison, had been involved in. Kirkus Review called it ‘powerful storytelling. It’s a brutal, black vision in which the cynical despair is offset by a cool, shrug shouldered presentation.’ That doesn’t sound too bad.
It was filmed as Riot in 1969 by Buzz Kulik, a director who appears to have spent most of his career doing television, starring Jim Brown in the main role, and Gene hackman. As was often the case with prison films in the 1960s and 1970s, the production utilised real life prison inmate and staff at the Yuma Territorial Prison that it was filmed in.… Read more
Posted in 60s American crime films, Book cover design, Book Reviews, Crime fiction, Gene Hackman, Jim Brown, Pan Books, Pulp fiction, Pulp Friday, Pulp paperback cover art
Tagged Frank Elli, Gene Hackman, Jim Brown, paperback movie tie ins, The Riot, The Riot (1969)
Okay, you best all be warned, the following post is one giant shill, mostly on behalf of yours truly.
I am flat out at the moment with the third year of my PhD, so I am finding it hard to make the time to post as much as I would like on my various cultural obsessions, film noir, crime fiction and pulp. That said I still have a lot going on.
First up, this coming Friday, May 4, from 7pm, I’ll be taking part in the first of what will be a series of free events run by my local bookstore, the wonderful Brunswick Bound, in which authors will be reading from the opening chapter of the their current work. This one has a crime theme and there’ll be four of us reading, including me doing a section from Gunshine State, which was re-released earlier this year by Down and Out Books. So, if you are inner Melbourne north way this Friday and feel like hearing some words and drinking some wine, drop on down, 361 Sydney Road Brunswick.
The second incarnation of Gunshine State has been getting a bit of love recently, the best of which is this review of the site of Canberra based blogger and writer, Tim Nappertime.… Read more
Posted in Asian noir, Australian crime fiction, Australian noir, Girl Gangs, Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction & Youth Culture, 1950-1980, Gunshine State, Noir fiction, Pulp fiction, Pulp paperback cover art
Tagged 1950-1980, Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, Brunswick Bound, Dancing Home, Down and Out Books, Girl Gangs, Gunshine State, Jock Serong, Paul Collis, The Rules of Backyard Cricket, Tim Nappertime