Carter Brown and the Australian craze for faux American crime fiction

Author photo of Alan Yates aka Carter Brown in 1955

In 1950s Australia, one author – writing pulp novels about detectives and cities he’d never visited – gave birth to a phenomenon. I’m over at the CrimeReads writing about Australia’s most successful, least critically recognised, 20th century author, Alan Yates aka Carter Brown, and the popularity of faux American crime fiction in post-war Australia. You can read the entire article at their site here.

4 Responses

  1. David N. Pepperell

    I discovered CB at my grandfathers place in Adelaide where I always stayed every January. I must have been about 12 (1958) and found them in a cupboard I opened looking for anything interesting as I was wont to do at that age. From the first page I was hooked, my only previous experience of “crime” novels being Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and Famous Five series – CB’s were heaps more fun and had bad girls in them! I devoured all that I found, gabbed new ones every year I went over there and devoured the Larry Kent “I Hate Crime” series as well. I didn’t get to read them much at home in Victoria as, like the Melbourne truth which I sneaked reading now and then, they were verboten to me. They were not works of high literature that’s for sure but they gave me a lifelong love of genre – crime, sci-fi, pulp – fiction that really brightened up my life. The tough guy bit grabbed me completely and set me up for reading the superior Hammets and Chandlers later on. Being on a stand in the newsagents though really made them accessible as well as forbidden fruit, together with The Bramble Bush and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning which titillated me to a great degree in my early teens. Alan Yates should be much better known than he is and commemorated with at least a statue and maybe even a museum.

  2. David,
    Thanks for stopping by. I am loving your comments on my posts, please keep them coming. This is a particularly interesting insight. There is so little written about who read Australian – and other – pulp. I love hearing people’s stories about how they came to discover and read authors such as Carter Brown.

  3. Pingback: “Every headlight’s a police car, every shadow is a cop”: Kiss the Blood Off My Hands | Pulp Curry

  4. Hello Andrew:
    Would love to discuss reprinting your Carter Brown essay in the next Stark House reprint. Please reply to my email address.
    Stark House

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