The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps: The Best Crime Stories from the Pulps During Their Golden Age—the '20s, the '30s, and the '40s
, . . Black Lizard, $25 (1150pp) ISBN 978-0-307-28048-0
This impressive anthology of pulp-era crime stories from veteran editor and publisher Penzler reveals not only tales with surprising staying power but also some of high literary quality. To be sure, there are some selections sure to offend modern sensibilities and others whose extravagant prose now comes across as laughable or ludicrous. But aside from questions of quality and taste, these tales laid the foundation for most branches of the crime fiction genre as we know it today. Raymond Chandler's “Red Wind” is as effective now as it was when published in 1938. An unexpected treat is “Faith,” a previously unpublished Dashiell Hammett story. Multiple offerings from Erle Stanley Gardner, Hammett, Chandler and Cornell Woolrich add luster. Divided into three sections—the Crimefighters, the Villains, the Dames—with cogent intros by Penzler to each entry, this comprehensive volume allows the reader to revisit that exciting time when the pulp magazines flourished and writers pounded out fiction for a penny a word or less.
Reviewed on: 09/17/2007