cover image Pulp Masters

Pulp Masters

. Carroll & Graf Publishers, $14 (439pp) ISBN 978-0-7867-0873-4

Hearkening back to the time when magazine stands were clogged with pulps and slicks, Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg (co-editors of The Big Book of Noir) have assembled stories by John D. MacDonald, James M. Cain, Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, Mickey Spillane and Harry Whittington in Pulp Masters. Cain's books ""have never been rivaled as expressions of sociopathy, nor as `tabloid poetry,' "" gushes Gorman; MacDonald introduced ""the working-class and the lower middle-class into the crime novel"" and exhibited ""the best storytelling skills of his generation""; and Spillane, well, he merely ""wrote six of the ten best-selling books of all time,"" distinguished by their ""atmospherics,"" sex scenes, ""right-wing paranoid fantasy"" and first-class writing.