Marwan Nassar Nassar من عند 12040 Acatte CN, إيطاليا
Getting a limited amount of time to write any story and receiving the rather measily salary of a penny per word don't seem like the perfect writing condictions for any writer who wants to be taken seriously. Still, a great deal of young writers would start off in the pulps during the 1920's through 40's, before becoming bigtime novel published authors. Both critically and publicly highly respected crimewriters like Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammett, James M. Cain and Erle Stanley Gardner started off in these magazines and proved that the word "pulp" comes from the low quality paper on which their stories were printed rather then the quality of the stories themselves. The vast collection of short stories and novellas contained in this phoneregister sized book show the very best of pre-WW2 tales of passion, crime and revenge. Subtle might not always apply best to these stories, yet the very basics of great storytelling are found within each of them. Heroes, villians, love, death and redemption are strong recurring themes and it's remarkable how well these stories have stood the test of time. Chandler's 'Red Wind' is as strong as it was when first published in 1938. The very same can be said of Leslie T. White's subtlely titled 'The City of Hell!' or Woolrich's highly enjoyable 'The Dilemma with the Dead Lady'. These were writers with huge literary potential and their bright futures shine through in these tales. This is crimewriting pur sang. Anybody who enjoyed classic tales of crime like 'The Big Sleep', 'The Maltese Falcon' or 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' and wants to return to the very source of it all - or anyone who's new to this classic genre, because this is the perfect place to start off - should get their mitts on the 'Big Book of Pulps'.
I had to read this for the lecture I'm teaching for. I like the loup garou story, but I couldn't get into the narrator. She just annoyed me. Part of the problem, I think, is that Atwood tries to cram in too many concepts and ideas to convey her themes. My students liked it OK, but I think that's because they want to boil it down to one of two arguments: "Men are bad" or "Nature heals people."
It was a bit hard to get through in the beginning and middle, but the end definitely left you wanting to read the second book~!