Thursday, June 24, 2010

FEATURED: David Goodis

Often compared to Jim Thompson, but Thompson was a pro who hacked his way "up" from the world of regional newspapers to the pulp world and eventually Hollywood. His stories were hard, satirical, often collapsing into scenes of hallucinatory violence. Goodis was a different animal altogether. After auspicious beginnings and a period in Hollywood, Goodis returned to Northeast Philadelphia and oblivion, in part to care for his mentally ill brother. Goodis's characters exist in a state of sad, homely nihilism. Art, love, family, wealth all lead to the same fouled gutter. They aren't doomed by their stupidity, greed, rage or lust (Thompson). They're doomed. That's just the way it is. Thompson's protagonists are often sociopaths and criminals. I imagine that in Europe they are perceived as very "American." The Goodis hero is a depressed, sad, drunk failure stripped of all vanity. If Goodis is anything, he's quintessentially Philadelphian. Consigned to oblivion, he stares blankly at nothing, empty glass in hand, stands up, and goes back to work.

(Required shore reading for all Brooklyn/San Francisco transplants hoping for a better grasp of the Philadelphia psyche.)



... the man himself





Night Squad, $14.95







Cassidy's Girl, $14.95







The Wounded and the Slain, $6.99







Of Tender Sin, $12.00








Black Friday & Select Stories, $13.95








The Moon in the Gutter, $11.99








The Blonde on the Street Corner, $13.00





These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open every day, 11am to 7pm.

We accept Visa, MC, Amex, Paypal and cash.

We ship anywhere.

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