James Hadley Chase, author of one of the bestselling crime novels ever (No Orchids for Miss Blandish) is here with a collection of two can't-put-down novels, Come Easy--Go Easy / In a Vain Shadow. Regarding Chase and No Orchids for Miss Blandish:It is an American book written by Raymond, an Englishman using the name “James Hadley Chase,” and satisfied the needs of Europeans cut off from American fiction by paper shortages and the war. The book itself sold millions of copies and was controversial in its time, and remains so today.
It is a tale of kidnapping and corruption, sadism and violence, and in the words of George Orwell, who in his 1944 essay entitled “Raffles and Miss Blandish,” calls it not “the product of an illiterate hack, but a brilliant piece of writing, with hardly a wasted word or a jarring note anywhere.” But Orwell was no fan, bemoaning the lost moral standards present in work not forty years past, where good must fight evil and bad men must pay for their crimes or loose morals in the end. It was, in Orwell's terms, “American” fiction, and as such he found it objectionable as a book by a British author.
American pulps and crime fiction used to cross the Atlantic as ballast in ships, but once the war started this source of material dried up. Perhaps this was a factor that drove Raymond to write his own “American” story, although there clearly was another. Rumored to have been written over the course of six weekends, it actually took him more than a year to finish. [...]
At the time that Raymond wrote Miss Blandish, he had never set foot in America. With an atlas and a dictionary of slang he created a novel as quintessentially American noir as anything by Thompson or Willeford. His characters aren't just acting bad, they are bad, pulling no punches for the sake of his readers' sensibilities, or anyone else's. This is no holds barred fiction at its most raw. Raymond shows us what could happen when amoral creatures take hold of an innocent like Miss Blandish, and the power and authenticity of what takes place is precisely what Orwell finds objectionable. Is it bad to write about people like this, or is it too bad that these people exist to write about?
-from the introduction by Rick Ollerman to the Stark House edition of Come Easy-Go Easy/In a Vain Shadow
Featured back list title:DAMNATION OF ADAM BLESSING / ALONE AT NIGHT
by Vin Packer
Two novels of sophisticated suspense from the author of Spring Fire and Whisper His Sin. Anthony Boucher compared Packer to John O'Hara and Nancy Mitford. These are two of her best novels, originally published in the early 1960's by Gold Medal Books. Packer is Marijane Meaker, who also writes superb young adult novels as M. E. Kerr.
“Consistently the most sensitive and illuminating writer of paperback originals."
-Anthony Boucher, New York Times
Classic novels back in print and ready to ship now!
For a limited time, the Featured back list title is available for 15% off the cover price. Just send us an e-mail with your ordering information and mention this newsletter. Enjoy!
Summer's winding down but reading season never turns. And Stark House's busy year continues, with not only newly reprinted classics, but also undiscovered gems from A.S. (Sid) Fleischman, a new collection of works by Arnold Hano, our first book outside the crime/noir arena published under our Stark House Special imprint,, as well as an eagerly awaitied reprinting of one of our classic earlier books.
So to start, if you haven't picked up Charlie Stella's Rough Riders, there's no reason to wait. Charlie's been collecting a few reviews on his own website here and you should check it out. Indeed, all of Charlie's books are worth your time and depict a stunning picture of the flawed world of organized crime, not to mention the sometimes less-than-effective efforts of law enforcement.
Next out of the chute in September is our third A.S. (Sid) Fleischman volume. This time, instead of the exotic Asian and South Sea locales from our previous editions (Look Behind You, Lady / The Venetian Blonde and Danger in Paradise / Malay Woman), we're quite proud to announce the first publication anywhere of a spellbinding novel from the 1960's, called The Sun Worshippers. Set in a Southern California desert community, it tells a story of love and deceit as a world-weary Hollywood writer is hired to write the biography of the patriarch of the town's first family. Peeling back the layers of lies and falsehoods proves a challenge as the writer tries to reclaim a lost love as well as uncover the truth behind his mysterious subject, a man he's not actually allowed to meet.
The second book in the volume is Yellowleg, a stark and stunning western tale of obsession and revenge, with danger all around as a man tries to reclaim the pride of his past. The book was turned into Sam Peckinpah's first film, The Deadly Companions, and Fleischman's son Paul contributes a new introduction. The Sun Worshippers in particular shows a maturity and depth of writing that will impress even Sid's longtime fans.
Coming in October
is Arnold Hano's 3
Steps to Hell: So I'm a Heel / Flint / The Big Out.
Hano was the editor of Lion Books when the one and only Jim Thompson was just getting started. A
fine writer in his own right, Hano asked Thompson if he could take one
his themes and make a western out of it. It turned into a dark one, of course, and
that's the second book, Flint,
which Thompson himself praised. Each of these books are tales of
tarnished heroes--a blackmailer, a hired gun, and a disgraced baseball
player. Author of the definitive baseball memoir, A Day in the Bleachers,
Hano writes hard and lean and doesn't shy away from the less pleasant
side of human nature. Includes a new introduction by Gary Phillips as
well as an interview with Hano by Dan Duling. Welcome back, Arnold.
in the first of our new Stark House Specials imprint where we publish
notable titles that may or may fall under the umbrella of "crime
fiction," we have the classic celebration of anti-establishment
literature of the 1950's, The
Beat Generation & The Angry Young Men.
This seminal collection was originally edited by Gene Feldman and Max
Gartenberg (Peter Rabe's agent) and updated by Stark House for this new
2012 edition coming in November. It includes excerpts from the works of
those who led the movements in the US and England, originally published
by Citadel Press in 1958. This new edition offers the best of
anti-establishment authors like Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Allen
Ginsberg, Kingsley Amis, Norman Mailer, Colin Wilson, and many more,
with a new introduction by the original editors' daughters. The Beat
Generation and the Angry Young Men gave voice to a cry that is still
being heard today.
"A bloody cool collection." --Playboy
Crime Club members note that Stark House Specials titles will NOT automatically ship as part of your membership. If you'd like to order the books, drop us a line and you can order the books with the same terms as your Club membership.
As always, we thank you for your support as of course, we could not do any of this without you. And now for the standard closing message:
If you're STILL not a member of our Crime Book Club, sign up now to get each book shipped to you automatically and take advantage of the special discount for new members to fill out your collection of back list titles.
If you wish to subscribe or even unsubscribe to this newsletter, drop us an e-mail and we’ll take care of you. Until next time....