Over My Dead Body: The Sensational Age of American Paperbacks, 1945-1955

Overview

The American paperback went through a brief but gloriously subversive era during the 40's and 50's. Publishers wooed millions of war-hardened readers with inexpensive, pocket-sized paperbacks full of sex and violence. Lurid covers with square-jawed men and scantily clad women in perilous situations helped to sell these sensation-packed tales of hard-boiled private eyes, deadly dames, sex fiends, beatniks, and juvenile delinquents. Lee Server, author of the acclaimed Danger Is My Business (Chronicle Books), ...
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San Francisco CA 1994 Trade paperback First edition. New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 108 p. Audience: General/trade. New, mint but inside ... cover flap has price clipped. Not issued with dust jacket. Large format (7.5" x 10"). "Takes me back 40 years to my beginnings, " Elmore Leonard. "Pure gold, " Donald Westlake. Includes 100 color plates. Read more Show Less

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1994-04-01 Paperback New New Item. Item delivered via UPS in 7-9 business days. Tracking available by request Ships from US. Please allow 1-3 weeks for delivery outside US.

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Overview

The American paperback went through a brief but gloriously subversive era during the 40's and 50's. Publishers wooed millions of war-hardened readers with inexpensive, pocket-sized paperbacks full of sex and violence. Lurid covers with square-jawed men and scantily clad women in perilous situations helped to sell these sensation-packed tales of hard-boiled private eyes, deadly dames, sex fiends, beatniks, and juvenile delinquents. Lee Server, author of the acclaimed Danger Is My Business (Chronicle Books), recounts this unique period of American publishing and describes the authors, artists, and editors who made it so memorable. Complete with over 100 colorful photographs of rare covers, plus tips on how to collect vintage paperbacks, Over My Dead Body is not only a great read, but also a useful resource for collectors and lovers of American pop culture.

The American paperback went through a brief but gloriously subversive era during the 1940s and '50s when publishers wooed post-World War II veterans with cheap, pocket-sized paperbacks sporting lurid covers and shocking titles. But this era also spawned such great writers as Mickey Spillane, Philip K. Dick and Jack Kerouac. 100 photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gorgeously illustrated with eye-opening color cover reproductions on almost every page, Server's enthusiastic follow-up to Danger Is My Business is a nostalgic look into the brief but ``rambunctious adolescence'' of the mass market paperback. The particular flavor of this sleazy period he attributes to the taste of its targeted audience of ex-GIs, the early success of Mickey Spillane and the sudden availability of writers and cover artists from the dying pulp publications. Life in this new market was a mixed bag for even successful ``paperback writers'' such as Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Chester Himes and Philip K. Dick as their pay was modest and their shelf-life short. Server is best when describing the early subgenres which, then as now, blossomed from the seed of a single bestseller. Thus God's Little Acre begat a slew of ``hillbilly fiction,'' pseudo-Beat stories joined Kerouac's On the Road , The Amboy Dukes spawned the juvenile delinquent genre and imitators of Vin Packer's Spring Fire lured readers into the ``twilight world'' of ``lesbiana.'' Not as thorough as his previous book, Server skimps on names and dates and neglects the role of distribution in the industry's success. But readers will want this slick volume of low-brow entertainment turned campy collectible for its ``magnificently lurid'' cover illustrations of busty babes with smoking guns, which coaxed quarters from suckers in exchange for the often ``monumental trash'' within. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811805506
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 7.51 (w) x 9.99 (h) x 0.47 (d)

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