The Shudder Pulps
by Robert Kenneth Jones
1978, Plume Book, New American Library (5¼ X 8). Trade size paperback, 240 pages. B&W illustrations, including covers and some magazine interior page drawings. This is about the pulp magazine stories of the 30's from Dime Mystery Magazine, Sinister Stories, Terror Tales, Ace-High Detective, and others. The whole point seems to have been to think up stranger and stranger predicaments for the protagonists to get out of. The more bizarre, the better. These old magazines sell for BIG bucks today, but this book looks at the prose as well as the illustrations. And sometimes, a thousand words can paint a pretty amazing picture. (Puffy, scaled hands were wandering with hellish deliberation over the girl's unclothed body ....") It's a very detailed history of one of the strangest periods in American literature. Highly recommended.