Thursday, March 3, 2011

Friday's forgotten books: You'll Get Yours

You’ll Get Yours by Thomas Wills
When choosing old pulp novels I will freely admit to judging a book by its cover. Both title and artwork factor heavily into picking a book I know nothing about by an author I’ve never heard of. It doesn’t help that so many of the writers in the 40s and 50s wrote under several different names.
This is true of Thomas Wills, pen name of author William Ard, not that his real name would have meant anything either.
As part of a fistful of old pulps I picked up recently You’ll Get Yours was very promising based on the great title and marvelously tawdry early 50s artwork. The same night I bought it I cracked open the first chapter and I was hooked. What a grabber! The rest of the slim novel did not disappoint my pulp fiction loving brain.
Pulp is like the famous definition of pornography - I can’t describe it but I know it when I see it. You’ll Get Yours is pure pulp, uncut. A first-person detective tale told in flashback with a society dame trying to hide her past, a sleazy lothario, a heroin addicted stripper, a chase down to Mexico, a ridiculously short romance leading to marriage and plenty of bullets.
Is it high art? No way. That’s not what I was in the market for nor was the author trying to do. This is rock ‘em sock ‘em twenty-five cent action in a book you can fit in your pocket. The plot is helped along by wild coincidence, the main character is a tough guy in the most clichéd sense but it all worked for me.
The thrill of finding a book like this is the lack of expectations, other than the cover which nine times out of ten is better than the book inside these old barn burners. This one lived up to the come-on. 
If you spot a copy biding time on a shelf somewhere, pick it up like I did. You’ll get your quarter's worth.


David Barber said...

Those old pulp novels look so cool, don't they?

Congrats on your Derringer nomination. Best of luck, Eric!

Julia Madeleine said...

I instinctively judge a book by the cover myself. It's hard not to when it's the first thing you see. I love the old pulp artwork; the tough guy and those glamorous sexy women. This book sounds like it has an interesting cast of characters.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Eric. Great covers weren't they?