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Wednesday
Apr142010

Pulp of a Dead Tree

Like Swierczy, I also couldn't leave Port Richmond Books on Sunday without raiding their pulp paperback shelves.  I picked up a couple Black Lizards (Ill Wind by W.L. Heath and After Dark, My Sweet by Jim Thompson), a Pocket Book edition of Dorothy Hughes' In a Lonely Place, a Penguin Mystery edition of Wade Miller's Deadly Weapon, a hardcover with dustjacket of The Song of the Flea by Gerald Kersh, an ordinary tpb of George Higgins' The Friends of Eddie Coyle (I'm tired of reading the copy from my public library) and lastly, one I bought just for the title and cover art, The Dead Tree Gives No Shelter by Virgil Scott: He lived for dames, violence and a fast buck.

Scott's Dead Tree takes it's title from "The Burial of the Dead" section of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," a noir poem if ever there was one.  I think almost any of these lines would make a good title for a noir novel:

"What are these roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You can not say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water."

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