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American Pulp Fiction - A Collection of Vintage Detective Magazines

American Pulp Fiction - A Collection of Vintage Detective Magazines

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American Pulp Fiction - A Collection of Vintage Detective Magazines

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About This Item

Various places and Publishers. 1936-1941. Bound in pictorial staplebound wrappers. Collection presented in 3 large stylized soft portfolios with period black silk stocking tied closures. 11" x 14 Collection is comprised of : Official Detective Stories - 5/36, 6/36, 9/36. Tru-Life Detective Cases - 10/41, 11/41, 1/42. Secret Detective Cases - 2/42. Sensational Detective Tru-Crime Cases - 6/41, 7/41, 11/41, 12/41, 2/42. Crime Confessions - 11/39, 7/40, 1/41, 4/41, 5/41, 6/41, 7/41, 8/41, 9/41, 10/41, 11/41, 12/41, 1/42. Illustrated with Pulp Cover Art , monochrome photographs, period advertisements, etc. The term, Pulp Fiction , originated from the magazines of the first half of the 20th century which were printed on cheap "pulp" paper and published fantastic, escapist fiction for the general entertainment of the mass audiences. The pulp fiction era provided a breeding ground for creative talent which would influence all forms of entertainment for decades to come. The hardboiled detective and science fiction genres were created by the freedom that the pulp fiction magazines provided. There were hundreds of pulp magazines - gaudy, sensation-packed fiction titles that sold at between five cents and a quarter. Their classic era was from the 1920s to the 1940s, and they catered to basic needs in the male psyche because their market was almost solely focused on the US male: his aspirations to be 'red-blooded' and a 'he-man', and to have a life of action and adventure in which beautiful women fell easily into his arms, and even into his bed. Such dreams came true only for the few, so the pulps catered to fantasies - providing armchair action and masturbatory ideals. The pulps came into being as rivals to the slicks, which catered to the better-off sections of the US, and they quickly earned a reputation for being exploitative, unsophisticated, violent, and sexist. While this was true to a degree, they were also the proving grounds in which some great writers first made their mark - men such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Max Brand, Zane Grey, Dashiel Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Abraham Merritt, Robert E. Howard, Robert E. Heinlein, John D. MacDonald, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and many others. A whole school of artists, some now deservedly famous and others long overdue for recognition, provided colourful, action-packed pictures of every conceivable situation, all intended to part customers from their hard-earned cash. At its best, the artwork had the same come-on effect as contemporary graphic art elsewhere, such as a poster advertising a new feature film or the next episode of a serial. These pictures may not always have been an accurate reflection of the contents, but their impact on sales was undeniable. Without it the pulps might have amounted to only a chapter or two in publishing history rather than a gloriously colourful era packed with compelling - occasionally notorious - images that today provoke feelings of nostalgia among those old enough to remember, and a nod of admiration from younger generations seeing them for the first time . Dozens of pulp magazines, catering for every possible taste, poured from the presses in the US during the years between the two world wars. Some would prove very successful, but others would disappear after only a single issue. The rise of crime in the US and the emergence of dictators in Europe were also regarded by the pulp publishers and their writers as forces that could be combated only by men of supernormal powers. The pulps were not just intended to entertain the reader - they were also meant to make him feel better about himself, his prospects, and especially his sex life. With this in mind, companies did not use the magazines to sell ordinary things like clothes or food, but instead tried to sell any number of do-it-yourself fitness courses, cures for bad breath, sex aids, 'home' movies, quack medicines, peek-a-boo nighties, and - because the magazines were full of unclothed girls - even courses in learning how to draw. Charles Atlas, who offered to help scrawny young men to keep their girls, rather than lose them to sand-kicking bullies, was one of the most prolific advertisers. And several less reputable companies pandered to every fad and fancy imaginable in the magazine's personal columns at the back. The eventual death knell for the pulps began to sound during and after the end of the Second World War. Paper fell into short supply and became more costly - as did the metal required for the staples. These became so expensive that some publishers were forced to use just one through the spine. Tastes were also changing. A new sophistication was evident among readers, and suddenly the pulps were being regarded as 'something from the old days'. Television, which was rapidly becoming a feature in every household, cut savagely into the reading habits of the nation. Yet the pulp magazine legend is secure. The telling of it recalls a time when cheap thrills and big shots were the stuff of dreams for millions of ordinary people. All issues in this collection exhibit the usual occassional rubbing and chipping to covers and spines, several issues more so than others. Some covers a bit fragile as to be expected. Some minor repairs to several issues. Generally, most issues are Very Good or better,with most quite bright and crisp. Nevertheles, age and materials require very delicate handling during reading. Featured Lit.


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Heldfond Book Gallery, ABAA-ILAB US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
American Pulp Fiction - A Collection of Vintage Detective Magazines
Bound in pictorial staplebound wrappers. Collection presented in 3 large stylized soft portfolios with period black silk stockin
Book Condition
Place of Publication
Various places and Publishers.
Date Published
25 Issues.

Terms of Sale

Heldfond Book Gallery, ABAA-ILAB

The Heldfond Book Gallery is an elected member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and conforms to all ethical codes and standards of those organizations.Books found to be materially mis-described may be returned within seven days of receipt and all monies will be promptly refunded, if returned to us in the same condition as sent.

About the Seller

Heldfond Book Gallery, ABAA-ILAB

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 1 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2005
San Anselmo, California

About Heldfond Book Gallery, ABAA-ILAB

Located just accross the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, California - the Heldfond Book Gallery, Ltd. is one of the oldest and most esteemed Rare Bookstores on the West Coast. Specializations include: Illustrated Books in all disciplines, Fine Bindings and Sets, Important Literary First Editions,Fine Arts, Collectable Children's Illustrated Books, Illuminated Manuscripts and Incunabula,Rare Aviation and Maritime as well as a consistently superb inventory of General Antiquarian Materials.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
Pulp magazines
Magazines published primarily in the 20th Century named for the cheaply produced wood pulp paper on which they were printed....
A term often used to indicate a book's new-like condition. Indicates that the hinges are not loosened. A book described as crisp...
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects, "new"...
The paper covering on the outside of a paperback. Also see the entry for pictorial wraps, color illustrated coverings for...
A defect in which small pieces are missing from the edges; fraying or small pieces of paper missing the edge of a paperback, or...
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.

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