Ed Gorman pointed me to this excellent and informative overview & history of Gold Medal books and the impact they had on American popular culture:
What if you could trace the French New Wave, Sam Peckinpah, cyberpunk,
"Pulp Fiction," "Mulholland Drive," and "Sin City" back to one business
gamble taken by a third-tier publisher in 1949? In fact, you can, and
without being guilty of too much overstatement. A little, sure, but not
While the author of the essay justifiably praises Hard Case Crime, he notes:
Excellent as it is, Hard Case Crime bears the same relationship to Gold Medal that Chris Isaak does to Elvis Presley.
That’s a great line…and not far off the mark.