Gold Medal Memories

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
that much.

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.

3 thoughts on “Gold Medal Memories”

  1. Lee and Ed,
    Thanks for the terrific link to this article. I started out collecting old Gold Medals mainly for their cover art a couple years back after I wandered into Ray Walsh’s Curious Book Shop on the Michigan State campus. Ray has stacks of these gems for sale in his basement. But one day, I cracked one open and God, it was fun. Am currently into “No Business For A Lady” by James Rubel. (“Meet Eli Donovan, lady detective, and easily the most beautiful shamus living…most detectives have angles, but here’s one that has curves. She doesn’t ask quarter from any man. All she asks is that he be on the tall side, with muscles and a nice personality.”
    And that’s just the flap copy. Hot stuff…


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