“Rick Ollerman’s essays extend the tradtion of critics of crime fiction like Anthony Boucher and Jacques Barzun. His insights are as sharp as a stilletto.”
Yes, I wrote that blurb. You’ll find on the back cover of this book.
What makes Rick Ollerman’s Hardboiled, Noir and Gold Medals: Essays on Crime Fiction Writers From the ’50s Through the ’90s is Rick’s passion. From the very first page you discover Rick really loves these books! Many of these essays first appeared as introductions in various Stark House omnibuses. You’ll learn a lot about Peter Rabe, Donald Westlake, Ed Gorman, James Hadley Chase, Wade Miller, Charles Williams, Jada M. Davis, Andrew Coburn, Malcolm Braly, and Lionel White. If you’re a fan of crime fiction of the 1950s, especially Gold Medal writers, you’ll love Hardboiled, Noir and Gold Medals. And, if you love these books as much as I do, you’ll want to drop everything and read some of these wonderful writers!
How Harlan Ellison Ruined My Life 8
Ed Gorman, Donald Westlake, Peter Rabe, and the Gateway Books 13
The Differential Peter Rabe: An Appreciation 23
How Jane Smiley Ruined a Book (and Lost a Reader For the Rest of Time) 34
Rene Brabazon Raymond: The Discovery of a Thriller Writer 38
Sexy Covers, or Buy the Covers, Stay for the Book or Buy the Book, Don’t Let the Covers Put You Off 49
The Minds of Peter Rabe 52
The Unsung 63
Criminal Friendship: The Work of Robert Wade and Bill Miller 66
Sense of Wonder 84
Paperback Wonder 87
Horror Books 93
In Pursuit of a Pleasant Oblivion 97
Untitled 104
On Writing Introductory Essays 105
Charles Williams: The Best Known Unknown Paperback Original 107
Noir and Bleu 142
Midnight Road: The Quiet Noir of Jada Davis 145
A Bit More Jada Davis 150
Jada M. Davis: The Forgotten Contender 151
Repeats and Covers 161
Ed Gorman, The One and Only 163
Cruising Down the Literary Strip with Ed Gorman 165
The Power of Words and Tears 193
About Andrew Coburn 196
Can Humor and Crime Really Co-exist? 201
Danny and Manny: The Series Characters of Peter Rabe 203
The End of Daniel Port 212
Too Big to be Forgotten? 219
They Really Can’t Win: The Start of W. R. Burnett’s “Urban Trilogy” 221
Untold Stories 233
aka James Hadley Chase 238
Paging Dr. Noir 247
City of Closed Doors–Do Your Own Time: Malcolm Braly 253
Bad Men 270
Crime a la White 273
And Now the End 292


      1. george Post author

        Bill, I like your blurb where you compare HARDBOILED, NOIR AND GOLD MEDALS to a graduate course in 1950s paperbacks! You’re right on the money!

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    After I heard you and Bill talk about it, I immediately bought it. I have so many other books going that I am doling out the essays slowly.

    Good stuff!

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I read HARDBOILED, NOIR AND GOLD MEDALS cover to cover. Now, I want to go back and read the writers Rick Ollerman touts: Rabe, Williams, White, etc.

  2. wolf

    I remember only James Hadley Chase as an author …
    In germany in the 50s and 60s there were mainly British authors represented on the shelves -besides our homegrown of course. And I started early reading classics which I got from a friend: 1001 nights, Don Quixote, Ulenspiegel, King Ping Meh … 🙂

    Btw what’s Harlan Ellison’s name supposed to mean here?

    PS and totally OT:
    WE just had to put to sleep our 16 year old (!) German/Belgian Shepherd dog Alexa, that was a kind of stress for us – though of course 16 years is a nice age for a large dog.

    1. Maggie mason

      Wolf Sorry to hear of the loss of your buddy. It’s hard to lose such a good friend. I’m sure he had a wonderful life with you

      1. wolf

        It was a she – but yes, she was a very good companion, also “forced” us to long walks which is obviously good for your health.

        And the best thing was that she immediately took a liking to my new partner, though she was already 5 years old then.

        So we lived in a kind of bliss for 11 years now.
        I feel I have to tell that story (again?):
        After the death of my first wife I was kind of aimless, having retired at 60 because of her cancer, and I drifted around – between Germany and Hungary with holidays in the USA (Florida, NYC, Texas …). And then one day in Hungary the woman that I went to for a manicure/pedicure asked me if I had a new girlfriend and I answered: I’m too old for that, who would want a grumpy old German, over 60 years old?

        And she said:
        I have the perfect partner for you! And every time I met her she repeated it until I gave in and agreed to meeting this unknown woman for dinner at my favourite restaurant.
        And on that fateful evening my dog was sitting in the backseat of my car when I opened the door for my date and when she sat down she got a dog’s kiss from that large dog (35 kilos, 80 pounds) and immediately said: What a nice dog, what’s its name?. She didn’t know that I had a dog but of course I had thought our acquaintance had told her about this.
        Now this might have happened totally differently: The dog could have barked at this unknown person or she might have screamed: get that dog away from me! But they were the best friends immediately …

  3. Maggie mason

    Seeing Wade Miller’s name on there made me think of recent events. My friend Scott was contacted about buying the late Bob Wade’s books and memorabilia. He would have had to buy everything. I suggested he just bid on what he wanted, or contact Mystery Mike. He contacted Mike, who suggested he contact Otto Penzler. Otto would have been interested, but he was out of the country for the deadline.

    I’ve heard a dealer in Northern Calif. bought it. It included a US first and several UK firsts of the book the movie Touch of Evil was made from, as well as tons of PB’s and HB’s and manuscripts and correspondence. Not sure how much it went for

    1. george Post author

      Maggie, that sounds like a great collection! But, I’m getting like Marv Lachman: what do I do with all of this stuff? SUNY at Buffalo won’t take everything.


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