Saturday, October 25, 2014

Other Books, Other Covers: The Pulp Jungle / Frank Gruber (Sherbourne Press, 1967)

Title: The Pulp Jungle
Author: Frank Gruber
Cover artist: ["Jacket Design by Czeslaw Z. Banasiewicz"]

Estimated value: $40



Anecdotes from the pulp trenches. Invaluable. Dude knew everyone and wrote for everyone and comes across as a sane, no-nonsense, hard-working guy. Great portrait of a man trying to make it as a professional writer (mysteries and westerns) through the Depression and beyond. Main lesson: work harder. Write more. Write now. Write everything. Oh, and be honest. He's big on decency and honesty, even when the world around you is full of liars and chiselers. He's Marlowe-esque, that way.

Page 123~
We were just making talk. I was forty years old in 1944, not likely to be drafted, and Steve had varicose veins. So we encouraged Heinie and he talked about his novel. The next morning, cold sober, he would come in and shudder.

"What the hell was that nonsense we were talking about yesterday? Me go over to Italy? I'm fifty-two years old, I've got no business in a shooting war."
I don't know who Heinie Faust is, but several pages earlier, Gruber says of him: "Heinie was the most prolific writer of all time. He was also the biggest boozer I have ever known."


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Mark Murphy said...


Heinie Faust's real name was Frederick Schiller Faust, but he was best known as Max Brand, the extremely prolific author of westerns, many of them still in print.

Max Brand also created a character named Dr. Kildare, a young physician who appeared in a series of movies made by MGM and starring Lew Ayres as Kildare and Lionel Barrymore as Dr. Gillespie. (Strictly speaking the first Kildare movie was made at Paramount and starred Joel McCrea.)

When I was growing up in the 1960s, there was a very popular TV version of Dr. Kildare, and it made a star out of Richard Chamberlain.

I don't know whether Gruber's book (which I'd love to read) mentions this, but Faust was killed during the war; he was there as some kind of correspondent.

Amanda said...

Great information Mark. Once you noted that Faust was Max Brand and created Dr. Kildare, I knew exactly whom he was. He definitely was amazingly prolific.