Monday, August 09, 2004

Gold Medal Books (again)

When I started reading Gold Medal Books, long, long ago, I had no more critical sense than a cricket. For that matter, I'm not sure that I've shown much development. My point, if I have one, is that about all I knew is whether I liked the books or not. And of course I knew that I liked some more than others.

One of the first Gold Medals I remember reading is I Am Legend. Now there was a book that knocked me out. I let a friend borrow my copy, and he told me, years later, that he couldn't believe anyone would let him borrow such a wonderful book. He was surprised that I would let it out of my possession. I think that over the years the book's taken plenty of critical hits, but I don't care. For me, it's still the book I read nearly 50 years ago.

I went on to amass quite a stack of Gold Medals, so I have most of the ones I'm interested in reading, and a lot that I'll probably never read. Sure is nice to have them around, though.


Anonymous said...

I think it's great, this Gold Medal revival we're having. Personally, I'm as big a fan of Whittington and Aarons and Dan J. Marlowe as anyone. But when those books (the GM's) were coming out new, there were only two writers I snatched up as soon as a new title appeared: Prather (who's been discussed and celebrated at length) and Ovid Demaris, about whom I never hear/read any comments. I wonder why. Demaris wrote tough, gritty gangster melodrmas with a sharp-edged, cinematic cross-cutting, tight writing and mean-ass characters (even the good guys). With titles like THE HOODS TAKE OVER and THE LUSTING DRIVE...well, I'm just curious why he never makes the favorites list of other fans/readers/collectors.

--Steve Mertz

Bill said...

Steve, I like Demaris' work a lot, and I've read all his Gold Medals. I think I did an article on him a long time back for some fanzine or other. Anyway, I certainly agree with you about his novels. He also did one original for Avon and one for Beacon, that I know of.