Friday, May 18, 2007

Cheap Thrills -- Ron Goulart

Back in 1972 information about the pulps wasn't easy to find, at least not in the sources I had access to. So it was a real pleasure to learn about the publication of Ron Goulart's Cheap Thrills: An Informal History of the Pulp Magazines. I got a copy for my birthday that year, and I immediately read it straight through. It's been on my reference shelf ever since.

Now, thirty-five years later, there's a new edition. Naturally I had to have a copy, although of the thirteen original chapters, only one has been changed. So why get this edition? Because the chapter that's been changed is the last one, the one that had comments from the pulp writers Goulart corresponded with during his research. The new edition doesn't have excerpts from the letters Goulart received. It has photos of the letters themselves, just as they were written. So Chapter 13 is worth the price of the book all by itself, even if you already have a copy.

Seems to me there are more and better color illustrations this time around, too, but I haven't done a comparison. If you care about the pulps and pulp writers at all, you need a copy of this book.


Ed Gorman said...

One of the finest books ever written on the pulps. Not only is it crowded with information, Goulart's humor makes it a fun trip. And his brief interviews with the then-surviving pulpsters make the book definitive in its way. Like you, it sits on my keeper shelf forever. Ed Gorman Congrats by the way on your latest award. Well deserved.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Ed.

And your high recommendation of the book should help sell a few copies. I hope so because it's something everybody should own.