Friday, November 16, 2012

Forgotten Books: The Comeback -- Dan J. Marlowe

The other day I mentioned Charles Kelly's excellent biography of Dan J. Marlowe.  It reminded me of the time in Marlowe's life when he was struggling to regain his memory and his writing skills.  It was during this time that he wrote several books for the Fastback Sports line.  Well, maybe calling them books is stretching the point, since they're about 25 short pages long.  Their purpose was to encourage reluctant readers.  I ran across some of these years ago, and naturally I picked them up.

The Comeback has an evocative title if you're familiar with Marlowe's situation.  The protagonist is Lefty Halliday, an ageing pitcher with arm problems.  Because of a lucky accident, the problems seem eased, maybe even gone.  But are they?  

The story's told in Marlowe's vigorous style, and the similarity the pitcher's story to his is obvious.  Marlowe's able to write again, but can he sustain it?  Can he go the full nine innings?  

I enjoy having little curiosities like this in my accumulation, and if I run across any other books in this series by Marlowe, I'll pick them up.  Richard Laymon also wrote some.  They're cheap enough on the 'net if you're interested.


George said...

I had no idea these books existed. Interesting...

Anonymous said...

Me either, George. I looked up Laymon's Wikipedia entry and apparently he wrote a lot of them.

Will check them out.


Charles Kelly said...

Bill, I got two of these books from Mel Cebulash, the editor who commissioned Dan to write them. The ones I have are The Shortstop and Summer Trouble. Mel lives here in Scottsdale a couple of miles from me. He also commissioned Al Nussbaum to write these books. Greg Shepard at Stark House Press is trying to compile a definitive list of these books to publish with The Name of the Game is Death and One Endless Hour, but I don't know if a definitive list can be put together. That was one of the many details I couldn't run down fully for the biography.

Unknown said...

I have at least two of them, and a couple by Richard Laymon. None by Nussbaum, however.