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Over My Dead Body: The Sensational Age of the American Paperback 1945-1955

Server, Lee

34 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0811806464 / ISBN 13: 9780811806466
Published by Chronicle Books Llc, San Francisco, California, U.S.A., 1994
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From citynightsbooks (Allston, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First printing. Glossy laminated boards, pictorial DJ. Once known as 'dime novels,' now called 'collectible paperbacks,' a pictorial history of the mass market paperback book, some of its writers and illustrators. With numerous color images of covers. Book and DJ near fine with some aging to paper at edges. 108 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 13229

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Over My Dead Body: The Sensational Age of ...

Publisher: Chronicle Books Llc, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title


The American paperback went through a brief but gloriously subversive era during the 40's and 50's. Publishers wooed millions of war-hardened readers with inexpensive, pocket-sized paperbacks full of sex and violence. Lurid covers with square-jawed men and scantily clad women in perilous situations helped to sell these sensation-packed tales of hard-boiled private eyes, deadly dames, sex fiends, beatniks, and juvenile delinquents.
Lee Server, author of the acclaimed Danger Is My Business (Chronicle Books), recounts this unique period of American publishing and describes the authors, artists, and editors who made it so memorable. Complete with over 100 colorful photographs of rare covers, plus tips on how to collect vintage paperbacks, Over My Dead Body is not only a great read, but also a useful resource for collectors and lovers of American pop culture.

From Publishers Weekly:

Gorgeously illustrated with eye-opening color cover reproductions on almost every page, Server's enthusiastic follow-up to Danger Is My Business is a nostalgic look into the brief but "rambunctious adolescence" of the mass market paperback. The particular flavor of this sleazy period he attributes to the taste of its targeted audience of ex-GIs, the early success of Mickey Spillane and the sudden availability of writers and cover artists from the dying pulp publications. Life in this new market was a mixed bag for even successful "paperback writers" such as Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Chester Himes and Philip K. Dick as their pay was modest and their shelf-life short. Server is best when describing the early subgenres which, then as now, blossomed from the seed of a single bestseller. Thus God's Little Acre begat a slew of "hillbilly fiction," pseudo-Beat stories joined Kerouac's On the Road , The Amboy Dukes spawned the juvenile delinquent genre and imitators of Vin Packer's Spring Fire lured readers into the "twilight world" of "lesbiana." Not as thorough as his previous book, Server skimps on names and dates and neglects the role of distribution in the industry's success. But readers will want this slick volume of low-brow entertainment turned campy collectible for its "magnificently lurid" cover illustrations of busty babes with smoking guns, which coaxed quarters from suckers in exchange for the often "monumental trash" within.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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