Monday, September 29, 2014

What is S. Craig Zahler reading?

Featured at Writers Read: S. Craig Zahler, author of Mean Business on North Ganson Street.

His entry begins:
Brittle paper life forms from the earlier part of the previous century are filling up my apartment.

Reading pulp magazines has changed from a growing interest to an outright addiction.

During my explorations of the pulpwood vastness, I read the May 1st 1931 issue of the Adventure pulp magazine, which will be the subject for this article. This highly-regarded publication is loaded with tales that were written by actual adventurers and well-traveled, worldly experts of that era. So yes, this publication is less "pulpy" than my favorite pulp magazines—The Spider, Operator #5, Dime Detective, Weird Tales, and Terror Tales—but I do not use the term "pulpy" in a pejorative sense, though many do. Melodrama and implausibility often cause something to feel "pulpy," but for me, creativity and passion regularly trump realism, so I...[read on]
About Mean Business on North Ganson Street, from the publisher:
A distraught businessman kills himself after a short, impolite conversation with a detective named Jules Bettinger. Because of this incident, the unkind (but decorated) policeman is forced to relocate himself and his family from Arizona to the frigid north, where he will work for an understaffed precinct in Victory, Missouri. This collapsed rustbelt city is a dying beast that devours itself and its inhabitants...and has done so for more than four decades. Its streets are covered with dead pigeons and there are seven hundred criminals for every law enforcer.

Partnered with a boorish and demoted corporal, Bettinger investigates a double homicide in which two policemen were slain and mutilated. The detective looks for answers in the fringes of the city and also in the pasts of the cops with whom he works—men who stomped on a local drug dealer until he was disabled.

Bettinger soon begins to suspect that the double homicide is not an isolated event, but a prelude to a series of cop executions...
Visit S. Craig Zahler's website.

Writers Read: S. Craig Zahler.

--Marshal Zeringue