A Taste For Death
November 19, 2009 4:25 PM   Subscribe

Gil Brewer is Back.

In the heyday of paperback originals, Brewer slaved over a typewriter, pounding out words as if his life depended on it because his life did depend on it. He wrote for money. His novels fed his family. After WWII he started to write, but his “serious” novels garnered no interest, so he turned to the burgeoning paperback market. He made it into print with Gold Medal, selling them Satan is a Woman, So Rich, So Dead, and his biggest seller, The Red Scarf. Largely, his work has languished while work from other pulp authors of the time, like Charles Willeford and David Goodis (Warning: autoplay audio) have seen renewed interest.

All that is changing, however. Publishers have shown a renewed interest in Brewer’s work, starting with Hard Case Crime, which reprinted The Vengeful Virgin. Stark House Press followed with a double offering of Wild to Possess/A Taste for Sin and another twofer, A Devil For O’Shaugnessay and Three Way Split. New Pulp Press will be publishing Brewer’s Flight into Darkness in December.

Brewer didn’t have an easy life. His wife will tell you so. He struggled with alcoholism. He spent his money freely. He also wrote as Ellery Queen, Eric Fitzgerald, Bailey Morgan, and Elaine Evans. He wrote more than 50 novels all told. He drank himself to death in 1982 at 60 years old. Gil Brewer is dead. Long live Gil Brewer.
posted by dortmunder (5 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It's Flight to Darkness, not Flight Into Darkness. My mistake.
posted by dortmunder at 4:38 PM on November 19, 2009

Brewer didn’t have an easy life.

No kidding. This dude didn't just talk the talk.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:47 PM on November 19, 2009

I own a copy of "The Vengeful Virgin." I want to make a poster out of the cover someday to hang in my library.

I found it at a garage sale. I told the people I was with, "If it looks old, looks classic, let me know."

One of my sister's friends held it up and said, "Well it smells old."

I bought it.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:41 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Fascinating. Never heard of him but I'm grateful now to have. Thanks for the post!
posted by alteredcarbon at 5:48 PM on November 19, 2009

I might have been wrong when I said The Red Scarf was Brewer's biggest seller. I think 13 French Street may have been bigger. Anyway, 13 French Street was made into was made into a French (of course) movie in 2007.
posted by dortmunder at 3:24 AM on November 20, 2009

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