It must be a bitter inconvenience for self-regarding literary sorts that the pulp novels they scoff at make for the best of American cinema (The Maltese Falcon, say, or, better, The Long Goodbye). The practice of putting down the crime-fiction genre is so rampant, the term “guilty pleasure” still prevails. Enough. All you posturing couch-critics leering begrudgingly at your unread copy of The Gulag Archipelago, go grab The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps (Vintage, available now), a hugely ambitious and successful collection of crime fiction, and settle in for a cram session in chicks, dicks, and pistol whips.
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