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21 Fantastic Pulp Fiction Book Titles From The Mid 20th Century

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Pulp Fiction at its best is insolent, cruel, lurid, provocative, escapist and fast. The wit is sharp, the dialogue snaps and the narrative tosses the reader back and forth. The roughness of the paper reflects the book’s hard-drawn, unwholesome characters banged out by creative minds who, if not exactly working on the great American novel, produced the country’s great gift to world literature.

And, boy, are pulp fiction books fun. With thanks to Steve Wallace, these are 21 cracking pulp fiction book titles to get the juices flowing.

 

Harlequin Books 91 - Carl Shannon - Lady, That's My Skull  Carl Shannon - Lady, That's My Skull Harlequin Books 91, 1951 Cover Artist: Amos Glover

Harlequin Books 91 – Carl Shannon – Lady, That’s My Skull
Carl Shannon – Lady, That’s My Skull
Harlequin Books 91, 1951
Cover Artist: Amos Glover

Dell 10 Cent Books 33 - Fredric Brown - The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches  Fredric Brown - The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches Dell 10 Cent Books 33, 1951 Cover Artist: Robert Stanley   "In the look she gave him Carl saw the promise of a night of love... but he didn't see murder."

Dell 10 Cent Books 33 – Fredric Brown – The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches
Fredric Brown – The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches
Dell 10 Cent Books 33, 1951
Cover Artist: Robert Stanley
“In the look she gave him Carl saw the promise of a night of love… but he didn’t see murder.”

MacFadden Books 60-142 - Michael Leigh - The Velvet Underground  Michael Leigh - The Velvet Underground MacFadden Books 60-142 Published 1963, 1st printing Cover Artist: Paul Bacon Studio   "Come to the party - and bring your wife!"

MacFadden Books 60-142 – Michael Leigh – The Velvet Underground
Michael Leigh – The Velvet Underground
MacFadden Books 60-142
Published 1963, 1st printing
Cover Artist: Paul Bacon Studio
“Come to the party – and bring your wife!”

Dell Books D280 - Frank Kane - Trigger Mortis  Frank Kane - Trigger Mortis Dell Books D280 Published1959, 1st printing Cover Artist: Victor Kalin

Dell Books D280 – Frank Kane – Trigger Mortis
Frank Kane – Trigger Mortis
Dell Books D280
Published1959, 1st printing
Cover Artist: Victor Kalin

Avon Books 485 - James Hadley Chase - 12 Chinks and a Woman  James Hadley Chase - 12 Chinks and a Woman Avon Books 485 Published 1952

Avon Books 485 – James Hadley Chase – 12 Chinks and a Woman
James Hadley Chase – 12 Chinks and a Woman
Avon Books 485
Published 1952

Dell Books 2917 - Thomas B. Dewey - The Girl with the Sweet Plump Knees  Thomas B. Dewey - The Girl with the Sweet Plump Knees Dell First Edition 2917 Published 1963; 1st printing Cover Artist: Victor Kalin

Dell Books 2917 – Thomas B. Dewey – The Girl with the Sweet Plump Knees
Thomas B. Dewey – The Girl with the Sweet Plump Knees
Dell First Edition 2917
Published 1963; 1st printing
Cover Artist: Victor Kalin

Popular Library 302 - Elisabeth Sanxay Holding - The Old Battle Ax  Elisabeth Sanxay Holding - The Old Battle Ax Popular Library 302, 1950 Cover Artist: Rudolph Belarski

Popular Library 302 – Elisabeth Sanxay Holding – The Old Battle Ax
Elisabeth Sanxay Holding – The Old Battle Ax
Popular Library 302, 1950
Cover Artist: Rudolph Belarski

Dell Books 848 - George Bagby - Give the Little Corpse a Great Big Hand  George Bagby - Give the Little Corpse a Great Big Hand Dell Books 848, 1955 Cover Artist: Victor Kalin   George Bagby was the pseudonym of Aaron Marc Stein. He also wrote under the name of Hampton Stone.

Dell Books 848 – George Bagby – Give the Little Corpse a Great Big Hand
George Bagby – Give the Little Corpse a Great Big Hand
Dell Books 848, 1955
Cover Artist: Victor Kalin
George Bagby was the pseudonym of Aaron Marc Stein. He also wrote under the name of Hampton Stone.

Berkley Books G-119 - John Cheever - The Enormous Radio  John Cheever - The Enormous Radio and Other Stories Berkley Books G-119, 1958 Cover Artist: Charles Copeland

Berkley Books G-119 – John Cheever – The Enormous Radio
John Cheever – The Enormous Radio and Other Stories
Berkley Books G-119, 1958
Cover Artist: Charles Copeland

Ace Books D-1 - Samuel W. Taylor - The Grinning Gismo  Samuel W. Taylor - The Grinning Gismo Ace Books D-1, 1952 Cover Artist: Norman Saunders

Ace Books D-1 – Samuel W. Taylor – The Grinning Gismo
Samuel W. Taylor – The Grinning Gismo
Ace Books D-1, 1952
Cover Artist: Norman Saunders

Popular Library 378 - James Hadley Chase - You're Lonely when you're Dead  James Hadley Chase - You're Lonely when you're Dead Popular Library 378, 1951 Cover Artist: Willard Downes

Popular Library 378 – James Hadley Chase – You’re Lonely when you’re Dead
James Hadley Chase – You’re Lonely when you’re Dead
Popular Library 378, 1951
Cover Artist: Willard Downes

Dell Books 415 - Frederic Arnold Kummer - Ladies in Hades  Frederic Arnold Kummer - Ladies in Hades Dell Books 415 Published 1950 Cover Artist: unknown ... perhaps Frederick Smith or S.B. Jones or Roy Price

Dell Books 415 – Frederic Arnold Kummer – Ladies in Hades
Frederic Arnold Kummer – Ladies in Hades
Dell Books 415
Published 1950
Cover Artist: unknown … perhaps Frederick Smith or S.B. Jones or Roy Price

Dell Books 334 - Anthony Boucher - The Case of the Seven Sneezes  Anthony Boucher - The Case of the Seven Sneezes Dell Books 334 Published 1949 Cover Artist: Bob Hilbert?

Dell Books 334 – Anthony Boucher – The Case of the Seven Sneezes
Anthony Boucher – The Case of the Seven Sneezes
Dell Books 334
Published 1949
Cover Artist: Bob Hilbert?

Dell Books 16149 - Kilgore Trout - Venus on the Half-Shell  Kilgore Trout - Venus on the Half-Shell Dell Books 16149, 1975; reprint 1978 Cover Artist: Cadino   Kilgore Trout is a pseudonym of Philip José Farmer   Venus on the Half-Shell is a science fiction novel by Philip José Farmer, writing pseudonymously as "Kilgore Trout," a recurring fictional character in many of the novels of Kurt Vonnegut. This book first appeared as a lengthy fictitious "excerpt"—written by Vonnegut, but attributed to Trout—in Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965).

Dell Books 16149 – Kilgore Trout – Venus on the Half-Shell
Kilgore Trout – Venus on the Half-Shell
Dell Books 16149, 1975; reprint 1978
Cover Artist: Cadino
Kilgore Trout is a pseudonym of Philip José Farmer
Venus on the Half-Shell is a science fiction novel by Philip José Farmer, writing pseudonymously as “Kilgore Trout,” a recurring fictional character in many of the novels of Kurt Vonnegut. This book first appeared as a lengthy fictitious “excerpt”—written by Vonnegut, but attributed to Trout—in Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965).

Novel Books 6085 - Kay Addams - My Wild Nights with Nine Nudists!  Kay Addams - My Wild Nights with Nine Nudists! Novel Books 6085 Published 1963, 1st printing Cover: photo   Kay Addams was a pseudonym of Orrie Hitt.

Novel Books 6085 – Kay Addams – My Wild Nights with Nine Nudists!
Kay Addams – My Wild Nights with Nine Nudists!
Novel Books 6085
Published 1963, 1st printing
Cover: photo
Kay Addams was a pseudonym of Orrie Hitt.

Dell Books 514 - Jack Iams - Do Not Murder Before Christmas  Jack Iams - Do Not Murder Before Christmas Dell Books 514, 1951 Cover Artist: Robert Stanley

Dell Books 514 – Jack Iams – Do Not Murder Before Christmas
Jack Iams – Do Not Murder Before Christmas
Dell Books 514, 1951
Cover Artist: Robert Stanley

Dell Books 3289 - Frank Kane - The Guilt Edged Frame  Frank Kane - The Guilt Edged Frame Dell Books 3289, 1964 Cover Artist: Ron Lesser

Dell Books 3289 – Frank Kane – The Guilt Edged Frame
Frank Kane – The Guilt Edged Frame
Dell Books 3289, 1964
Cover Artist: Ron Lesser

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Popular Library 221 - Anita Loos - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes  Anita Loos - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Popular Library 221 Published 1950 Cover Artist: Earle Bergey

Popular Library 221 – Anita Loos – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Anita Loos – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Popular Library 221
Published 1950
Cover Artist: Earle Bergey

Dell Books 339 - H. Rider Haggard - She  H. Rider Haggard - She Dell Books 339 Published 1949 Cover Artist: Lou Marchetti

Dell Books 339 – H. Rider Haggard – She
H. Rider Haggard – She
Dell Books 339
Published 1949
Cover Artist: Lou Marchetti