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Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats is the first comprehensive account of how the rise of postwar youth culture was depicted in mass-market pulp fiction. As the young created new styles in music, fashion, and culture, pulp fiction shadowed their every move, hyping and exploiting their behaviour, dress, and language for mass consumption and cheap thrills. From the ju Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats is the first comprehensive account of how the rise of postwar youth culture was depicted in mass-market pulp fiction. As the young created new styles in music, fashion, and culture, pulp fiction shadowed their every move, hyping and exploiting their behaviour, dress, and language for mass consumption and cheap thrills. From the juvenile delinquent gangs of the early 1950s through the beats and hippies, on to bikers, skinheads, and punks, pulp fiction left no trend untouched. With their lurid covers and wild, action-packed plots, these books reveal as much about society’s deepest desires and fears as they do about the subcultures themselves. Girl Gangs features approximately 400 full-color covers, many of them never reprinted before. With 70 in-depth author interviews, illustrated biographies, and previously unpublished articles from more than 20 popular culture critics and scholars from the US, UK, and Australia, the book goes behind the scenes to look at the authors and publishers, how they worked, where they drew their inspiration and—often overlooked—the actual words they wrote. Books by well-known authors such as Harlan Ellison and Lawrence Block are discussed alongside neglected obscurities and former bestsellers ripe for rediscovery. It is a must read for anyone interested in pulp fiction, lost literary history, retro and subcultural style, and the history of postwar youth culture. Contributors include Nicholas Tredell, Alwyn W. Turner, Mike Stax, Clinton Walker, Bill Osgerby, David Rife, J.F. Norris, Stewart Home, James Cockington, Joe Blevins, Brian Coffey, James Doig, David James Foster, Matthew Asprey Gear, Molly Grattan, Brian Greene, John Harrison, David Kiersh, Austin Matthews, and Robert Baker.


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Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats is the first comprehensive account of how the rise of postwar youth culture was depicted in mass-market pulp fiction. As the young created new styles in music, fashion, and culture, pulp fiction shadowed their every move, hyping and exploiting their behaviour, dress, and language for mass consumption and cheap thrills. From the ju Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats is the first comprehensive account of how the rise of postwar youth culture was depicted in mass-market pulp fiction. As the young created new styles in music, fashion, and culture, pulp fiction shadowed their every move, hyping and exploiting their behaviour, dress, and language for mass consumption and cheap thrills. From the juvenile delinquent gangs of the early 1950s through the beats and hippies, on to bikers, skinheads, and punks, pulp fiction left no trend untouched. With their lurid covers and wild, action-packed plots, these books reveal as much about society’s deepest desires and fears as they do about the subcultures themselves. Girl Gangs features approximately 400 full-color covers, many of them never reprinted before. With 70 in-depth author interviews, illustrated biographies, and previously unpublished articles from more than 20 popular culture critics and scholars from the US, UK, and Australia, the book goes behind the scenes to look at the authors and publishers, how they worked, where they drew their inspiration and—often overlooked—the actual words they wrote. Books by well-known authors such as Harlan Ellison and Lawrence Block are discussed alongside neglected obscurities and former bestsellers ripe for rediscovery. It is a must read for anyone interested in pulp fiction, lost literary history, retro and subcultural style, and the history of postwar youth culture. Contributors include Nicholas Tredell, Alwyn W. Turner, Mike Stax, Clinton Walker, Bill Osgerby, David Rife, J.F. Norris, Stewart Home, James Cockington, Joe Blevins, Brian Coffey, James Doig, David James Foster, Matthew Asprey Gear, Molly Grattan, Brian Greene, John Harrison, David Kiersh, Austin Matthews, and Robert Baker.

30 review for Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    The book contains an interview with Marijane Meaker, aka Vin Packer. Featuring approximately 400 full-color covers, many of them never before reprinted, along with 70 in-depth author interviews. Compressed Contents: 007 - Forward by Peter Boyle 011 - Introduction 018 - "Teenage jungle: pulp fiction's juvenile delinquents" 090 - "Beat girls and real cool cats: 1960s beats and Bohemians"- 136 - "Love tribes: Hippies and the pulp fiction of the late-60s and early-70s counterculture" 194 - "Groupies and im The book contains an interview with Marijane Meaker, aka Vin Packer. Featuring approximately 400 full-color covers, many of them never before reprinted, along with 70 in-depth author interviews. Compressed Contents: 007 - Forward by Peter Boyle 011 - Introduction 018 - "Teenage jungle: pulp fiction's juvenile delinquents" 090 - "Beat girls and real cool cats: 1960s beats and Bohemians"- 136 - "Love tribes: Hippies and the pulp fiction of the late-60s and early-70s counterculture" 194 - "Groupies and immortals: pulp fiction music novels" 222 - "Wheels of death: pulp biker and motorcycle gangs" 252 - "Cults of violence: 1960s British youthsploitation novels" 278 - "Outsiders: late-60s and early-70s American pulp and the rise of the teen novel" The first comprehensive account of how the rise of postwar youth culture was depicted in mass-market pulp fiction. As the young created new styles in music, fashion, and culture, pulp fiction shadowed their every move, hyping and exploiting their behavior, dress, and language for mass consumption and cheap thrills. With their lurid covers and wild, action-packed plots, these books reveal as much about society's deepest desires and fears as they do about the subcultures themselves. Featuring approximately 400 full-color covers, many of them never before reprinted, along with 70 in-depth author interviews, illustrated biographies, and previously unpublished articles, the book goes behind the scenes to look at the authors and publishers, how they worked, where they drew their inspiration and--often overlooked--the actual words they wrote. It is a must read for anyone interested in pulp fiction, lost literary history, retro and subcultural style, and the history of postwar youth culture. Contributors include: Nicholas Tredell Alwyn W. Turner Mike Stax Clinton Walker Bill Osgerby David Rife J.F. Norris Stewart Home James Cockington Joe Blevins Brian Coffey James Doig David James Foster Matthew Asprey Gear Molly Grattan Brian Greene John Harrison David Kiersh Austin Matthews Robert Baker.

  2. 4 out of 5

    David Whish-wilson

    This collection of essays is chock-full of fascinating perspectives on pulp titles and trends. Can't recommend it highly enough. This collection of essays is chock-full of fascinating perspectives on pulp titles and trends. Can't recommend it highly enough.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    On one hand, this book is as hip and fun to read as the title makes it sound. It’s also an amazing feat of pop culture scholarship that provides a heavily-researched, lushly-illustrated, in-depth look at the various types of “youthsploitation” books published in the United States, the UK and Australia in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. It’s a deep, enjoyable dive into pulp fiction paperbacks about juvie gangs, beatniks, bikers, hippies, punks, skinheads and other social rebels that I think is destin On one hand, this book is as hip and fun to read as the title makes it sound. It’s also an amazing feat of pop culture scholarship that provides a heavily-researched, lushly-illustrated, in-depth look at the various types of “youthsploitation” books published in the United States, the UK and Australia in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. It’s a deep, enjoyable dive into pulp fiction paperbacks about juvie gangs, beatniks, bikers, hippies, punks, skinheads and other social rebels that I think is destined to become one of the must-have books for fans of vintage paperbacks and mid-20th Century youth cultures. In addition to showcasing over 400 covers in full color, the book includes profiles of and interviews with authors, information about the publishers and editors, and insightful analyses of how youthsploitation books affected both the subcultures they focused on and perceptions of those subcultures in the mainstream media and “square” society. As an avid fan of mid-20th Century pop culture and history, I give this book my highest recommendation. By the way, be sure to check out Editor Andrew Nette's www.Pulpcurry.com site. It's great, too!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maxim

    Indispensable...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    So easy to dive in and get lost for a few hours! Hard to over praise this cultural and pulp fiction study. Beautiful artwork with hundreds of cover reproductions. Full of essays and author interviews. Has a lot of coverage of the UK and Australian pulp fiction and youth cultures, so isn't exclusively focused on America. Has two sections on the Operation Hang Ten series and its author Patrick Morgan (George Snyder). So easy to dive in and get lost for a few hours! Hard to over praise this cultural and pulp fiction study. Beautiful artwork with hundreds of cover reproductions. Full of essays and author interviews. Has a lot of coverage of the UK and Australian pulp fiction and youth cultures, so isn't exclusively focused on America. Has two sections on the Operation Hang Ten series and its author Patrick Morgan (George Snyder).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Larry D'librarian

    This book, lavishly illustrated with pulp covers, is itself a beautiful thing. Its own lurid green cover features a number of pulp images such as the defiant stare of Mama, the chaos of The Spungers, the romantic mood of Hippie Doctor and a cyborg-like Charles Manson staring out from The Hippy Cult Murders. There are around 400 full-colour covers reproduced in the book, many of which have not been reprinted before. These are a joy. Accompanying them are over 70 essays and in-depth interviews and This book, lavishly illustrated with pulp covers, is itself a beautiful thing. Its own lurid green cover features a number of pulp images such as the defiant stare of Mama, the chaos of The Spungers, the romantic mood of Hippie Doctor and a cyborg-like Charles Manson staring out from The Hippy Cult Murders. There are around 400 full-colour covers reproduced in the book, many of which have not been reprinted before. These are a joy. Accompanying them are over 70 essays and in-depth interviews and previously unpublished articles. The layout invites instant perusal and encourages readers to dip into whatever takes their fancy. Come for the covers — some of which may be familiar or indeed inspire a Proustian moment — but do stay for the essays. These are well researched, informative and fascinating. In his Foreword Peter Doyle looks at the successions of youth subcultures and how the post-World-War-II tabloids flourished in an atmosphere of ‘panic refrains’. (A business model which still seems to work if the tabloids’ current fixation with ‘African crime gangs’ is any indication.) In the late 1940s, early 1950s it was juvenile delinquents, of course. Then came beatniks. And bikers. Gays and lesbians. Hard-dope fiends. Later on, hippies and counter cultural types, mods, rockers, surfers, skinheads, youthful revolutionaries. Trippers, pot heads and ravers. Rock musicians and groupies. Nearly always the subculture was characterised as a kind of cultish freemason-like quasi-conspiracy or secret society. I went immediately to the last section of the book, devoted to the late 1960s and early 1970s, which looks at the rise of the teen novel. In Something in the Shadows we are introduced to Marijane Meaker who, I realised, was the woman who as ME Kerr wrote Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack, one of the seminal YA novels (alongside SE Hinton’s The Outsiders) from this period. This is a fascinating look at the introduction of ‘realism’ to children’s books and the beginning of the YA genre. My librarian colleagues who studied under the wonderful Stella Lees will recognise how schooled we were in this emerging literature and will find this a fascinating read. Frank Bonham, Kin Platt and Go Ask Alice are also featured and the backstories of these writers are intriguing. Meaker relates how she and children’s writer Louise Fitzhugh would lunch and exchange tips about their genres. In 1972, under the name Ann Aldrich, Meaker wrote two gay novels, including the gloriously titled Take a Lesbian to Lunch. I learned more about Meaker in the chapter on Ann Bannon, who published in the lesbian pulp genre. Bannon speaks of a tentative approach to Meaker, who encouraged her writing: It was kind of a fan letter. I did not realise she was getting them by the bushel from young women all around the world, but she responded … She said, if you have a manuscript and you can visit me, then I’d like to see it and maybe you can get to meet my editor. This was of course music to the ears of an aspiring young writer, since one of my perplexities had been how to get into print. It is the writers’ stories that fascinate me. Bannon’s books began being reprinted each decade. On her enduring popularity Bannon muses: Like my readers, I really thought what I was writing was ephemeral literature, although I wrote it as best I could. I understood the rules, and the rules were that these were throwaway books … Critics ignored us and we flew beneath the radar, which is probably one of the reasons we were allowed to exist. So I had no real belief that they would have a life beyond their initial 6-12 month period of publication. In the 1990s Bannon was working in a university and owned up to being the author of these pulp titles when her students began submitting Masters and doctoral dissertations on her alter-ego. She suggests that the novels have acquired a very different readership than those ‘who were originally seeking anything about the lesbian experience’. Another trope is the writers who disappear. Teddy Boy by Ernest Ryman, published in 1958, is tame, however it makes the link between poverty and youth crime. We are informed that history has no record of Ernest Ryman, but the personal histories of these writers of pulp literature are truly fascinating. There is so much to love in this beautifully curated collection of covers, essays and extracts. There are sections devoted to the novels inspired by the badlands of Sydney’s Kings Cross. Hippie culture is explored, and its evil twin, the hippie cult murder pulps based on the Manson Family. Surf culture is explored by Patrick Morgan and his series featuring William (Bill) Cartwright aimed to cover ‘Surfing. women and whenever possible poking a crooked finger in the hairy eyeball of the establishment’. Librarians will be very familiar with the backstory of our anti-hero; he is the prototype of many a popular series written for the middle grades. This book is a powerful history of the literature that was written for and about the marginalised. It is our history and I am grateful it has been published in such an inspiring format.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robin Bonne

    As a collector of vintage pulps from the 50’s and 60’s, I found this to be interesting. There are some cool old covers printed in this book, but not necessarily the ones I would have selected as being important historically.

  8. 5 out of 5

    DENNIS

    i received a copy from the publisher and was immediately blow away by the appearance of the book. I expected a so so outline of some titles and maybe a few pictures to add appeal. What I discovered was an in-depth treatment of not only American books usually classified in the "exploitation" genre, but a wealth of material covering worldwide expansion of the genre. Speaking of genres, while the well researched material can easily be collected under the header of exploitation, the editors take it i received a copy from the publisher and was immediately blow away by the appearance of the book. I expected a so so outline of some titles and maybe a few pictures to add appeal. What I discovered was an in-depth treatment of not only American books usually classified in the "exploitation" genre, but a wealth of material covering worldwide expansion of the genre. Speaking of genres, while the well researched material can easily be collected under the header of exploitation, the editors take it one step further by breaking down the material into sub sections. Feel like a read about the youth gone wild? there's a section full of offerings. Maybe you want to delve into the world of dangerous motorcycle gangs? Another section full of choices to fill your mood is just some pages away. The list keeps going from mods and hippies to the beats. And not just stories concerning the male view. The female perspective is just as plentiful and often times more edgy than it's counterpart. The only downside to this book is the hours you will lose as you go through page after page of covers which will inevitably cause to to stop and check out a particular book. At 336 pages each one full of multiple books to examine you can easily disappear down the rabbit hole. That's why it took me roughly 5 months to finish the book. Sadly, many of the long out of print titles, will take some detective like tracking skills or financial reserves to acquire, but with so many options at your fingertips, there are plenty of options at all acquisition levels.

  9. 5 out of 5

    I.D.

    Tremendous look at hundreds of forgotten books, authors, and trends. Everything from satanic biker books to British soccer hooligan series to lesbian JD stories are featured. The biggest problem is there are so many hidden gems to track down inside that you could spend a fortune trying to collect everything. There’s some moralizing in the articles but it’s such an encyclopedic look that you can overlook it. Great book!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    4 stars alone just for all the covers, total blast from the past.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    This was not as good as their Sticking it to the Man collection, but I still enjoyed flipping through it. I’m most looking forward to their one on sci-fi books coming out in 2021.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan Csoke

    A beautifully illustrated coffee table book for sure. A great conversation starter. Thank you Goodreads for this free book!!!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

  14. 4 out of 5

    Viola

  15. 5 out of 5

    James

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Home

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

  18. 4 out of 5

    Meg Porter

  19. 5 out of 5

    A1desserts

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Conway

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alohatiki

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mira

  24. 4 out of 5

    ryan d wart

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Nette

  26. 4 out of 5

    FoxInTheSnow

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    306.1 G525 2017

  28. 5 out of 5

    John Roper

  29. 5 out of 5

    Glen Hannah

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

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