December 20, 2016
As a longtime reader (you are, right?) of this here weblog, you probably know that I have a fondness for the pulp-y writer Day Keene, who churned out an incredible amount of stories and novels in the classic pulp era. It’s not always easy to track down his books (though some story collections now available help), but there is a reprint from the swell folks at Hard Case Crime of one novel, Home is the Sailor. A typically fast-paced Keene read, it follows the travails of a sailor who wants to do right, but runs into the wrong bar and the wrong lady. It’s well worth tracking down, not only for this quote, which happens south of the border:
The Mexican license bureau was closed. I’d expected that. There was a bar on the main drag with a faded sign that proclaimed it to be the longest bar in the world. I parked Corliss at a table and bought her a rum Collins to work on. Then I brushed off my rusty Spanish and buttonholed the first cop I met on the street.
–Day Keene, Home is the Sailor
February 17, 2015
I’ve had four different Day Keene Cocktail Talk posts – that’s nowhere near enough! C’mon me. Seriously. My appreciation, no, obsession with Mr. Keene and his pulptasticness is certainly not going down to a simmer any time soon. This is why it’s so swell that Ramble House is putting out all of Mr. Keene’s stories and novellas from the Detective Pulps in the ‘40s in book collections. And there are a lot of stories, so more Day Keene for us! Though I do wish Ramble would hire a decent copyeditor. But hey, at least the stories are becoming available again. Anyway, this particular quote is from the first volume, League of the Grateful Dead and Other Stories (and yeah, that’s where the band got its name), from a story with a memorable name: Crawl Out of that Coffin!
‘The D’Andrea’s don’t live to be twenty-one,’ he told me.
While I was considering that, he motioned our waiter to the table and told him to bring whatever we were drinking and a Rum Collins for himself.
The waiter looked at the passed-out girl.
‘No. Nothing for her,’ Pierce said straight-faced. ‘Miss D’Andrea is driving.’
–Day Keene, Crawl Out of that Coffin!