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The Angry Dream (Prologue Crime) by Gil…
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The Angry Dream (Prologue Crime)

by Gil Brewer

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Gil Brewer was one of the greats of the pulp era. His characters were all tormented by demons from the past, trapped by situations, tricked by temptresses that they could not resist. The Angry Dream is a bit of a break from Brewer’s general work which had at its focus St. Petersburg or other Eastern cities and involved characters framed by young women who had the main characters in a hypnotic trance until they finally realized who they had been with and what their “angel” had done to them.

The Angry Dream (originally the Girl from Hateville) takes place in a small farming town in the country. Brewer is never explicit as to where the town is. Pine Springs is somewhere where the first snows come at the end of October. It could be Wyoming or Montana, somewhere out west. Throughout the story, the reader feels that the sun never shines, that a cold wind is always blowing, and the trees are all bare, the earth desolate. Harper returns to a town where he is a stranger in a strange land and every man is turned against him. The story is that his father did not just kill himself. When his father was found hanging in the bank, the vaults were all empty and every bit of savings in the town had vanished. Practically every family in the town was bankrupted. The town had rioted and torn the doors and windows off the bank. Years later, Harper returned, but the stain of what his father was blamed for is on him now. He is warned by everyone he meets to turn around and leave town. No one will talk to him or do business with him. His house is vandalized and the sheriff suggests that the best solution is for Harper to leave and take his troubles with him. There is no one on his side and no one with even a kind word for him or a smile. Not even from Lois, the girl he had promised to marry before he left and never came back. He never even wrote. Lois still lives in her father’s house, up on the hill. She races around town in an alcoholic daze in her white jaguar and has not forgiven Harper for leaving her. Harper is determined not to be pushed out of town no matter how many threats and how many beatings he has to take. And, when the bodies start piling up and he is set up to take the fall, the walls really start closing in on him. As the reader, you feel the emptiness out there in Pine Springs and you feel how every hand is raised against Harper. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
My first Gil Brewer.

I'm having a Pulp Writers binge right now, and I've always wanted to read him. What better time than now?

The best Noir can be a far more intoxicating experience than I can find reading almost any other kind of Crime Fiction. Why? Well, I think it's because it exposes truths about the human condition that other types of Crime fiction barely hints at. There’s a fullness in the best noir fiction that’s almost impossible to find elsewhere in genre fiction.

The narrative here is so crepuscular that it often feels like there are entire chunks of text missing. In one scene, the novel's main male-character is standing in his house, and in the next scene he will suddenly be in his car (with nothing in-between). There also several instances where a character will repeat something that no one has previously said.

You can find the rest of this review on my blog. ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
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The Girl from Hateville (Original title: The Angry Dream)
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She was even lovelier than my memory of her. I watched her as she walked into the room, admiring the smooth movement of her fine legs and the curves under the soft weave of her sweater. She tossed her thick dark hair back and walked over to me. "It's been a long time, Al." Her voice still had the husky breathless sound that made my ears burn. I stepped close to her and put my hands on her waist. Her head went back, her eyes shining at me with bitterness and confusion and something else I couldn't read. I drew her to me and felt the soft impact of her body and kissed her-her throat and then her lips. Her mouth opened and her body abandoned itself to mine, her fingernails digging at my back.… (more)

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