Malibu Burning

Malibu Burning

When I use the term “pulp,” as in Pulp Fiction, in my mind, and my own vernacular? This is about cheap paperback novels. I have a few shelves crammed with such. In fact, some of my favorite authors, two come to mind immediately, one being Robert Heinlein and the other A. Bertram Chandler, both were originally “pulp” authors, who eventually graduated to book form — that’s where I found them. Sometimes serial in nature, sometimes just quick turn around, the origins are documented elsewhere.

Lee Goldberg is a prolific author, and I reached his stuff from the “free” section on the ubiquitous giant amazon. This one came up and as a “free” — odd because I didn’t get a lot of his stuff from the digital libraries — but free was good.

With my own accolades, I like the material, as it reminds me of modern paperback murder/mystery or science fiction — something — kind of books. I read a great deal many years ago, and this is like that. Fast, quick plotting, not too deep, and bits and pieces of material liberally lifted from other sources, I’m thinking TV and the greater zeitgeist. This isn’t a backwards compliment, no, I mean it sincerely, the thin paperbacks with the small print, pages yellowing almost on contact, and the low price of less than $2, speaks to an era. Not a golden age of fiction, but an era when tawdry paperbacks still ruled.

There were two or three authors that came to mind, current two-dozen years back, maybe further down the corridors of my history but I loved those books. Quick, almost a day to read a book, not big, easy to carry, proud to display a whole series along a shelf. Never really “great” literature, but in a time and place?

Malibu Burning

The title gives way to the plot outline. Remarkably prescient with recent events, in form and feeling, if not location.

“If it’s all a pointless waste of time, just a conspiracy of bureaucracy and incompetence designed to aggravate, delay, and sabotage your arson investigation, what do you suggest we do?” Page 123.

Go rogue?

In light of current events, even more appropriate fiction.

Malibu Burning

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