Jul 16, 2012
As weird as it might seem today, people from New York used to come up to Montreal for a good time. Gambling houses, drugs, clubs, fast women... Montreal was one of the coolest places to be in post-war North America. Fun, racy, naughty...for a few fleeting years Montreal had a real Noir vibe.
A handful of cheap, disposable novels captured this era in ways that more main stream novels never could. According to literary historian Brian Busby, their colour and detail provide an important historical record. These nine pulp fiction paperbacks documented the landscape and life of the period in an exciting, unusual way. They've since been largely ignored by historians and, in some cases, hidden by their authors. I met with Busby to talk about Sugarpuss on Dorchester Street, The Executioner and other such titles, and why this series of paperbacks is worthy of our attention.