Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Newer Kind of Pulp

There are people who think I only read serious nonfiction. Of course that isn't true. I have my guilty pleasures. One of those is are the books about Mack Bolan, The Executioner. These books, that are firmly in the men's adventure genre, are really the Conan novels of the modern era. Bolan is a warrior. He kills those who deserve it, beds gorgeous women and is a bit of a loner. For those who don't know, he's also the inspiration behind the Punisher character from Marvel Comics.

I first got one author Don Pendleton's books back when I was a young boy. Bought it at Laneco. It was Stony Man Doctrine. I ate that up and then bought as many as I could, with culminated in finding about 100 of the novels a few years ago in a thrift store. Two tubs of them. Ten bucks. A steal.

Yeah, that is a guilty pleasure. I've always had a thing for pulp fiction, and this is current pulp at its finest. Yeah, there may not be demons or supernatural villains or even witches, but there is tons of violence, stereotypes and bare breasts. I think that fits the definition.

I'm still missing quite a few of the books, so it's a quest I'm constantly on. The earliest one I'm missing is number five in the series. I think I will snag it some day at a fair price. Until then, however, I have quite a few to read yet before I'm out of stories.

Sometimes the guiltiest pleasures are the finest.


  1. Awesome.

    I've always kept my Bolan fetish to myself.

    Some of my favorite memories from my youth were trips to Safeway every few weeks to see if a new Bolan book had arrived. At the time, it was the only place I could find the books on a regular basis. Safeway also randomly carried some of the Stony Man books.

    Remember the inserts that you could scratch off and get a discount on mail orders? It seemed like they were always poker-themed. I never used any of their mail order forms, but should have to save $$$.

    Who knows how much $$$ I spent on Bolan books throughout jr. high and high school from my meager $3.75/hour wage from Clendenen's Cider Works part-time job.

    I still remember how sad I was when Pendleton passed away in '95.

    I wish I had never sold my collection...

    Haven't read a Bolan book in years. Are they still just as addicting?

  2. I'm reading all the early ones now, and haven't gotten to the newer ones yet, so I don't know. I'm sure they've lost some of that feel if only due to the author change and time.