David Goodis - Moon in the Gutter
First published in 1953, The Moon in the Gutter was David Goodis's 10th novel, part of the loose trilogy including Black Friday and Down There. A prolific writer of hardboiled crime, Goodis's success was modest (he died in 1967). In his Introduction to Serpent Tail's reissuing of the book (alongside The Blonde on the Street Corner), Adrian Wootton stakes a claim for the intrinsic interest of Goodis's fiction--"he is, undoubtedly, a damn fine writer; a unique and distinctive talent"--as well as his influence on this generic world of solitary but passionate masculinity; of uptown girls longing for downtown men; of alleyways and tenements and damaged minds.
The stereotypical elements of that world are there in The Moon in the Gutter and its terse simplicity has earned its reputation as "cinematic" pulp trash. Less passionate, or gripping, is the plot: it hooks the reader through the protagonist William Kerrigan, obssessed by his sister's suicide, or not at all. Similarly, the pervasive atmosphere of film noir--a number of Goodis's books, including this one, have been made into films--is one of the most memorable aspects of this novel. A pulp classic, certainly, republished in the hope of finding a new audience of cult readers.
In a back street in the rough end of Philadelphia, docker William Kerrigan obsesses over the mysterious suicide of his sister. Into a dive bar walks Loretta Channing the beautiful, enigmatic socialite and sister of Newton the drunk. For Kerrigan, Loretta's the impossible dream, the escape route from out of his hellhole existence, away from the crowded tenements, the shacks, the dark alleys. But Loretta may also hold the key to finding out what prompted his sister's death, the reason he can never break free. The Moon in the Gutter is a fierce and heated tale of desire and revenge. Made into a film starring Gerard Depardieu and Nastassia Kinski, it remains an enthralling classic of American noir fiction.
Publisher: Serpent's Tail
Dimensions: 198 x 128 mm