Friday, July 08, 2005

Book Number 25- Half Way!!

Savage Streets(1959) by William McGivern

savagestreetsThis is an interesting looking book that I picked up cold at a used bookstore. Turns out, McGivern is a well respected pulp novelist (see below).

Initially, he sets up the hyper-suburban '50s scenario. The Man commutes on the Train to the City for his job in the Advertising world. He comes home to the Wife and the two Kids living in the blandly suburban Home. In the evening they head over to the Club or their Friends for Cocktails and Conversation.

I'm kidding, but you get the set-up. these people have built themselves a world of family, homes and work that fits with the American Dream. The conflict in the book comes when they find out that many of their children are behaving oddly and stealing from them. Ultimately, it's the 'other-side-of-the-tracks" types who intrude onto their carefully constructed lives and shatter everything they idealize. These men of strong moral and ethical fibre are revealed to be as violent and unprincipled as the lower classes they avoid.

This was a somewhat good read mainly as a document of it's time. In 1959 people were slowly realizing that the idyllic post-war presented to them was, in reality, a sham that covered a wealth of dirty laundry. McGivern was doing his part to wipe that veneer away.

American novelist, screenplay writer, who published over 20 novels covering the wide genre of thrillers - homicide detection, espionage, political corruption, the world of psychopath, the crooked cop. McGivern also wrote a number of television films and major feature films, among them the John Wayne vehicle BRANNIGAN (1975), co-scripted with Christopher Trumbo, Michael Butler, and William Norton. McGivern's noir tale of three losers, ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1957), was filmed in 1959, starring Robert Ryan and Harry Belafonte.

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