Item description for Wild to Possess / A Taste for Sin (Stark House Noir Classics) by Gil Brewer...
Two brisk-paced noirs from the golden age of the paperback, originally published 1959 and 1961.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Oct 13, 2006
Publisher Stark House Press
ISBN 1933586109 ISBN13 9781933586106
Reviews - What do customers think about Wild to Possess / A Taste for Sin (Stark House Noir Classics)?
Two books: One Hot, one warm. Jun 9, 2007
If you haven't read any of Gil Brewer's Gold Medal paper back originals from the 1950s, here's a great place to start. If you are already familiar with him, from say, Hard Case Crime's re-release of The Vengeful Virgin, this double release by Stark House of Wild to Possess and A Taste for Sin, is a great follow up.
Of the two, A Taste for Sin is definitely the best. Five stars. You will inhale this one. It has a relentless pace similar to that of Vengeful Virgin. Taste for Sin is the story of Jim Phalen, who is on the run from a cheating wife and an act of vengeance that he committed in the heat of the moment against his wife's lover. Working in a new town, and trying to hack out a new life without his wife, Jim meets Felice and for the first time he thinks he can forget his wife and the past. The passion scenes between these two explode on the pages like nothing I've read before. This is hot passion, smoldering with a fire that you don't find in today's over blown and explicit fiction.
While the heat between the two is reason enough to read this book, the main plot is terrific: a bank robbery that Felice wants Jim to help her pull off. The road to this heist has enough twists and turns along the way to keep the pressure on Jim, and will keep you flipping the pages as fast as you can.
While the end is a bit over the top, it does set up a nice ring out.
Brewer is known for writing some of his books at break neck speed, and this one seems to have rushed forth out of him like it was screaming to get on the page. And once there, it screams to get back off of it. Not a word wasted.
Which segues to Wild to Possess, the other book in this double release, where words are wasted. A good editing job could have made this average tale much better. From what I've learned, Brewer's life, like many of his characters, was ruled at times by alcohol abuse. In Wild to Possess, both the writer and the main character seem to be overindulging in the gin. The result is too many paragraphs repeating the same thoughts and observations. The story boggs down. And this is a shame because the story itself is quite original, with the main character Lew Brookbank learning of a kidnapping plot, and deciding to kidnap from the kidnappers.
Like Jim Phalen in A Taste for Sin, Lew is running from a wife who betrayed him. Only she and her lover are both dead, and someone thinks Lew is responsible. So, we have two stories running head long into each other. This creates nice tension. There is also a love interest, which is hard for me to buy into, because there is nothing redeeming about Lew in his present condition. Maybe she sees the man beneath, but it didn't work for me. Also, the plot requires some pretty manipulative and creative actions on Jim's part, and as drunk as he was all the time, these actions seemed a stretch.
Not among Brewer's best, and I give Wild to Possess three stars. It's like a C plus read. If you are into Brewer, read it. But, what ever you do, read A Taste for Sin first. You won't be disappointed. And check out other Stark House releases. They are publishing some great books long out of print, by writers like Day Keene, Harry Whittington, A. S. Fleischman, and others. Framed in Guilt / My Flesh is Sweet