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joyland1There aren’t a lot of publishers around these days who do a good job of specializing in one particular type of book. Hard Case Crime is a welcome exception to that rule, churning out quality classic oldies and brand new pulp fiction since the early 2000s. Plus, they’re affordable and come with evocatively painted throwback covers.

My article on Hard Case Crime ran on the Virginia Quarterly Review‘s blog; here’s part of it:

Stephen King helped Hard Case get much of its early publicity back in 2005, when it published his throwback crime novel The Colorado Kid. King’s second book with the press is Joyland. The setup is almost more Judy Blume than Spillane. Naïve college kid Devin Jones is a self-described “twenty-one-year-old virgin with literary aspirations” stuck in a miserably unreciprocated love story: “The heartbreaker was Wendy Keegan, and she didn’t deserve me.” Finally kicked to the curb, Jones heads south to work at a North Carolina amusement park for a summer. Needless to say, he learns about much more than how to heal his broken heart…