Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Encyclopedia of Literature: Ellen Gilchrist Biography to Grain

David Goodis Biography

(1917–67), Dark Passage, The Burglar, The Moon in the Gutter, Down There, Shoot the Piano Player

crime university philadelphia

American crime novelist mainly associated with the Hardboiled school of the 1940s, born in Philadelphia, educated at Indiana University, Bloomington, and Temple University, Philadelphia. Goodis benefited from the 1980s revival of interest in the darker styles of crime writing although his reputation in France has been consistently high. Like Jim Thompson, Goodis presents a sombre and disillusioned portrait of the world, in which his solitary male protagonists search fruitlessly for meaning and significance in their lives. This mood is ironically and tersely expressed in his first novel, Dark Passage (1947); the brooding atmosphere of doubt and suspicion was memorably captured in the Delmer Davies film, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Throughout the 1950s his novels were consigned to the ‘pulp’ market. None the less, his work from this period is strikingly individual, with The Burglar (1953) and The Moon in the Gutter (1953) offering characteristic highly charged variants on the theme of nemesis. Goodis's gift for fast-paced narrative is best seen in Down There (1956), filmed by François Truffaut in 1962 as Shoot the Piano Player.

Lorna Goodison Biography - (1947– ), Tamarind Season, I Am Becoming My Mother, Heartease, To Us All Flowers Are Roses [next] [back] Good Companions, The

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or