Everyone knows part of the fun of pulp fiction is in the physical books and the lurid covers, but sometimes the physical books can be challenging to get hold of, not to mention expensive.
Fortunately, this being the digital age, many of the series have been born again on Kindle, They’re not always cheap (unless you catch them in a deal) but they are at least immediately available. If nothing else it can be an easy way to try out a series or author and decide if you want to play hunt the paperbacks.
In no particular order, here’s my pick of 6 that are worth a look.
Penned by British author Terry Harknett under the pseudonym George G Gilman, this brutal western series started in the 1970s and ran to over 60 books. You can read my review of the first book here.
Portrayed by Dean Martin in the movies (and featured in Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’), Helm is often seen as the American Bond. I reviewed the first book, ‘Death of a Citizen’ here.
Written by British horror master Shaun Hutson under the name Wolf Kruger, presumably to cash in in the success of Sven Hassel’s books. This short lived World War 2 series has all the violence and misery you’d expect from Hutson writing war fiction.
Written by Stephen Mertz and a few others (including at time Joe R Lansdale), this men’s adventure series features grizzled special forces heroes rescuing US POWs in far flung lands. My review of the first book is coming soon.
John Norman’s decidedly dodgy fantasy series has gone under various titles – ‘The Chronicles of Counter Earth’, ‘The Saga of Tarl Cabot’, ‘The Gorean Cycle’, and more. Whatever you choose to call them, they’re a slightly uneasy mix of traditional pulp adventure and misogynist wish fulfilment. I’ll be reviewing the first book here soon.
No list like this could be complete without Mack Bolan. The Executioner books and their sister titles were my introduction to men’s adventure back in the 1980s and there is still a lot to enjoy in them.