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David Goodis Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Retreat from Oblivion (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Passage (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
Behold This Woman (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nightfall/Missing Believed Murdered / The Dark Chase / Convicted (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Of Missing Persons (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cassidy's Girl (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Of Tender Sin (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Street of the Lost (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Burglar (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Moon in the Gutter (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black Friday (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Blonde on the Street Corner (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Street of No Return (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wounded and the Slain (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Down There/Shoot the Piano Player (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fire in the Flesh (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Night Squad (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Somebody's Done For (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Pulp Frictions: Hardboiled Stories(1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Having been born and nurtured in Philadelphia, PA, The United States of America, David Goodis was a noir fiction writer who dwelled mostly on writing crime fiction stories and novels. He was born on March 02, 1917, grew up in a Jewish and Liberal household in which his writing talents and ambitions were cultivated, motivated and encouraged. He was the oldest child of William Goodis and Mollie Goodis. He engaged in student affairs while in high school. In fact, he began his writing at such a tender age for he was involved in editing the school magazine. Following his ability to deliver exciting content which would move the crowds, he was valedictorian of the graduating class of 1935 where he delivered a thrilling speech entitled “Youth Looks at Peace”.

Education and entry Into the Writing career

In the college, he further expanded the interests and passion he had shown in the writing arena while he was in high school, highly contributing to the school’s newspaper as both an elite writer and cartoonists as well. It was then when he decided to test the waters of writing on a professional level by writing his very own first novel entitled “Ignited”. This novel was never published and no traceable copy of it has ever been found although David claimed that it was prophetic and that he threw it into the fire. Goodis then graduated from Temple University in 1938 with a degree in his field of interest, journalism. This was after an inconclusive spell at the University of Indiana where he did not go to the completion of his studies but opted to return to Philadelphia.

David Goodis was a true native of Philadelphia and almost his entire life revolved around this place. He resided in the New York City as well as Hollywood during his professional years as a writer, but throughout this period of time, he still maintained a strong identification with his home and city of birth, Philadelphia. Adding to his native lifestyle, Goodis observed his immediate neighborhood to come up with his own crafted life sagas of lives gone rogues, still building up his line of work, crime fiction. Some critics like Dennis Drabelle claimed that Goodis was in a position to empathize well with the outsiders, people of different walks of life, criminals, unjustly accused and the poor due to his ethnicity which was Jewish as well as his temperament, leave alone his education. Goodis later died on January 07, 1967 still in his home city.

Marriage and Divorce
For a long time, it was believed that Goodis actually never married. This was because he never mentioned his wife anywhere throughout his life and even after his death, his wife was never mentioned anywhere in the Attorney correspondence. This was until recently when a research conducted by Larry Withers produced a marriage certificate for Goodis and Elaine Astor indicating that they were actually married on October 7, 1943. Later, a divorce decree was found suggesting that Elaine received a divorce on January 18th, 1946. Larry Withers is Astor’s son from a later marriage and he got to discover about his mother’s marriage to Goodis after she (his mother) died from a stroke in 1986.

Notable Works by David Goodis

David maintained a prolificacy habit of writing thrilling novels and fine stories which were met with open hands by his readers. He became a popular writer straight from Philadelphia and the entire United States at large. He was truly a renowned writer who would create a story from literally anything and anytime. Some of the most popular novels done by Goodis include the following:
1. Dark Passage. Published in 1946 and has 11 editions since its release. It was published as a book that year, following serialisation in The Saturday Evening Post from July 20 to September 7, 1946, before being published in book form. (Thanks Simon!)
2. The Wounded and the Slain. It was published in 1952. It did 5 editions and was reviewed with 3.66 stars after 473 ratings.
3. Cassidy’s Girl. Another popular novel done by Goodis in 1951. It has 14 editions up to date.
4. The Moon in the Gutter. Published in 1953.
5. Night squad. A 1961 publication.
6. Of Tender Sin – 1952.
7. Street of the Lost – 1988.
David wrote a lot of books during his life. Publications of his work did not stop after his death for other editors took his work, edited it and published them still with Goodis name on them. That explains why there are still some books written by Goodis which were published long after his death.

Shoot the Piano Player – 1956
This is one of the most popular books written by Goodis which features Eddie who used to play concert piano for a particular reverent audience at Carnegie Hall. Later, Eddie plays the same piano but to a different audience – the Philadelphia drunks in a dive. Two people are seen walking into Eddie’s life with offerings. One of them promises him a future while the other one attempts to drag him way back to into his unreliable past. It is a story about loyalty in different levels – loyalty of a man to his family, the loyalty he owes a woman, and the loyalty he owes to himself.

Nightfall – 1947
Nightfall is another fine work by Goodis. It is by far probably Goodis’ most accomplished novel of all time. Filled with suspense and unpredictable pitfalls, it features Jim Vanning who is seemingly living a double life. Jim could be an innocent artist who just happens to have dangerous people following him or he could just be a true killer on the lam from his previous murder. Its introduction fills the readers with an anticipation to know who really Jim is and what he does in his life.

David Goodis on Radio and Screenplay

In the early 40s, Goodis wrote and scripted for the radio adventure serials which included House of Mystery and Hop Harrigan. During this time, all the novels he wrote were rejected by publishers. This did not put him down for after all that, he went to Hollywood and spent some quality time there as one of the screenwriters on a certain film. However, his breakthrough and emergence into the screen occurred after his novel, Dark Passage was aired on a TV series entitled “The Fugitive”. He then signed a 6-year contract with Warner Bros where he wrote scripts including The Unfaithful, Of Missing Persons and Up Till Now.

Goodis also took part in the writing of the screenplay titled “the Burglar” which was nearly a Philadelphia affairs as it was directed by Philadelphians as well as having been shot in Philadelphia.

Book Series In Order » Authors » David Goodis

One Response to “David Goodis”

  1. roberta sarkela: 1 year ago

    WE just watched ~ the unfaihful, with Ann Sheridan
    I really like David Goodis writing..and of course William Somerset Maugham..want a list of books


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