Books: Dimeworthy Writers

DIME NOVELS: Or, Following an Old Trail in Popular Literature—Edmund Pearson—Little, Brown ($3).

"Bang! Bang! Bang! Three shots rang out on the midnight air!"

That was how tradition required the 10¢ fictioneers to begin their lusty shockers. Author Pearson has collected prize examples of this U. S. phenomenon. The matter he quotes is alone worth the price. It is set out chronologically with a running commentary that, oddly enough, sometimes berates the authors, sometimes exalts them by comparison with today's literary idols.

Dime novels were inaugurated by Manhattan Publishers Erastus & Irwin Beadle who sold...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!