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Seduction of the Innocent (Hard Case Crime) Paperback – February 19, 2013
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"Violent and volatile and packed with sexuality...classic pulp fiction." - USA Today
"Collins' witty, hard-boiled prose would make Raymond Chandler proud." - Entertainment Weekly
"Max Allan Collins blends fact and fiction like no other writer." - Andrew Vachss
"Collins makes it sound as though it really happened." - New York Daily News
"Few people alive today can tell a story better than Max Allan Collins. SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT is a great, page-turning read that is beautiful to look at and serves as another proud addition to the Hard Case Crime library." – Bookreporter
“A solid tale of crime, greed, and murder with a tasty dash of sequential art history in the mix.” – Fanboy Comics
“Everything I would ever want in a detective novel.” – Geek Hard
“When a book manages to keep me reading from beginning to end, I consider it a job well done, but when I sit there for hours on end reading because I can’t put it down, that’s when I consider a book truly good and Seduction of the Innocent falls happily in that second category.” – Geekenstein
“A fast read, hedged by a bevy of hilarious characters and culminating in a delicious ‘whodunit.’” – Noir Whale
“Any fan of noir, pulp fiction or comic books will appreciate Seduction of the Innocent.” – Pop Cults
“Hats off to Max Allan Collins for this phenomenally entertaining piece of historical fiction, and Terry Beatty, for the classic, inspired EC style art work.” – Comic Hype
Top Customer Reviews
Yes, comic books were seen back then as a threat to America's youth. Before there was Elvis and his subversive hips on "The Ed Sullivan Show," there were graphic covers on newsstands of blood-splattered horror, ghouls and women in various stages of undress on titles such as Tales from the Crypt. Publishers like EC Comics put out many of the worst offenders. And once the impressionable minds of our youth consumed this material, all sorts of juvenile delinquency and social anarchy would follow. So the argument went.
Max Allan Collins, bestselling author of several acclaimed mystery series, the graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION and a writer of the Dick Tracy comic strip, has written a wonderful historical novel and hardboiled mystery about this period of American history. Seduction of the Innocent was the name of a real 1954 study by psychiatrist and author Dr. Fredric Wertham. In Collins's talented hands, 2013's SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT becomes a richly imagined mystery.
And in keeping with the period the novel covers, Hard Case Crime has given the story the full pulp treatment, including 16 pages of illustrated interior pages by comic book artist Terry Beatty of Batman fame and a truly stunning pulp cover by Glen Orbik.Read more ›
My favorite bit comes from the Code of Comics Magazine Association of America (adopted 26 Oct. 1954):
"The comic-book medium, having come of age on the American cultural scene, must measure up to its responsibilities...
To make a positive contribution to contemporary life , the industry must seek new areas for developing sound, wholesome entertainment."
Of course transcipts continue to allude to an American tradition of decency and fairness. Since most of these Senators are from Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas, and this is pre-60′s Civil Rights, I was never sure whose vision of American tradition they wanted preserved. I can make good solid guesses though.
Anyway, when I saw that Max Allan Collins was releasing his third Jack and Maggie Starr novel through Hard Case Crime I was pretty damned thrilled. When it was revealed that it would be a fictional attack on Dr. Frederick Wertham (the McCarthy of Comic Books) I was down-right ecstatic. Wertham firmly believed that he could save the world from the savagery of comic-books and did his best to see the industry crippled.Read more ›
The protagonists are a loving update to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe/ Archie Goodwin combination, and the illustrations by Terry Beatty add much to the enjoyment. The book appears to capture the details of the real life comic book witch hunts of the 1950s quite accurately, as Collins continues to carefully research his respective plot and details.
Many Hard Case Crimes are hard-boiled in presentation, owing the line's name and logo to the 1950s pulp paperbacks. The cover illustration honors HCC's commitment to the genre, though the story itself is more than soft-boiled--but not quite what we'd consider "hard boiled" crime fiction
Max Allan Collins, himself a sometimes writer of comic books and comic strips, does an amazing job of recreating the world of comics publishing in New York in the 1950s. This shouldn't come as a surprise as he does much the same thing in some of his collaborations with Mickey Spillane, some which I've reviewed here. His detective, Jack Starr, a trouble shooter for the Starr newspaper syndicate (owned by Jack and his foxy step mother Maggie) isn't quite the hardcase that Mike Hammer is, being closer in spirit to Rex Stout's Archie Goodwin, but when some mob boys try and lean on him, Jack shows he can certainly deal with them in a way that would make Hammer proud.
Even if you're not a comics fan, this is a well plotted, engaging mystery with plenty of twists. I've been reading Collins for over thirty years now and I'm always impressed with his writing. He uses several first person narrators in various series and he manages to make them all individuals. Jack Starr doesn't sound like Quarry who doesn't sound like Nate Heller who doesn't sound like Mallory. Collins makes this look easy, but trust me, it isn't.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Seduction of the Innocent" is set during that weird period in the 1950s when the comic-book industry was attacked by an amalgam of social science, politicians, and... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Danno
This is an odd duck, for sure. The first half of the book is an historical novel, set against a backdrop of real characters and real events, even if some of the names have been... Read morePublished on January 6, 2014 by Craig
Seduction of the Innocent is the third book in Max Allan Collins' trilogy about about Jack and Maggie Starr, a mystery series set in the comic book industry in the fifties. Read morePublished on December 19, 2013 by Dave Wilde
Reads like a second rate Mickey Spillane novel. Very slow moving. Excessive background on the comic book industry of the 1950's. Read morePublished on July 11, 2013 by A. C. Herrick
This book was a lot of fun even if it wasn't perfect. I recommend it, especially if you're interested in comic books or comic book history.Published on July 6, 2013 by BB
The last volume in this trilogy on the comic book industry is set in the 1950's, when the furor over the rising amount of crime, violence and sex rose to a roaring peak,... Read morePublished on June 16, 2013 by Ted Feit
I really like Max Collins a lot. He has several good series that deserve close readings. However, this book is more notable for the original comic art as well as lots of tidbits... Read morePublished on April 22, 2013 by Jeff
Of the three Jack/Maggie Starr novels, I enjoyed Seduction of the Innocent the most. The whole era of the comics witch hunt and hysteria lends itself to more interesting... Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by Tim Field