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The Spider VS. The Empire State: The Complete Black Police Trilogy Paperback – July 15, 2009
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To those pulp fans who may not be familiar with the trio of novels that comprise this volume, I say it is a MUST read. That's all you need to know.
Now for those new to the genre, who may not know what the heck this pulp fiction is that everyone is talking about and wants to find out, I say that this collection of novels is as good a place as any to start. Classic pulp fiction is a thrill ride you don't want to miss and Norvell Page was one of the best practitioners of the art form. What sets this trio of works apart from the vast majority of pulp novels is that they are connected and tell one complete story. Pulp novels normally were stand alone adventures one would follow from month to month. But the three in this book were a three-novel arc dealing with New York State being seized by a Nazi-like regime a year before the WW2 began. These types of multiple part epics are not unknown in the genre but are the exception rather than the rule.
Okay, enough history. What about the book? Well, the first thing you need to know is that Age of Aces Books has gone out of their way to produce a collector's quality volume at an incredibly low price. The book, quite simply is a work of art. From the gorgeous, dramatic wraparound cover by Chris Kalb to a stark wonderful interior design with black-page chapter lead offs, easy to read text and the illustrations from the original pulp magazines acting as bumpers between each novel.Read more ›
The Spider Vs. The Empire state is a true pulp novel set in 1938, in fact it was actually written then as part of `the Spider' pulp series of books that appeared every month. This is actually a compilation novella s it contains all three original monthly novels in one volume (`The Spider- That City That Paid to die', `The Spider- The Spider at Bay' and `The Spider-Scourge of the Black Legions') All written by Norvell Page.
This novel is an allegory concerning the Nazi movement of the 30's that was sweeping Germany. It also touches on socialism as well, mentioning the horrors of Soviet Russia several times.
This is a hard core novel with the Spider going through hell and back to save New York State, which had fallen under a puppet governor whose strings were being pulled from the shadows by a man only known as `The Master'. A new state-wide police force was instituted called the `Black Police' who collected tax upon tax and find upon fine on the backs of the citizenry. There are hangings, whippings, bombings and various other methods of death being instituted upon the populace by the rogue government.
This is an exciting and thrilling novel written in a different era, but in a writing style we should all be envious of. Colorful and exciting, the story keeps you mesmerized, wanting not to put the four hundred eighteen page novel down, for the most part.
The middle book at times became overly long it seemed and in spots the story dragged somewhat. There was a portion of the book that became very repetitious with repeated captures and escapes as well as many flights in stolen planes between Albany and Manhattan.Read more ›
Well, that's what the cover blurb says, but for inspiration Norvell Page did not have to look to Berlin, or any of the other foreign lands where despots were on the rise. He needed look only as far as the political machines of Chicago or Trenton, to the State Houses at Albany or St Louis...or, for that matter, to Washington DC.
The Spider was one of many two-gunned crime fighters during the Great Depression who appeared in a self-titled monthly pulp magazine, his lasting from 1933 to 1943, for 118 issues. In 1938, the magazine featured three consecutive novels, "The City That Paid to Die" (Sept), "The Spider at Bay" (Oct), and "The Scourge of the Black Legions" (Nov), comprising the so-called "Black Police Trilogy," and are collected in this omnibus from Age of Aces Books, The Spider vs The Empire State.
Normally, The Spider found himself pitted against either a crime lord on a rampage or a madman instituting a reign of terror. In these three cautionary novels, however, he finds himself set against politics gone wild and cast in the role of revolutionary, freedom fighter and military commander. After a legal election (it was rigged!), the Governor of New York and the State Legislature enact a series of laws that bring about ruthless taxation and confiscation of private property. By Executive Order, the Governor empties the prisons, garbs the convicts in black (the "Black Police" of the sub-title), and gives them absolute power to collect taxes, seize property and summarily execute resistors. Because it's all being done by the State's "legal" government, The Spider and his allies are cast as outlaws, and Federal intervention is all but impossible.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like pulp lit from the 30's & 40's you'll love this! To anyone else...this is way over the top. Read morePublished on March 8, 2014 by David Templar
As a big fan of pulp-fiction, I was thrilled to find this nice little collection. For those of you new to the pulp era, the writing may come off a bit over the top and even cheezy... Read morePublished on February 9, 2014 by 007
I was pleasantly surprised at this volume. I loved the way the book is laid out with the illustrations for each novel at the beginning as well as the stories themselves. Read morePublished on January 12, 2014 by The Great Bear
If you already know Norvell Page and the Spider, then you probably know what to expect: plenty of edge-of-your-seat action, blazing guns, subterfuge, heart-pounding suspense -- did... Read morePublished on October 22, 2013 by Allen's Brain
This took forever to read. Honestly. This could bee done in one, maybe two Books at most. I read it because I read Dynamite's Mask which was loosely based upon this series.Published on August 20, 2013 by Liz Tadehara
This one's a bit different from the usual Spider story. Less Spider, more Wentworth. Fortunately there are the usual tropes,outrageous action, over the top dialogue and the need... Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by Doc Redbat
I gave it 5 stars because it kept me entertained for two weeks. I found the action and adventure to be well paced. Read morePublished on January 3, 2013 by Mark A. Cortez
Norvell Page's Black Police trilogy is as potent a read today as it was in 1938, and you only have to see the mega-hit, The Dark Knight Rises, to see that the themes of the two... Read morePublished on July 23, 2012 by David