Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Manhattan Mapbacks! Dell Paperback Maps of the Big Apple New York City on the Back of a Book

All great fake crimes take place in Manhattan. Sure, some happen elsewhere, but except for a few genre-creating masterpieces set in Los Angeles (okay...maybe they can claim a few) the dark, scary corners of the West Side are still the best place to fictionally stab or shoot someone. Dump them in the Hudson and they won't float up until spring.

Maps are snoresville...GPS killed them, and piles of the once familiar gas station freebie now fill baskets at the flea market. All of us still have a few crumpled and stuffed in the back of the glove compartment, still as ungainly and unmanageable as ever. I once drove from Manhattan to Los Angeles, a trip everyone should do, not only to realize the scope of the country but to obtain major bragging rights. 6 days for me...and I traced every mile on my faithful USA road map until the Petrified Forest in Arizona, when a big wind grabbed it right out of the car. I watched it fly down an ancient ravine, just like a recent automobile commercial which has sullied my memory.

By far the coolest paperback books are the Dell Mapbacks which were published from 1943 to 1951. I recently disparaged them in a post about a more obscure publisher...but they remain most collectible, mostly affordable and mostly available. And they are cool. My father, who visited me in Manhattan annually, used to love reading them and he would shout "I was there" a few times in each volume. Most were hard-boiled mysteries, the greatest fictional genre EVER. Shown here are a dozen or so Dell Mapbacks located in Manhattan. I do not believe there is one placed in the Petrified Forest.

A complete directory to the Mapbacks in shown HERE. There were hundreds, and all are great...but the ones set in the Big Apple were always my dad's favorite.

DULL TOOL DIM BULB BOOKS complete catalog and previews HERE

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  1. I'm jealous of your collection, most especially The Rope.

    And if you get a chance take a look at the book "Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants"

  2. You should add The Interceptor by Richard Herschlag.