Pulp Today

The Writers Block cover art

Writer, filmmaker and raconteur David Avallone talks about and reads selections from classic pulp fiction. And day-drinks. Sometimes with special guests!

We have voluntarily self-rated this production as PG-13. Some material may not be suitable for children.

Listen to the preview trailer!

Also available on YouTube if you'd prefer to watch!


Episode Archive

  • Pulp Today logo

    Pal Joey, John O’Hara, and Some Fashion Tips

    Episode Number: 13

    “If it’s going to happen, it can happen before nine o’clock.” A little funnier and less dark than the usual Pulp, and this one premiered in magazines with nice paper. Never wear a hat indoors. (Sorry I talk about some visuals in this one, but you could look it up on YouTube if you want to see me in a hat…)

    Episode download: PulpToday013.mp3

    Release Date: April 12, 2021

    Run Time: 9:51
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    Tarzan, and Other “True Stories”

    Episode Number: 12

    Did you know Tarzan started in the pulp magazines? Of course he did. I talk about that, and the long tradition of presenting fantastic stories as coming from "true" sources...

    Episode download: PulpToday012.mp3

    Release Date: April 5, 2021

    Run Time: 8:37
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    Red Harvest, and Men With No Name

    Episode Number: 11

    Dashiell Hammett drafts the blueprint for so many 20th Century pop culture heroes with RED HARVEST: a holy text of pulp fiction. Often “unofficially” adapted to film, often imitated, but never done real justice and never surpassed. Meet The Continental Op.

    Episode download: PulpToday011.mp3

    Release Date: March 29, 2021

    Run Time: 8:47
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    Ed Noon and Dead Game

    Episode Number: 10

    Today, it's back to basics and back to Dad: DEAD GAME, the third Ed Noon novel by Michael Avallone. As I like to say, this is the real stuff, the actual vintage poured from the original bottles, with a baseball twist just in time for Spring Training!

    Episode download: PulpToday010.mp3

    Release Date: March 22, 2021

    Run Time: 7:46
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    A Pulp Fiction Mystery Novel

    Episode Number: 9

    All sorts of things are Pulp. We'll get deeper into that as we go along. Here's something which is now considered high literature, but first appeared in a cheap paperback with a lurid cover. The "voice" is not unlike the voice of any private eye novel from the same year (1953). It's the hard-boiled New York City voice, speaking the hard-boiled New York City lingo. I recognize it because my father spoke it, fluently, and I grew up hearing it. Listen, and see if you can guess the author and title. The subject matter may just give it away…

    Episode download: PulpToday009.mp3

    Release Date: March 15, 2021

    Run Time: 15:06
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    Ross Macdonald is the Holy Ghost

    Episode Number: 8

    I read Ross Macdonald's account of the beginnings of his writing career, complete with a special shout-out from Ross to a certain colleague of his who is near and dear to my heart.

    Episode download: PulpToday008.mp3


    Release Date: March 8, 2021

    Run Time: 8:05
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    James Urbaniak and Fante’s Ask The Dust

    Episode Number: 7

    Now with guest stars! My pal James Urbaniak (star of stage and screen, writer, bon vivant) joins me to talk about, and read a funny chapter from, John Fante's Depression Era Hollywood classic, ASK THE DUST.

    Episode download: PulpToday007.mp3

    Release Date: March 1, 2021

    Run Time: 24:19
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    Chandler, The High Window, and Love Poetry

    Episode Number: 6

    I wrap up my Chandler trilogy with a little something sweet from THE HIGH WINDOW. Next time... more authors, more drinking, and now with Special Guests!

    Episode download: PulpToday006.mp3

    Release Date: February 19, 2021

    Run Time: 4:15
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    Chandler, Carmen Sternwood, and the Big Sleep

    Episode Number: 5

    I talk about that time Phil Marlowe met Carmen Sternwood -- 1939’s version of Kim Kardashian -- and reacted how you might expect. Bonus shoutout to Aimee Mann.

    Episode download: PulpToday005.mp3

    Release Date: February 19, 2021

    Run Time: 6:45
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    Raymond Chandler and the Simple Art of Murder

    Episode Number: 4

    “Down those Mean Streets a man must go who is not himself mean.” What makes a great private eye? I drink and read a little bit from Raymond Chandler's seminal essay, "The Simple Art of Murder."

    Episode download: PulpToday004.mp3

    Release Date: February 19, 2021

    Run Time: 7:33
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    The Postman Always Rings Twice

    Episode Number: 3

    Let's talk about literature and poverty and sex and desperation… and why you shouldn’t cast forty years olds in parts written for kids in their twenties. Pour yourself a drink and give a listen.

    Episode download: PulpToday003.mp3

    Release Date: February 19, 2021

    Run Time: 11:39
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    The Maltese Falcon/The Flitcraft Story

    Episode Number: 2

    Dashiell Hammett invented existentialism in 1930, and I'm here to tell you all about it, in a little parable he called "The Flitcraft Story."

    Episode download: PulpToday002.mp3

    Release Date: February 19, 2021

    Run Time: 9:00
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    The Tall Dolores

    Episode Number: 1

    I kick off our literary adventures with a little day-drinking, and reading the first pages of my father Michael's classic 1953 private eye novel THE TALL DOLORES.

    Episode download: PulpToday001.mp3

    Release Date: Feb 19, 2021

    Run Time: 7:53