Spider Kiss (1991 Armchair Detective Library Collector’s Hardcover)


Though best known for his short stories (collected in twenty-four volumes), Harlan Ellison’s tough-minded suspense novel of the early days of rock’n’roll has endured and become something of a cult icon. It seems to speak to contemporary readers as fluently and mesmerizingly as it did when first published as a Gold Medal original paperback in 1961.

Like the best originals of that period—Jim Thompson, Peter Rabe, Lawrence Block, Yin Packer, Steve Frazee come to mind—SPIDER KISS is a powerful example of the effect on writers of that period by Woolrich and Davis Grubb and James M. Cain: a basic hardboiled situation, dealt with in terms of the psychology of the characters, and the pressures of society.

It is what might flippantly be called a “Horatio Alger from Hell” story, in which the traditional poor-boy-from-the boondocks-makes-good-in-the-big-city theme is turned back to front, and coated with the pervasive corruption of the music industry. Stag Preston, and everyone he blights with his touch, are proof that talent can corrupt, and absolute talent can corrupt absolutely.

Out of stock

SKU: 0922890552 Categories: , , , Tag:


Issued without dust jacket in dark navy blue cloth.

Cover designer: Armchair Detective Library title page frame foil stamped in silver on front cover, as is Ellison’s signature; includes drawing of Ellison by Carolyn Hartman.

Folded sheet, labeled: “”Addendum corrected page 205,” laid in between pages 204 and 205 with correct text of last part of third complete paragraph.

ISBN: 0922890552

Additional information

Weight 1.2 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1.2 in