"After a while it gets so bad that you want to stop the whole business. You figure that there's no use in trying to fight back. Things are set dead against you and the sooner you give up the better. It's like a mile run. You're back there in seventh place and there isn't a chance in the world. The feet are burning, the lungs are bursting, and all you want to do is fall down a take a rest."
--First paragraph of David Goodis' first novel, Retreat From Oblivion.
So began the writing career of David Goodis. Typical Goodis. A statement of frustration, introducing a tale of gloom, depression and despair.
David Goodis was Philadelphia's noir prince. After graduating from Temple University in 1938, Goodis moved to New York where he wrote advertising copy, radio scripts and thousands of words for pulp magazines. In the 1940's he crashed and returned to his parents' home in Philadelphia, where he churned out novels and short stories, depicting the bleakness of lives in free fall.