The Lost Works
of David Goodis

Link to covers

Eighteen novels have been attributed to David Goodis. Are there Goodis works yet unpublished? A hint is offered by the tax returns on file at the Temple Archives. Copies of his IRS Form 1040s show the following deductions:

Broadway play "Stars for the Dark Cave." Projected taxpayer associate producer with Helen Thompson, producer. 1949 return..

"Hornet's Nest," $700 entertainment and research in Philadelphia, $300 travel and research in New Jersey. In 1980, Attorney Stuart E. Beck prepared a bibliography of Goodis' works for the Estate. He opined that "Hornet's Nest" may have been the original title of "Down There," also known as "Shoot the Piano Player." 1956 return.

"Caribbean Escapade." Could this novel be The Wounded and the Slain, which was set in Jamaica? 1956 return.

"Dark Symphony," $850, travel expenses through South to Mississippi and other southern states. 1957 return.

"North to Harlem," $900, trips to Georgia and northern Florida. 1958 return.

"Uptown," $650. 1958 return.

Travel expenses to New Orleans and southern states. 1959 return.

"The Raving Beauty." 1960 return.
April 23, 2015 from a Goodishead in France:
I see that "The Raving Beauty" is considered a lost work of David Goodis. I believe it is an alternate title for "Somebody's Done For".
-- The French edition of Goodis' "La pêche aux avaros" (ISBN-13: 978-2070378012) has "The raving beauty" as the original title.
-- The French Goodis Wikipedia page has "La pêche aux avaros" as a translation of Somebody's Done For.
-- From the description on this page:, you can tell that "The Raving Beauty" and "Somebody's Done For" are the same story (the story described is the one in "La pêche aux avaros").
Best regards,

"Uptown," $250, additional research. 1960 return.

"Pony Tail," $200, research for screenplay. 1960 return.

"The Pool Room," $575. Could this novel be based on
Superior Billiards? 1961 return.

"The Ignited," $225. 1961 return.

"The Twist," $300, a screenplay. 1961 return.

"The Raging Beauty," $375. 1961 return.

"The Pushover," $650. 1962 return.

"The Flaming City," $400. 1962 return.

"Fortesche," $450. 1962 return.

"Headlock," $940. 1964 return.

"The Raving Beauty," $875. 1964 return.

"The Surfers," $130. 1964 return.


Were the missing Goodis works were thrown out? Are they are stored in the musty files of a publisher, the attic of a relative or the forgotten archives of a lawyer? If they are ever found, they could be published as the Dead Sea Scrolls of David Goodis. Could an creative forger bring forth a return from oblivion? Strange things happen on the noir side of the internet.

Pasted Graphic 7


T.K. writes

I was especially surprised that I had no knowledge of all those possible "lost" works of his and that there's legitimate evidence to assume they're real.

One possible explanation (that I could see Goodis doing) is that some of those were never meant to be finished and actually were just paid vacations under the guise of research. A decent number of writers pulled that stunt back in the day. Or it could've been research for the hell of it or at least maybe just to get some other inspiration. He might've written chapters for them to cover his ass, but, as I said, maybe never had intentions of finishing them. Hell, they might've even been outlines for scripts. In which case, if any writing does exist for them it is probably tucked away in an attic or file cabinet somewhere, like you mention.

Other than that possibility, it's very possible that some of those ended up as pseudonymous works. I'm sure you're familiar with how publishing houses at the time were hesitant to publish too much material by a given writer and would force them to use a pseudonym, if they didn't just sit on it (like you also mention).

I'm not sure if you're familiar with the "discovered Whittingtons" that happened not too long ago. 
This case could be something similar, and if that is the case, it unfortunately means we will probably never know or will be able to distinguish what they could be until a manuscript turns up, as not only would they have used a possible house name or random pseudonym, but they very likely would have completely skewered his titles too, much like Thompson's A Hell of a Woman.

Another theory of mine is that possibly in cases like this where the publisher is hesitant to publish another of a given writer's work, or maybe have no intention of publishing it at all, it is possible that they could've sold it/licensed it to be published in France by Série noire. In that case, why wouldn't they publish it under the Goodis name? I'm not sure, and it maybe could have something to do with the filing already in place, like if the other name was already attached to it. I don't know, but it's just a theory that I think is quite plausible. Again, unfortunately it means we will never know until a manuscript shows up.

Also, check this out if you haven't already seen this article or read the book mentioned: