Monday, January 15, 2007

Untranslated paperbackers

After writing down how the Finnish publishers have treated Block, Leonard and Brian Garfield, I decided it might be interesting to see which prominent (and not so prominent) paperback writers have been neglected in Finland. The list focuses mainly on crime fiction writers and is in random order.

Charles Willeford: no translations before Miami Blues in the late eighties (I don't really consider this surprising, since Willeford wrote mostly for quite obscure publishers)
William Ard: no translations, unless one wants to count a pseudonymous effort that was really written by John Jakes (Give Me This Woman, Monarch 1963, which is great and sleazy in the best paperback tradition)
Frank McAuliffe: no translations
Malcolm Braly: no translations
Glenn Canary: no translations
James O. Causey: no translations
Jay Flynn: no translations
Al Fray: no translations
Charles Runyon: no translations
William Fuller: no translations
Donald Goines: no translations
Iceberg Slim: no translations
David Karp: no translations
Herbert D. Kastle: no translations
Robert Donald Locke: no translations (or actually "no translation", since A Taste of Brass (1957) seems to be his only work, apart from science fiction stories in mags)
David Markson: no translations (the link says that there should've been a reprint of his early crime novels, but has anyone seen them?)
Vin Packer: no translations
James Reasoner: no translations (with the exception of two stories, one in Isku, one in Ruudinsavu, that have been conducted by me in the recent years)

Robert Randisi has got only four or five of his adult Westerns translated and having read those, I find it hard to believe they represent him at his best. He has also some Destroyers, written with Warren Murphy, and Nick Carters (that are quite good within the series). Nothing under his own name and not even his Gunsmiths or other series he's deservedly famous for.

There are no Ed Noons by Michael Avallone translated. He's "known" here only through his pseudonymous work in the U.N.C.L.E. series and Nick Carters.

One of the most peculiar cases is Jim Thompson. The Getaway was translated as a hardback after the Peckinpah movie came out, but we had to wait until the late eighties to see Killer Inside Me in Finnish by a very small press. After that there was still a long gap before Like started translating his books in the nineties.

In the Western field, the most prominent example must be H.A. DeRosso, but there's four or five of his short stories published in Finnish fictionmags, so he won't quite qualify. Other important Western paperbackers not translated in Finnish include authors like Matt Braun, Dan Cushman, Vernon Fluharty, Paul Durst, Lee Hoffman, William C. Johnstone, Nelson Nye, T.V. Olsen and Giles Tippette.

Most of the above-mentioned writers wrote paperbacks. Here are some earlier pulpsters and hardbackers who never made it to Finland:

Cleve F. Adams
Dwight V. Babcock
Leigh Brackett (see also this)
Charles G. Booth
Paul Cain
Lester Dent

Kenneth Fearing
Richard Hallas (unless one wants to count his Lassie, Come Home and a war novel, This Above All, as by Eric Knight)
Roy Huggins (I mean his three early crime novels)
Robert Reeves
Eric Taylor
Roger Torrey
Raoul Whitfield
P.J. Wolfson
Benjamin Appel
A.I. Bezzerides (just recently deceased)
Jay J. Dratler

There's of course the possibility that some of the pulpsters above may have had some stories translated, since the prominent Finnish pulp, Seikkailujen Maailma, didn't always print the writers' names on translated stories.

I may have and must have forgotten lots of authors, but I'll keep you posted if I come up with other names. I couldn't find a link to all the authors, sorry.


Peter Rozovsky said...

What a pleasant surprise to see that Frank McAuliffe cover. I've recently read all three Augustus Mandrell collections and posted about them several times at It's no surprise to me that they're unavailable in Finnish; it's hard enough to find them in English.

Point Blank Press has reprinted Of All the Bloody Cheek and has, or had, plans to publish the second third books about Augustus Mandrell as well as a previously unpublished Mandrell collection, They Shoot Presidents, Don't They?
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Juri said...

But McAuliffe was published by a big paperback house (Ballantine). There were lots of more obscure authors being published in Finland in the sixties and seventies. (Actually, I'd never heard of McAuliffe until Bill Crider posted about him. I think I'd seen the name mentioned at the Point Blank site, though, but not knowing who it was and why his name was up there.)

Peter Rozovsky said...

McAuliffe's obscurity is a puzzle to me. I think his satire may have been a bit too sharp for American readers in 1965, 1968 and 1971, when the Augustus Mandrell books were published.

I had never heard of McAuliffe until a reader of my blog recommended him a few months ago. Have you read the Augustus Mandrell books? I recommend them highly, and I made a series of comments about them on my blog at

I will also look for your comments on Block. He has published so much that it would be no surprise if not everything of his had been translated.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Juri said...

No, I haven't read McAuliffe, but will if I get a chance. (Yes, I know, there's Abebooks, but I with these 5000-6000 books already filling our apartment and the basement I just can't give away to ordering books online.)

It is a puzzle to me why Block isn't better known and translated in Finland. No, it's a mystery. While there are books translated by some obscure hacks, like Jack Laflin (ever heard of him? anyone?), there's only one paperback by Block (and also a pseudonymous one, but Block's participation on that is uncertain). (There *were* more in the nineties, as I wrote earlier, but he remains still unknown in these parts. This is a bestseller nation.)

Anonymous said...

I think you'd like the Augustus Mandrell books. Well, I think anyone with a spark of intelligence would like them.

I know nothing about the publishing business, so it's hard for me to comment on such matters. Block may not sell as well as, say, Stephen King, but I think he's right up there at the top of the list of the rest of the world. Perhaps for some reason someone thinks he would not appeal to Finnish tastes.


P.S. I had to post anonymously because Blogger has been having one of its periodic breakdowns the past few days and will not let me log in.

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Juri said...

It's ironic that the small publishing house who did Blocks in the nineties sold a lot more books with only a little promotion than the big publisher that bought the small press (and brought it down eventually), even with all its promotion efforts.