Vintage Pulp Jan 23 2024
BLACK MIRROR
Symons reflects on exactly how bad a man's life can be.


Looking for a bit more depth in your murder mysteries? 1957's The Color of Murder by British author Julian Symons takes a literary approach to the genre, examining the torturous existence of sad sack office drone John Wilkins, who hates his wife, covets the neighborhood librarian, and suffers from blackouts at times of stress (uh oh). Symons divides the novel roughly in half. In the first, Wilkins explains in first person to a psychologist how he came to be mired in a terrible life and loveless marriage, his account stopping before the murder (which if he actually committed, he'd presumably have blacked out anyway). The second half follows in third person the course of Wilkins' trial, with assorted twists, and there's an epilogue providing final focus. Whether or not Wilkins is a killer, he's a pitiable human. If you think you have an unsatisfactory life, read The Color of Murder to learn how well-off you really are. The cover art on this Dell edition is by Robert Maguire.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
March 04
1969—The Krays Are Found Guilty of Murder
In England, twins Ronald and Reginald Kray are found guilty of the murder of Jack McVitie. The Kray brothers had been notorious gangsters in London's East End, and for their crimes both were sentenced to life in prison, and both eventually died behind bars. Their story later inspired a 1990 motion picture entitled The Krays.
1975—Charlie Chaplin Is Knighted
British-born comic genius Charlie Chaplin, whose long and turbulent career in the U.S. had been brought to an abrupt end when he was branded a communist and denied a residence visa, is bestowed a knighthood at London's Buckingham Palace. Chaplin died two years later and even then peace eluded him, as his body was stolen from its grave for eleven weeks by men trying to extort money from the Chaplin family.
March 03
1959—Lou Costello Dies
American comedian Lou Costello, of the famous comedy team Abbott & Costello, dies of a heart attack at Doctors' Hospital in Beverly Hills, three days before his 53rd birthday. His career spanned radio and film, silent movies and talkies, vaudeville and cinema, and in his heyday he was, along with partner Abbott, one of the most beloved personalities in Hollywood.
March 02
1933—King Kong Opens
The first version of King Kong, starring Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray, and with the giant ape Kong brought to life with stop-action photography, opens at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The film goes on to play worldwide to good reviews and huge crowds, and spawns numerous sequels and reworkings over the next eighty years.
1949—James Gallagher Completes Round-the-World Flight
Captain James Gallagher and a crew of fourteen land their B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas, thus completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight. The entire trip from takeoff to touchdown took ninety-four hours and one minute.
1953—Oscars Are Shown on Television
The 26th Academy Awards are broadcast on television by NBC, the first time the awards have been shown on television. Audiences watch live as From Here to Eternity wins for Best Picture, and William Holden and Audrey Hepburn earn statues in the best acting categories for Stalag 17 and Roman Holiday.
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