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Black Friday

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  208 ratings  ·  26 reviews
From the author of Dark Passage and Shoot the Piano Player, a thriller about the dark ethics of crime, and the man unlucky enough to violate them.

With its chilling portrait of a doomed man sorting his way among the perverse loyalties of a criminal "family," Black Friday has all the earmarks of David Goodis's classics, Dark Passage and Shoot the Piano Player. It is a haunti
Paperback, 129 pages
Published by Creative Arts Book Company (first published January 1st 1954)
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Nicholas Karpuk
Oct 13, 2008 Nicholas Karpuk rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime Fiction Fans and Noir Lovers
Recommended to Nicholas by: Wikipedia
There's a certain perception of crime fiction that "Black Friday" didn't at all live up to. Normally these stories either feature a detective, a former detective, or someone with a gritty but righteous outlook who has to get his (and it's always a he) hands dirty in order to combat a world full of corrupt men.

David Goodis sucks the heroism right out of scenario. The main character is on the run right from the get go; cold, starving, desperate, and out of options. He falls in with a group of crim
Apr 20, 2014 Still rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to Still by: I collect this stuff

Maybe I'll review this later.

This novel is really required reading for lovers of noir and/or bleak crime lit.
Very powerful.
Beautiful writing.

It doesn't get better than this.
This is the first novel I've read since February, I've read a ton of short stories, some novellas here and there since then. But I got a taste for something hard-boiled and nasty. Black Friday is a good hard-boiled crime novel that centers around a group of criminals hiding out in a house in Philadelphia.

It's very focused on the personalities involved, not a lot of traveling. The story centers around Al Hart, a man in the run for killing his brother in New Orleans. After he takes the wallet off
Dennis Miller
Hart is on the lam for killing his brother. He falls in with criminals living at the bottom planning a big heist. Goodis knows these characters, they way they talk and live and have no dreams. The story takes place in a house, in the winter, mostly at night. While the climax at the end seems at first weak, upon reflection it is real. Bleakness rules, and even the "professional" becomes too weary to live up to his self-created principles. Goodis always leaves me a bit depressed but thoughtful. Bu ...more
Karin Montin
Hart is an educated man from a wealthy family, destitute and on the lam after killing his brother. In Philadelphia, he winds up in the clutches of a gang of thieves. He proves himself useful and becomes one of them, although not entirely trusted. There are two women, one he is attracted to and another who falls for him. Lots of room for conflict in a small house and in a short time frame. Typical Goodis ending. Black Friday is not the big shopping day in November. I picked up the Black Lizard ed ...more

Aficionados of noir have reason to cheer about the reprinting of BLACK FRIDAY and selected short stories by David Goodis. The original book was issued in 1954 and is arguably the best of his works. After many years of neglect, Goodis's work is starting to be reprinted, both by Serpent's Tail and Hard Case Crime. His work is highly distinctive. As noted in the introduction by Adrian Wootton, Goodis remains a cult writer, admired by a small group of fans for his emotionally intense, mel
Kris Mearns
I don't normally 'review' books/albums/films, preferring to simply 'rate' it and let others verbally pick over the bones. But there's such a dichotomy in these stories that I wanted to justify my three-star rating. As a noir junkie, I've heard nothing but good things about Goodis from crime writers and aficionados whose opinions I place a lot of stock in. I've constantly been told he's the real deal, the laurete of the down n' out. So it was with a fair degree of certainty that I started this co ...more
Ismael Galvan
I’m hooked on that noir. My last review was Jim Thompson’s After Dark, My Sweet, and while I try to vary my reviews by genre I couldn’t resist following up with more another work of vintage crime. Black Friday is the first book I’ve read from David Goodis. Now I must admit after reading the deeply psychological work of Jim Thompson, Goodis felt dry and somewhat stiff. For a moment I had wondered if Black Lizard press finally dropped that dreaded bomb of disappointment. By the halfway point I gla ...more
Tom Vater
They carried Paul downstairs. Hart was shivering. He was telling himself it was because the house was cold. They carried Paul down the cellar steps. They had Paul in the cellar and they put him on the floor near the furnace. Charley told Hart to stay with Paul, then Charley went upstairs and he was up there for a full five minutes, and Hart heard clanking around, as if Charley was looking for something. Then Charley came down the steps and in one hand he had a hack-saw and in the other he had a ...more
Antonius Block
The first thing that strikes me whenever I read a Goodis novel is his expressionistic sense of place: the frozen, snowy, barren, lonely Philadelphia streets of most of his books, but particularly Black Friday and Down There, externalize the sense of utter despair that has mummified their protagonists. It’s not just the icy winter air or the dull grey sky, but something about these streets, these rivers, this city, that evocates the coldness and the torment these characters experience. Goodis has ...more
Carla Remy
My first time reading Goodis. I figured with my love of 50s noir (Highsmith, Willeford, Thompson) I should try it, and it was great. In the 30s & 40s these books were about the good guys solving crimes and catching the bad guys where in the 50s, while this still persisted, the stories became more about the bad guys themselves. This was terrific and I can't wait to read more.
Jeridel Banks
A surprisingly short read for a crime novel! The writing style is different (very straightforward), but it does what Haruki Murakami's writings do: the simplicity lets readers glide over the words as the story and the meaning slowly seeps in. I do have a few gripes (change in parallelisms), but they're minor. If you want to start with pulp or crime books, try this one first.
Mariano Hortal
"Viernes negro" de David Goodis, es una novela negra a la antigua usanza, como solo los grandes saben escribirlas. Goodis no tuvo mucha suerte en la vida y desde luego en dos sus libros se transluce esta desesperación solamente con algún atisbo de esperanza de salida al final del túnel. La novela es dura, descarnada, sin vacilaciones, sin remisión, tremenda, brutal en todo lo que describe. Es una novela de las grandes, pero ojo, transmite desazón, nada es bonito aquí, quizá esa sea su grandeza, ...more
I'm diving into noir and loving it. Good is is brilliant.
Leonard Pierce
Goodis is one of the more obscure of the Golden Age of noir novelists, but dipping into both his biography and his bibliography is well worth it. He's one of the darkest and most hopleless of the pulp writers, and wears his kinky and violent obsessions on his sleeve like few other writers this side of Jim Thompson. This one's a nasty little fucker, short and sharp, about a fallen man reduced to utter poverty who slides almost accidentally in with a gang of criminals and then finds himself unable ...more
One of David Goodis' best plot devices is the concept of criminal gang as dysfunctional family, warts and all. A washed-up art expert falls in with a crime gang and lives with them. The action hardly ever leaves their hideout, which is no big deal, but all through the book I kept thinking "Wouldn't this make a better play than a novel?"

Lo and behold, in the Nineties I see ads in the paper for a play based on David Goodis' "Black Friday." Ha! I wish it played in Hollywood - I would've caught it,
The 3 stars makes for an even split between good and great stories. This is the first I've ever read by David Goodis, whose name inevitably came up whenever I talked to someone who had read a lot of crime/detective stuff. It's definitely worth reading if you like the genre.
"Black Friday" is about as grim, dark, seedy and claustrophobic as noir gets. It also proves that an enjoyable novel doesn't have to be particularly long. Filled with great dialogue and concise descriptions, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Like a gritty black and white movie about strangely bourgeoise crime gang/family and a lonely man who gets caught up with them. Amazingly prolific writer of pulp fiction with a real feel for the melancholic 50s.
John Weagly
This was the first Goodis novel I read. It may not be considered "the best," but it has that nostalgia thing working for me. Also, I worked on a stage production, which adds to its appeal.
Fairly weak plot but there are enough moments of great dark comedy to lift it up a bit.
Actually, my copy is just Black Friday, no selected stories.
Short and punchy piece about dishonor among thieves.
Much darker than Down There but still a great novel.
Dan Vinson
Grimy, grubby, and intricate crime stories.
I have days like that.
ZorakD marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
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Born and bred in Philadelphia, David Goodis was an American noir fiction writer. He grew up in a liberal, Jewish household in which his early literary ambitions were encouraged. After a short and inconclusive spell at at the University of Indiana, he returned to Philadelphia to take a degree in journalism, graduating in 1937.
More about David Goodis...
Shoot the Piano Player Nightfall Dark Passage The Wounded and the Slain Street of No Return

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