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Dark Passage

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  384 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Sentenced to life in San Quentin for the alleged murder of his wife, Vince Parry escapes in a desperate attempt to prove his innocence. A fugitive from justice, in the depths of despair, he finds refuge with a beautiful woman as he struggles to unravel a nightmarish plot.

First published as a magazine serial, Dark Passage was filmed in 1947 by Delmer Daves. Starring Humphr
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Prion Books Ltd (Film Ink) (first published 1946)
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Best Hardboiled PI & Noir
84th out of 465 books — 535 voters
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72nd out of 154 books — 107 voters

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Community Reviews

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Another winner from David Goodis, one of the authors that contributed substantially to the success of the noir genre in the 1940's. More than a crime investigation, the novel is a study of an ordinary man trying to remain sane under immense psychological pressure. Vincent Parry is in prison for murdering his wife, a crime he is innocent of, although all the evidence is against him. After coming to blows with a prison guard he decides to escape, and the rest of the novel is about him trying
Randolph Carter
Brilliant little novel about loneliness and identity disguised as crime fiction and mystery. Goodis stretches his stream of consciousness expressionism with talking corpses and other weirdness as escaped convict Vincent Parry sheds one identity after another. Parry initially gets so much bad luck that even when the breaks start coming he practically throws them away. He escapes San Quentin seemingly by accident or fate. Somehow his guardian angel keeps him from messing it all up too badly as he ...more
A prison break, a murder, an assault, an attempt at grand theft auto, an unfaithful husband, and bribing law enforcement - yet Goodis' protagonist, Vince Parry comes across as a soft hearted, overtly emotionally man who personifies the noir 'wrong-man' stereotype. After being convicted for the murder of his cheating significant other, Parry finds himself behind bars at San Quentin. Knowing he's innocent he masterminds an all too easy escape and subsequently finds himself at the mercy of a helpin ...more
DARK PASSAGE. (1946). David Goodis. ****.
Goodis, a Philadelphia native, wrote many books that fell into the noir category. Quite a few of them were adapted into film. This novel, one of his earlier ones, was adapted for the screen and featured Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Goodis’ writing was of a staccato style, and most of his work was issued as paperback originals. In this novel, we meet Vincent Parry, a man convicted of killing his wife, Gert, by smashing her on the head with a heavy a
David Goodis is a master of crime writing, but try to block the Humphrey Bogart noir movie classic while reading this. Can't do it, can you? Neither can I. Read it anyway.
I loved this. Dark Passage is the most Cornell Woolrich like book I've encountered (which isn't by Woolrich). Darkness, night, surreal dreamlike sequences. I loved the ambiguity of this novel. The conversing (in his mind) with dead people parts were great, and the use of color. From 1946, this book was contemporary with Woolrich.
I read this book, actually, as part of the volume, Five Noir Novels of the 1940s and 50s by David GoodisFive Noir Novels of the 1940s and 50s from the Library of America. As always, I can't rave enough about the heirloom-quality craftsmanship of these excellent volumes.

Dark Passage is one of the quintessential books of the Noir genre, adapted to the silver screen in a movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. I'll have to admit that I only learned about the existence of the movie while I was reading the book. I have yet to watch the movie
I love this kind of story where just about everything that can go wrong goes wrong. Luckily for me, ace writer David Goodis keeps the suspense pitched pretty tightly all the while closing down avenues of escape and throwing up roadblocks for the hapless protagonist.
This was a good noir story, some bits unbelievable, but overall it was good. Well-written and well-paced.
Interesting read. Way too many convenient coincidences for my taste.

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).

Dark Passage was made into a movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The movie does follow the book closely with some differences.

Vincent Parry has just been convicted of murdering his wife. He is not completely upset with Gert dying and that did not help his case of innocence. Other than his fingerprints, alibi and his discontentment with his wife, there is Madge. Madge is Gert's "friend" who has her eye on Par
David Goodis was one of the handful of post WWII writers that perfected, if not created, the unique American genre, roman noir. Others included Jim Thompson and Cornell Woolrich. They were psychologically troubled and too impatient to refine their writing styles. However, the plots and uncanny insights into the minds of their anti-heroes make their books compulsive reading for the afficionados of gritty crime novel. Dark Passage is also notable for initiating the sub-genre, 'framed man on the ru ...more
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Kit Fox
Seen the movie a bunch of times and really dig it. For a year, I lived a couple blocks from the glorious art-deco apartment building Lauren Bacall's character lives in--it's still there and looks exactly as it did in the film. Anyways, always wanted to check this one out, and wasn't let down but also wasn't blown away the way I was with later Goodis novels. Language-wise, it kinda felt like he was trying to ape Hemingway a bit too much, but at least that lead to the evolution of his awesomely di ...more
Michael S
movie with bogart and lauren bacall is entertaining but the book is beter
Neal Alexander
Once I channel-hopped into the film version of this near the start. I kept waiting for the 1st person point-of-view sequence to end and it kept carrying on: I don’t think I’ve seen a longer one yet. The book starts off brilliantly but as the characters build up they go beyond uncanny to a kind of arbitrary nightmarishness which reduces their impact and lets them float free of the plot.

(Part of the five-novel volume published by Library of America.)
Benjamin Kahn
Although I enjoyed this book, a book this short shouldn't feel like it has padding and this on does. I also found myself getting fustrated with the protagonist's vacillating. Everytime he hears a knock on the door, he makes an assumption and then contemplates some extreme action, usually not taken. And then his worst fears aren't realized. This happens so much that I was tempted to skip through a couple of those scenes. But overall, a very readable book.
I liked this book. As the book that was ripped off by the makers of The Fugitive tv show, it was pretty good. To rate this book and it's 'offshoots', for me it would be, 1) The Fugitive film (1993), 2) Dark Passage book (1946), 3-5) The Fugitive Original tv series (1963-1967), The Fugitve Remake tv series (2000-2001), and Dark Passage film (1947). The last three are lumped together because I've never seen any of them.
Couldn't stop seeing the Bogart and Bacall movie in my mind while I was reading this.
Paul Jellinek
American noir writing at its best--even if this one does play in New York City rather than in Philly, Goodis's hometown and usual stomping ground (and I do mean stomping--see, for example, "Down There," later remade as "Shoot the Piano Player"). The tension starts building on page one and doesn't let up until several days after you finish reading it.
Stephen Callahan
Philadelphia's very own 1940's noir author. Unfortunately the plot seemed too familiar & stereotypical, probably since I have seen the Bogart/Bacall movie. As a general rule I never see the movie until I have read the book, but in this case since it predates my birth, kinda hard to do that. Still a tense & paranoid story despite that.
As the world goes to hell in a handbasket, I've been increasingly drawn to dark suspense novels, and David Goodis is a master of "noir" fiction. A movie based on this book featuring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall was filmed in the late 1940s, and is well worth watching. The atmosphere of suspense that Goodis creates here is almost painful.
id seen the movie, so i knew how it went
Jul 06, 2010 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chas Andrews
Beautifully written noir, with many of the amazing twists and turns to keep you turning page after page. I hesitate to pick this up, because I know only exhaustion will get me to put it back down again.
This author has a very interesting writing style...if Gertrude Stein had written in the noir genre, her books would have had a similar voice. Good, good writing...

در صورت تمایل، جهت مشخصات فیلمی که بر اساس این کتاب ساخته شده‌ است؛ می‌توانید از لینک زیر استفاده بفرمایید
Aaron Finestone
One of the best books ever written. The best part is the chapter on Dr. Walter Coley. I am going to freeze your face.
This book nearly gave me a panic attack. Its texture of claustrophobic dread is something to marvel over.
The whole time I was reading this, Bogie and Bacall were going through my brain. Great film!
Christian Carbone
Great movie. Fantastic book. I must read more David Goodis now.
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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.
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“He told himself she wasn’t really such a bad person, she was just a pest, she was sticky, there was something misplaced in her make-up, something that kept her from fading clear of people when they wanted to be in the clear.” 5 likes
“You know me. Guys like me come a dime a dozen. No fire. No backbone. Dead weight waiting to be pulled around and taken to places where we want to go but can't go alone. Because we're afraid to go alone. Because we're afraid to be alone. Because we can't face people and we can't talk to people. Because we don't know how. Because we can't handle life and don't know the first thing about taking a bite out of life. Because we're afraid and we don't know what we're afraid of and still we're afraid. Guys like me.” 2 likes
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