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Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
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Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  314 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
The classic novel of the Dillinger era in America "Love as hot as a blow torch . . . crime as vicious as the jungle" (from the original 1948 edition)
Paperback, 250 pages
Published December 1st 1996 by Serpent's Tail (first published 1948)
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Mar 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is hardboiled fiction in the finest tradition. Whatever you believe pulp noir or hardboiled writing is, you’ll find it here. Tough guys, sexy women, crooked lawyers, dishonest cops, blackmail, betrayal, manipulation, sex and violence, it’s all in Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, and it all hits home hard.

As a fan of hardboiled crime fiction, you’d think I’d have fallen in love with this one and I would have had the cover bronzed and framed to sit above my fireplace. If so, you’d thin
Robert Carraher
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The second of Horace McCoy’s noir classics, republished in April by Open Road Media in a nicely formatted eBook with perhaps the most extensive biography of McCoy available. Published in 1948 at the start of what scholars consider the beginning of the Noir/Paperback era in crime fiction (and the end of the hardboiled era of authors like Dashiell Hammett, Chandler and the pulp magazines and their authors) , Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye leans towards the hardboiled genre, that had just past, but enters t ...more
Carla Remy
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it

An intense book. My opinion kept shifting. But it was lively and entertaining, and I liked it overall. Plenty of sex and violence, though the sex, at least, isn't graphic. The other book of his I read, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (more famous, these days, because of an old movie) is from 1935, and this is from 1948. Interesting. It seems that McCoy, in those decades, was a big name in noir.
Juan Jiménez García
Horace McCoy. Tratado de inmoralidad

Hay escritores que están condenados a ser recordados por algo que va más allá de ellos. Pongamos: por haber escrito guiones de películas para Raoul Walsh, Nicholas Ray o Henry Hathaway (aunque ninguna memorable). Pongamos: por haber sido adaptado por Sydney Pollack (Danzad, danzad, malditos) o, esperando algo más de conocimientos cinematográficos, por Jean-Pierre Mocky (Un linceul n'a pas de poches). Quizás: por una película interpretada por James Cagney (Cora
Procyon Lotor
Uscito nel 1948, un tipico hard-boiled in bianco e nero (pi� nero). Doveva fare impressione a gente uscita dalla seconda guerra mondiale e ci riusc�. Ottimo esempio di assassino che si racconta - � lui il narratore - e linguaggio da "te lo dico tanto poi ti sparo". Oggi, scrivere un giallo o un thriller o un noir (qualsiasi cosa voglia dire - noir ricordo nasce come giallo dal colore delle copertine, nere in Francia e gialle da noi) agganciandosi troppo alla tecnologia rischia di fare invecchiar ...more
Dec 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is one nasty hard as hell crime fiction piece.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! "Hard boiled" doesn't being to describe the writing style of Horace McCoy. Having previously read his most famous work, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" and another rather short novel, "I Should Have Stayed Home," which could almost be a prequel to "Horses," I wasn't quite prepared for "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye." The protagonist is Cotter, a prison escapee who takes on and discards acquaintances, "business associates," women, and (admittedly very few) friends along the way with hardly a though ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" is a 1947 novel by McCoy and it was made into a movie, released in 1950 starring James Cagney. That movie was banned in Ohio because of its immorality and that it showed step by step how to commit crimes.

It is too bad McCoy didn't write more novels because what he did write was absolutely terrific. This is noir-era novel that is steeped in darkness and almost never leaves that dark, foreboding world. Cotter is a on a prison work farm somewhere in the South and he's made a
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
just remembered this one which was an old republished noir i was guided to by Max Decharne, Mark Lamarr, Jonathon Ross, Joe Whitney, Huck Fuller etc (nonmainstream London media characters) from Decharne's band's song title. the book itself is great, amoral, unpredictable, gritty and admittedly cruel and nasty. i'd give it 5 stars but it was printed in a shit font to reflect the lad mag culture of the Chris Evans / Tony Blair era
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this novel. As a point of fact I found it to be a colossal confusing bore. I saw no purpose of the Margaret character and all the action was at the beginning only
Христо Блажев
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Стреляй в живота – или той ще стреля в теб:

Макар на корицата да има само едно име, че и отзад информацията е единствено за „Уморените коне ги убиват, нали?“, томчето съдържа още два страхотни романа на Хорас Маккой – „Прости се с утрешния ден“ и „Саванът няма джобове“. Събрани на едно място, трите творби допълват екзистенциалната си философия, предават си щафетата в градиращите морални избори и в крайна сметка надграждат хуманистичното си внушение – ей та
Rob Kitchin
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is considered to be a noir classic, first published in 1948 and made into a movie starring James Cagney in 1950. The story charts the scheming, amoral life of ‘Ralph Cotter’ (one of a set of aliases), who compulsively lies, cheats, steals and, with little prompting, kills or commits violence. The strength of the book is the characterisation and the interplay between the main protagonists, especially Ralph and femme fatale, Holiday, who uses her sexuality to twist men round ...more
Martin Stanley
Nov 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Quite possibly the dullest noir 'thriller' it's ever been my displeasure to read. In fact, after several weeks of struggling through leaden prose narrated by a boring, piss-poor anti-hero, I stopped reading it. The novel starts with a bang, as the protagonist stages a daring prison escape, but then it all comes to a halt in a small town, where the narrator wanders around with little plan, blackmailing crooked cops, falling for the wrong woman, and pontificates at length on how brilliant he is (a ...more
M Hewitt
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well, I throughly enjoyed this book. I first saw the film many years ago and as a collector/avid watcher of Cagney films the film became my number 1 favourite of all time. I'm glad I watched the film before I read the book as the film was slightly watered down by Warner Brothers. This meant that I got far more enjoyment out of the book as I was getting a lot more of the same.

Horace McCoy has captured the essence of 1940's America (actually it's more 1920's in my opinion). I was literally thrown
Augusto Delgado
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir
Well, this was an amazing story about a college graduated criminal decided to demonstrate that he chose to be a criminal, and he was a criminal not because a drunk father hitting him and her mother in the slums of society, but because he proceeded to exercise his will and intelligence for criminal purposes. Lots of arrogance and hubris on his behaviour, toppled with disdain towards fellow criminals on either side of the law.
The smell of a Spanish perfume "huele de noche" when meeting a rich spoi
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Part thriller, part mystery, noir tale, part psychological unveiling, a dark kaleidoscope of violence and emotion-- this remarkable novel of 1948 by the author the Depression classic "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" keeps the reader off guard from start to finish, to the point where we sympathize with the cold-blooded killer who is the narrator/protagonist. No one in the book is without blame or guilt, none of them are admirable or "good" people, yet they are fascinating creations within the dar ...more
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, mystery, crime
This book had most of the elements you would expect in a hard-boiled/noir novel. Sexy women, several corrupt characters from cops, lawyers to the main protagonist's cohorts. Every one with their own motive. The book starts with a bang with a great description of the prison life and breakout. The book moves along at a great pace until part 2 when Ralph meets M. Dobson and then the author starts to pull in elements, bit at a time, of Ralph's past that forms his later actions but also drags the boo ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was really good. I discovered it after I watched the movie starring James Cagney. Because of the movie, though, I knew the ending, so I wasn't surprised too much. The main character, Ralph Cotter, was extremely interesting and very disturbing at times. The other characters were good too, though Holiday (Ralph's moll) got irritating at times. The story starts out with a bang, but towards the middle of the book, the story lags. Other than that, this book was really good read.
Slagle Rock
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a plot-driven, page-turning novel told from the perspective of an escaped convict, criminal-type. Put this narrator up there with Scarface. There are a lot of highly-improbable plot twists but that was OK by me. I enjoyed the mid-Century take on psychology and philosophy too. This book doesn't hit the masterpiece level like "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" but it was absolutely a compelling read.
Rachel Mykkanen
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: american
Well, it did get more interesting toward the end, and I definitely didn't see the ending coming. Overall, it wasn't an enjoyable read. I like an unreliable narrator, but not an entirely unlikable one. This one is painfully pretentious, without its being tempered by any self-doubt. His psychic depths make the ending so odd, and must provide fodder for some more analytical reads, but I don't think I'll bother with any more McCoy.
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
from the first line this novel takes off with a whirlwind topped only by Jim Thompson at his best. Read this before They Shoot Horses Don't They, indeed was the only reason why I read that book, and in all honesty I couldn;t get enough. One of the more graphic sex and violence novels from that era. I cannot imagine how they got away with making a film of this at that time......
Theodore Kinni
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Time mag review form 1948 starts: "If one of the dead-end kids were to write a novel, with the aid of an unabridged dictionary, the result might be something like Kiss Tomorrow Good-Bye. It is one of the nastiest novels ever published in this country." Recommendation enough for crime noir fans?
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-novel
Atypical late 40's crime novel. Sociopathic main character reminded me of some of Elmore Leonard's crazed dirtbags. Some excellent writing and very funny dialogue that hasn't dated in 60+ years. Interesting to read a book like this that was years ahead of most other books of the genre.
This is one intense book. Extremely graphic for a late 40s crime novel. Closer to what came out in the late '50s (and that's only with Jim Thompson) and even later.

UPDATE, June 22, 2010: It's intense in terms of content matter, but it's kind of pretentious, and now getting a little annoying.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok

Started out promising but only made it to pg.95- it got tedious real fast. Perhaps I'll try to get back into it at a later date. ( Had high hopes as I love noir and especially the crazy-ass novels of Jim Thompson in the 50's).
Ana Paola
Un poco raro, no era lo que esperaba por la sinopsis, sobretodo el personaje, no me da la idea ni cercana a la descripción que hacen de él en la contraportada.
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
My first venture into "hardboiled" & I think I'm obsessed.
Nikita Svetlov
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Atmosphere on the top
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed Horace McCoy's engaging and gritty novel.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A hard-boiled classic. While McCoy is mainly known for "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?", this book is his masterpiece. It deserves to be rediscovered.
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Horace Stanley McCoy (1897–1955) was an American novelist whose gritty, hardboiled novels documented the hardships Americans faced during the Depression and post-war periods. McCoy grew up in Tennessee and Texas; after serving in the air force during World War I, he worked as a journalist, film actor, and screenplay writer, and is author of five novels including They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (193 ...more
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