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13 French Street

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Published 1951 by Gold Medal
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  45 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Steven
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was Brewer's big seller, with more than 1.2 million in sales and, from a literary standpoint, it certainly has some of his best prose. Although I'm more partial to Brewer's propulsive out-of-control style, the best example being A Taste For Sin, but 13 French Street has plenty of forward energy. Overall, I give it 4.5 stars, with the deduct being mainly for repetition, and that is partly by design as the bulk of the action takes claustrophobically place on the second floor of the house. As ...more
Carla Remy
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it

Gil Brewer was clearly writing for the market, the "paperback original" market (you can just picture this bright, seductive book cover at the newsstand). His writing veers (in a single novel) between not great and top quality. Also, lurid (an astounding amount of words are used to describe Petra's breasts). At first I found it rough and abrupt, but once the plot got going, I enjoyed reading it. Very dark, and of course evil is a woman. From 1951.
...more
Edwin
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulp-noir, gold-medal
Brewer clearly had higher designs for his career in this early novel. The prose is tight and literary, brimming with impressive descriptions and similes. Brewer was no hack. Sexual obsession drives the plot, a topic that Brewer does as well, or better than most. What’s missing here is the insane plot twists that Brewer employed so well in his later novels. For example, I was expecting the narrators fiancé to show up at the worst possible time, but she never did. I’ve read better plotted Brewer, ...more
Kurt Reichenbaugh
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir, pulp
Just a simple vacation. That's what Alex Bland had planned on. Drop in on an old war buddy, do some fishing and hunting, get drunk, the usual guy-shit. Unfortunately for our hero Alex, his old war buddy Verne is married to Petra, noir babe from hell, and reside together in their house of headgames at 13 French Street.

There is a terrific passage late in the book that let's you know just how deep Alex gets: "I'd read someplace that there was one woman like this for every man. One evil bitch, or n
...more
David
May 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: noirboiled
In his third published novel, Gil Brewer revisits the thematic ground of his first novel, Satan Is a Woman. (There seems to be more than one woman with horns out there.) The narrator of 13 French Street, Alex Bland, goes to visit an old army buddy and his horny wife. Bland is named Bland to emphasize that he is just an ordinary guy--though he turns out to be more than an ordinary guy. Allegedly, he is about the most honest, decent ordinary guy that you could that you could ever want to meet . . ...more
Jim  Davis
Jun 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Not my favorite Brewer book. I felt that the sexual lust angle didn't quite ring true. ...more
Tom Britz
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a wild ride of a book. It starts out with two old army buddies getting together again after 5 or so years. Alex Bland is becoming an accomplished archaeologist in Chicago, his friend Verne has married and runs a construction company. Alex shows up to spend a week with his friend and is shocked at how much his friend has changed and is surprised at Petra, Verne's wife, who is drop dead gorgeous. Verne has to leave to take care of a problem with his business, leaving Alex alone with Petra ...more
Hellblau
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Yes, Brewer writes very well but the story was just too absurd for me. I’m sorry but no. Just no. It’s like a parody of the fatalistic noir, including the most over-the-top femme fatale imaginable. I’m happy to hear that this is only one of his early novels and his later are supposed to be better, because he clearly has the ability to write something better.
Dave Robertson
3.5*/5.
Jeff
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
13 French Street (1951)

This is Gil Brewer’s third novel, a Gold Medal Original, and it is a lot of fun to read. It seems to me to be noir in its purest incarnation. I was a bit worried that he was going to tack on the sort of unconvincing happy ending that he does in some of his novels, but he stops short of that here. Alex Bland, the narrator is, like Gil Brewer, a World War 2 veteran. Most of his hero/narrators are, and in this case, a second key character, Verne, is his war buddy. Verne and
...more
Jure
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Things move forward pretty quickly with somehow predictable sequence of an affair, a murder and a case of blackmail. Needles to say, we know from the start it will end tragically.

Hot stuff. Real page turner.

More here (review includes spoilers!):
http://a60books.blogspot.ie/2015/03/1...
...more
Harding Young
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Yes, it's another tale about a man falling "victim" to an evil seductress... powerless in her lustful grasp. Gil Brewer clearly had issues with women. But he also had a way with words that make you equally seduced and disturbed at the same time. ...more
Ray Downton
Jun 18, 2015 rated it liked it
A slightly far fetched noir tale, but a compulsive page turner all the same. Deeply atmospheric with a major femme fatale at the heart of it. Some empathy but also dislike at the hapless central character.
Kent Gowran
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May 28, 2012
Cyber
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Jul 27, 2018
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Florida writer Gil Brewer (1922-1983) was the author of dozens of wonderfully sleazy sex/crime adventure novels of the 1950's and 60's, including Backwoods Teaser and Nude on Thin Ice; some of them starring private eye Lee Baron (Wild) or the brothers Sam and Tate Morgan (The Bitch) . Gil Brewer, who had not previously published any novels, began to write for Gold Medal Paperbacks in 1950-51. Brew ...more

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