You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up
Publication Date: February 1986
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up is, as the title suggests, a novel of luck and irony. The plot has the onrushing twistiness of the California canyons the hero, Dick, wanders. A Depression drifter, Dick bums his way from Oklahoma to Los Angeles in search of his son and runaway wife. There he commits one crime, plans another, and gets arrested for something he didn't do. He is befriended by characters as lush and crazy as L.A. Deco: Quentin Genter, film director, decadent, collector of beauty and poison. Mamie, an indestructibly loving divorcee. Patsy, who gilds her sandals with radiator paint and becomes an adored evangelist. And a procession of crooks, shysters, rueful temptors and loopy saints. You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up was a bestseller when originally published in 1938, but--our hard luck--has long been difficult to obtain. Like the work of Hammett, Cain, and Horace McCoy, it is intensely readable. Richard Hallas gives us a hard-boiled Passion Play, as he tracks the workings of conscience and desire in a tough man.