The book is called Tod Robbins: His Life and Work. As the title implies, it is a biography on the largely forgotten American writer of weird fiction, Tod Robbins.
Researching it was a real challenge; Robbins actively tried to keep his life as secret as possible. Now, over sixty years after his death, there is not only scant information available about him, but a lot of misinformation as well. Exactly how many wives did he have? Some sources say as many as six, but who were they? He also spent World War II in a German concentration camp, and I believe I have discovered the precise camp.
I have also included biographical sketches of each of his verified wives. Some of his wives also led quite interesting lives that proved fascinating to uncover. His first wife, Edith Norman Hyde, was the controversial first Miss America, although you won’t find any mention of her on the official Miss America timeline.
Aside from his secretive life, Robbins’ fiction is deserving of much more recognition than it has received. His novels vary from bloodthirsty midgets (The Unholy Three) to the young aspiring writers trying to make it in the Big Apple without being consumed by it (The Spirit of the Town).
I chose not to include his possibly most famous short story, Spurs--the inspiration for Tod Browning’s infamous movie, Freaks!. There are two reasons for its absence. First, it has uncertain copyrights--I was able to trace it into the 1960s, but could not verify whether or not it is still copyrighted or who would own the copyrights. Secondly, it is readily available online; you can download it in PDF format directly from Wikipedia. So I came to a conclusion--why not provide the link to Spurs right here, and let my blog followers read it for free? If you like it, I presume that you may want to read more of Tod Robbins’ work, especially his best work. Even though Spurs is his most known piece, it is not, in my opinion, his best writing or story. The Unholy Three is very similar as far story concepts go, but a much better execution. Jascques was cruel, no doubt, but Tweedledee was a seriously deranged criminal mastermind.
My personal favorite, however, is easily “Silent, White and Beautiful.” It is the story of an artist, a sculptor, who returns to America after studying in France. He gets pinned down with a wife and family that he never really wanted. He believes that they could be a perfect family, though. If only they were silent, white and beautiful.
The Anthology Includes:
Silent, White And Beautiful
For Art’s Sake
The Unholy Three
Who Wants A Green Bottle?
Wild Wullie The Waster
The Scales Of Justice And Other Poems
The Spirit Of The Town
Red Of Surley
Available on Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble for $2.99! If you prefer, you can also buy directly from us via Payhip in all formats (.mobi, epub, and pdf).
Approx. 913 pages or 248,025 words long.
As with all ebooks from The Forlorn Press, Tod Robbins: His Life and Work contains a clickable table of contents.