Horace McCoy

Best known for his existentialist work They Shoot Horses Don’t They? which was published in 1935 and later made into a movie of the same title, McCoy spent a lot of his early writing career struggling. His early short stories bought by pulp magazine Black Mask were based on McCoy’s service as a World War I aviator. They fed the public’s love of action adventure stories.

But McCoy believed he was above the pulps and began looking towards Hollywood and the thoughts of writing movie scripts appealed to him. Early attempts to impress failed and he had to be content with producing pulp fiction for several magazines to make ends meet.

Even his novel that would earn him the highest regard, They Shoot Horses Don’t They? did not enjoy huge sales when it was first published. It was only later that the novel was recognised for the subtle and thought provoking themes that were appreciated as a noir classic. He was able to find steady work producing original scripts for the movies with one of his more notable being the script for Errol Flynn’s Gentleman Jim.

One of his later novels was also another notable story – Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye - which was later picked up and turned into a James Cagney movie by Warner Brothers.

McCoy died of a heart attack on December 15, 1955 aged 58.

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4 NOVELS BY HORACE MCCOY FIRST COLLECTED EDITION
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A Selected Bibliography of Horace McCoy Novels

They Shoot Horses Don’t They? (1935)
No Pockets In A Shroud (1936)
I Should Have Stayed Home (1937)
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1948)


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