That David Goodis is “the poet of the losers,” and that his universe is as cold as the frosty sleet-driven winds of Philadelphia’s November, has been eloquently stated. In his room in his parents’ comfortable house in East Oak Lane, he could write about his own city, its wintry street corners opening out onto block after block of uniform row houses, its gutters reflecting moonlight from the other side of the universe. Bad luck often drove his protagonists to the parts of the city most open to, and most challenging to their suffering and the need to deal with it. From beginning to end of his career, Goodis used the devices of popular hard-boiled, melodramatic pulp fiction. Like many modern novelists, he retells his story time after time.