Monkey on My Back
New York: Popular Library, 1954. Owen Kampen. Popular Library Edition. Small octavo. (16 cm. x 11 cm. ) 221 pp. Illustrated paper wrappers. Green edges. Minor creasing to front wrapper. Near Fine. Item #139
In the conservative 1950s, people couldn't get enough of stories about juvenile delinquency. The "youth quake" began in the early 1950s and quickly became a major societal concern and a national obsession. This combined fascination made it easy for a well seasoned student of society like Wenzell Brown. A veteran and world traveler, Brown worked with troubled teens and salvaged many first-hand accounts for what would become some of the most popular reads in pulp fiction. His sharp prose and keen use of contemporary youth lingo was drafted into lurid tales of vicious street punks, gutter girls, switchblade gangs and beatnik drug addicts. "Monkey on My Back" is one of his most popular books in his canon which includes "Gang Girl", "Jailbait Jungle" and "Teen-Age Mafia". Brown is considered one of the giants in juvenile delinquency literature of this era and almost single-handedly created the subgenre of True Teen Crime.