Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Rat Bastards Series is Now on the Kindle!

Back about a year ago, I posted a blog entry about some paperbacks I'd ordered online, one of them being The Rat Bastards #1 Hit the Beach!

Well, I haven't read this paperback yet - my interests shifted a little from my WW2 fixation last summer and I never got around to it. But just yesterday, some helpful anonymous poster informed me that Len Levinson, the author who wrote The Rat Bastards as well as other men's adventure titles during the 80's, has put out many of his works as Kindle ebooks.

Not wasting a moment, I went and took a look, and there they are! Len is definitely a smart cookie, as he's pricing the books competitively, even selling the first book in the series cheaper than the rest to lure in potential customers. I picked up Hit the Beach! without a second thought, and once I'm done with my current novel (I'm reading Ian Fleming's Moonraker right now) I'll be diving into Levinson's WW2 madhouse.

It looks like Levinson was able to either acquire the rights to most of his old titles, or he was a wily fellow back in the day and managed a contract that gave him back his rights relatively easily. A good portion of his work seems to now be digitized, and everything looks well put-together (I'll only nitpick that the silhouette on the cover of the Rat Bastards books is holding an MP-5, which puts him a few decades out of date with the WW2 timeframe, but whatever...).

I've said it before many times, and I'll say it again. The ebook format is the perfect vehicle for the short, punchy, quick-to-write genres such as men's adventure fiction. Even Gold Eagle, something of a dinosaur in the field and the last great Men's Adventure publisher left standing, is finally selling their titles as ebooks. I can only see this genre growing by leaps and bounds as the ebook market grows in kind.

Len, thank you for doing this, and if you find this post, feel free to leave a comment and say hello.

9 comments:

Joe Kenney said...

Len told me that his agent got these books into digital form, as well as some westerns he wrote. He's also written up an informative and entertaining essay on the Rat Bastards and the creation of the series in response to his agent's request that he create a Rat Bastards blog, but I haven't yet heard from him if the blog has been created, the URL, etc. The essay though should appear in an upcoming issue of Paperback Fanatic.

Joe Kenney said...

BTW Jack, I mentioned Len's ebooks as well as all the other stuff he wrote (for example the "Sergeant" series, as by Gordon Davis, which you've reviewed -- and by the way I forwarded Len your reviews) in my review of his VERY recommended psuedo-bio The Last Buffoon: http://glorioustrash.blogspot.com/2012/02/last-buffoon.html

After re-reading the book as well as some of his other stuff, I became determined to talk to Levinson, but there was absolutely no contact info for him online. After some Big Brother-esque research on Google I actually found his phone number and gave him a call...a great hour-long conversation ensued. He's a great guy, and he was surprised to hear from someone...he figured all of his work had been forgotten.

Hank Brown said...

No way!!!! This is great news (even though I have the entire Sergeant series and much of the Ratbastards in paperback).

Thanks for spresding the word, Jack.

Jack Badelaire said...

@Joe: Sounds like an interesting read. I'm glad Levinson has made this move, and I really hope as time goes on, more authors (those who are still alive and kicking) will make the effort to get their works digitized. As this blog, your blog, Hank's blog...hell a lot of blogs show, there is still a HUGE amount of interest in these works.

@Hank: I'm glad I found TRB #1 in paperback for collecting value, but frankly, my place is chock-full of books, and I seriously debate with myself every time I make a paperback purchase these days. Digital might not have the soul of paper, but it's damn handy.

Matthew P. Mayo said...

I've never read this series but just bought the first, thanks to your post. Can't wait to wade in.

I couldn't agree more, Jack. Men's adventure novels old and new are ideal for the ebook format. It's a good time to be a reader.

BISH said...

Picked up both this title and the firrst in his Pecos Kid series... Both are excellent reads and examples of the best of the genre ... Thx for the tip off... It's great to see this stuff getting a second life ...

Civil War Horror (Sean McLachlan) said...

Nice to see these back in print. I always loved the title!

Premier Publishing said...

Nice Review, just to let you guys know we are running books 5-8 of the series free today on kindle thanks
FREE Friday - Len Levinson's (writing as John Mackie) infamous Rat Bastards series of WWII Pacific Theater war books 5-8 for Kindle. The titles speak for themselves. More coming soon…

Rat Bastards #5: Down and Dirty http://amzn.to/Lwi2kW
Rat Bastards #6 Green Hell http://amzn.to/KSzyyh
Rat Bastards #7 Too Mean to Die http://amzn.to/KSzzlU
Rat Bastards #8 Hot Lead and Cold Steel http://amzn.to/LR2bvF

Jack Badelaire said...

I just put up a new post advertizing this, Facebooked it, and Tweeted the hell out of it!