Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mr. Tidyman’s Ghost?

Over the years, there have been rumors spread about how author-screenwriter Ernest Tidyman (1928-1984) did not actually write all seven of the John Shaft private-eye novels bearing his byline, but instead had one or more ghostwriters doing at least some of the work. While researching a short piece about Tidyman, I’ve tried to determine the accuracy of those rumors, but haven’t found a definitive answer.

If any Rap Sheet reader has evidence that Tidyman employed ghostwriters, I would be most grateful to hear about it. Please drop an e-mail note to me here.

READ MORE:Shaft and the Ghosts of Ernest Tidyman,” by Steve Aldous (The Rap Sheet).


wstroby said...

Curious what you find out. The writing does seem to vary in some of the later books, especially the final one, though that may also just be the result of their being knocked out quickly. Tidyman's son Nate used to occasionally post on crime fiction discussion boards back in the day.

Max Allan Collins said...

I heard it on good authority that some of the novels were ghosted; I may have known who, at one time, but my memory fails me.

My assumption is that Tidyman wrote the hardcovers and that the paperback originals were ghosted.