Pick Up (1955) by Charles Willeford is another intriguing noir-ish thriller about people living on the edge. Harry Jordan is barely getting by as a fry cook with a taste for booze when he meets Helen a fellow boozer. It calls to mind the film Barfly as they spell trouble for each other in the way that they enable each other in their downward spiral. In a sense the story is a mediation on art and success and the will to live. Helen and Harry are depressive and seem to egg each other on when they are feeling low. Helen never got a chance to live thanks to a suffocating mother and Harry feels like a failure in art (he is a failed painter) and life in general. However, they feel a deep connection between each other and this drives them to desperate choices and the novel ends with a twist, but also on a low note.