The Goliath

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Zine
Title: The Goliath
Publisher:
Editor:
Author(s): Suzan Lovett
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): 1986, first available the third week in June
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Starsky and Hutch
Language: English
External Links: Online here.
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Contents

The Goliath is a gen (though some say just barely) Starsky and Hutch 191-page novel written and illustrated by Suzan Lovett. The original cost was $16.40 First Class.

front cover of Goliath, Suzan Lovett
back cover of Goliath, Suzan Lovett

Summary

Starsky and Hutch go deep undercover in a dangerous game of false identities and mob activity. Hutch struggles with his fears for Starsky who has only recently recovered from Gunther's hit, and come close to breaking when his partner's cover is blown and Starsky disappears. [1]
This novel explores the depth and breadth of love and trust when Starsky and Hutch go undercover with the biggest Mafia crime family in L.A. After Starsky's nearly fatal shooting mere months ago, is he ready to be back out on the streets? Can Hutch manage to survive this job with its deadly pitfalls by himself? Or will each man learn that only by depending and relying on each other can they make it through alive? [2]
The story is post Sweet Revenge. Starsky and Hutch have to deal with the aftermath of the shooting in the garage. Starsky has recovered and is eager to work a new case. When the occasion arises and Starsky is asked to take over from the cocky New York detective Rizzo, he wants to jump in with both feet and go undercover. Hutch isn't so sure about the whole thing. He is mother-henning and can't help but hovering and being in full protection mode - which gets to Starsky. They have to re-think and re-define their partnership as Starsky goes down undercover for a long time. Starsky gets mad at Hutch when the blond is pulling more and more stunts on his own without consulting his partner. When things escalate in the end and Starsky's cover gets blown, Hutch more or less runs berserk. Hutch finally confronts the shadow of the past and a dam breaks when Starsky can escape from the boat (he is supposed to die in the explosion of the boat) and gets to Hutch in time before he can kill the boss of the organization. They find to each other again and when the case is over, they decide to continue their police work but off the streets. Starsky has proved to himself that he "still can do it" but he also realized that he's not how he used to be. Hutch might be over his over-protectiveness, but both see reason that they better get out before either of them gets killed on duty. [3]

The Forewards

I'll grant the foreword its right to the title since it precedes the manuscript. However, for all other purposes, it is a misnomer. The way it works out, the foreword gets written last, usually neglected until the final harried moment, during which the writer feels she'd much rather write a whole new novel than tackle the pesky half-page or so. Anticipating this occasion, I asked Paula, my editor, for a foreword and she, again, hasn't let me down. For worthy reading, and words appropriate to the novel, please jump to her portion.

To all the readers who took time out and went to the trouble of sending LoCs for "The Thousandth Man," more thanks than I can express. I haven't been able to answer each letter individually, and I apologize. However, you were the motivating force behind "The Goliath." In that sense, this story is the tangible proof of my appreciation. (Ahem...don't stop now, huh?)

Paula, thank you for your continuing support and help, given willingly and so capably. Your friendship is the best return I got from "The Thousandth Man."

Edi, many thanks for your time and impeccable work. I regret that some of your invaluable suggestions had to be sacrificed to time and necessity, but you have taught me a lot for future ventures.

Rita, without your generous nature (which, I'm sure, you've had cause to regret quite a few times) this zine couldn't have been finalized. I'm very thankful and appreciative.

Kathy, your title of story consultant is alive and well. Like Starsky, you have the uncanny ability to cut through the bull and point out to me 'the heart of the matter.' Thanks.

Jeannie and Marcia, thank you, as ever, for much needed hand-holding and companionship.

Suzan Lovett
In our society it's traditionally feminine to depend on a man, to need one for his comfort, help, strength and love, and to be at a loss without one. Conversely, a man is someone who can stand alone, who asks for no help, but can always be counted on to give it--the strong, silent type. Think of Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne in the movies.

However, life ain't like that. Conventional stories, constrained only by the popular assumptions of society, can feature thoroughly masculine men and utterly feminine women, lumps of muscle battling pythons and Japs in the jungle, or balls of fluff swooning on featherbeds and formal gardens. They don't have to reflect reality, the heart, the conflicts of the soul, which is just as well, because fundamentally they are false. Courage doesn't come with a penis, nor does fidelity wear breasts. People are not as narrow or one-dimensional as the overly easy definitions would like to insist. That's why great stories are about human beings, human beings with a fair sampling of all human traits, not just those anatomically or politically correct.

That's also why, with regard to the story you're about to read, I'm tickled to point out that the characters who can't get along without the love and presence of a man are Starsky and Hutch themselves, and the character who stands alone, independent and self-sufficient, is Linda Baylor. Nor is it just a switcheroo, a sort of literary crossdressing. All three combine strength with caring, in proportions that define their individual characters.

Alice Sheldon, who shocked the easily shockable about ten years ago by revealing herself to be James Tiptree, Jr., thought that the surprise--hell, flabbergastment--that met her announcement could have been avoided had people a mental category for General Human Being. This is a wise notion for all of us to cultivate. After all, virtue is not in such long supply in this naughty world that we can afford to be picky about its sources on the basis of sex. Or any other basis, for that matter. Should we despise the love S&H teach us because of their gender? I think not.

Paula Smith, 21 May 86

Gallery

Reactions and Reviews

Another Suzan Lovett blockbuster, aptly named. It's a giant of a story behind David's attempt to topple his giant crime czar. The plot is good, something I admire and envy in a story. But mostly I read a story for relationship, and this one is loaded with love. It's also beautifully illustrated, as usual. Both covers and the illos introducing each of the parts are not only technically exquisite but warm, loving -- everything we look for between these two special partners. There are lots of things I like about this story... [she quotes a couple of excerpts]. It's a book full of secondary characters, too, but the focus right where we love it, on Starsky and Hutch. The story is built around arguments and philosophies I believe fit S&H very well as they work out there lingering problems created by Gunther, and come to terms with themselves and each other, recognizing, and accepting their limitations, their commitment, their love. This is a 'Me and Thee' book to be treasured. [4]
I'm sure all of those who are 'in' Starsky and Hutch fandom already know about this zine, and probably own it. But in the larger world of fandom which Datazine reaches, there may be some who enjoy watching Starsky and Hutch, and who would like to read a novel about what happens after the final episode. 'The Goliath' is waiting for you! This novel is very well-written, and is also a very nicely put together zine. There are some illos by the author which are a nice treat. 'The Goliath' is the story of Starsky and Hutch's friendship-relationship, as played out during a major undercover assignment as cops. It is a zine well worth the price to anyone with an interest in these characters. Very highly recommended. [5]
This is a classic novel by Suzan Lovett (she is an incredible artist AND writes like this? Aaaagggghhhh!!!). Okay, it's nominally straight, but it's definitely THE best straight S&H I've read, mainly because unlike most of the rest of straight S&H out there (most of which seems so paranoid about it being perceived as slash), it doesn't take all of the emotion and physical affection out of the relationship. Also, it's almost worth it for some of the back cover illos which are sort of a montage of the two of them throughout the series. She also wrote another S&H novel called THOUSANDTH MAN, which is also very good--just not quite as good as GOLIATH. [6]
This zine would have made a fantastic "Starsky and Hutch" film. It's got everything--drama, action, character interaction and development. The Boys learn things about themselves and each other--and we learn right along with them (maybe learning something about ourselves along the way).

Her writing is complex, layered, and full of insights that only a thorough understanding of human nature could provide.

Her writing style is elegant and lyrical--yet gritty and realistic at the same time. I often find myself stopping to re-read a line or a phrase, sighing with pleasure at how *precisely* she chooses just the right words and puts them together.

This zine (indeed, all Suzan's work) is a feast for the fannish soul. The "tropes" so near and dear to the hearts of fen--hurt/comfort, angst, etc.--that often become a tired cliche in fan fiction are, in this story, made *real*.

And the art's not half-bad, either. :-) [7]
I absolutely loved The Goliath. It was the first SH story I ever read (never even knew it existed before then)and I've probably read it at least 10 times since. I love all her work. She seems to get the emotion into the story without going over the top or making them too mushy. This one hit all the right notes for me and left me wishing that there was a sequel. [8]
Suzan Lovett turns her considerable talents, both literary and artistic (five beautiful illos are reproduced online), to this classic novella from 1986, in which Starsky goes deep undercover to infiltrate and help bring down a mob family. The post-"Sweet Revenge" setting means not only that Starsky feels he has something to prove - that he's capable of handling the demands of this case - but that Hutch feels he must do everything within his power to keep his often-impulsive partner safe, leading him to make some supremely unwise choices with heavy consequences.

Suzan weaves together complicated plots and themes, populating them with not only most of our regulars, but a supporting cast of fully-realized, and in some cases heartbreaking, original characters. There's such reality to the Marruzzi crime family that it makes me wonder just who Suzan knows and what circles she runs in to capture that lifestyle so well. There's a sense of genuine fear and tension - especially as she builds toward the tumbling denouement - as well as quiet moments that include the humor and camaraderie the show was famous for.

While this is gen, there is a such an emotional as well as unselfconscious physical intimacy between Starsky and Hutch that all but the most hardcore slash fan should be satisfied with the obvious tenderness, concern and caring between the two of them. And the dialogue between "our boys" is among the truest representation I've seen of their world. [9]

References

  1. from a 1996 Black Bean Soup
  2. from Agent With Style
  3. from enednoviel at SH Zines, posted June 26, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  4. from The Who Do We Trust Times #5
  5. from Datazine #45
  6. Michelle Christian's review posted in 1995 to Virgule-L, reposted here with permission.
  7. from klangley56 at SH Zines, posted July 4, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  8. from ag1966 at SH Zines, posted July 13, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  9. a 2004 comment at Crack Van
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