First off, let me say that there is a lot to like in this collection. Out of 182 pages, there are 56 full page reproductions of original art that came from the pulp magazines. At 12 x 9 1/2 inches, and with quality, heavy paper stock, these reproductions are probably worth the cost of the book alone. There are also 64 other illustrations (give or take) that are smaller reproductions of original art, pulp magazine cover reproductions, or other examples (book jackets mostly) of a particular artist's work. These range from a quarter to (rarely) three-quarters of a page - splitting the difference, they come to an estimated 32 more pages of art. Together, that makes 88 things I really, really liked about this book. Many of these reproductions are just gorgeous.
The 100 or so remaining pages are filled with text; and regardless of one's previous knowledge of or interest in the pulp magazine era, that's entirely too much verbiage in a book dedicated to a visual medium. This is true even if that verbiage was highly informative, entertaining or both. I respect Mr. Lesser for his dedication to this material, but I think this material speaks for itself. Add to that there are essays interspersed throughout the book written by other collectors, or those who knew the artists personally, which repeats much of the same information in the main text, and you get a criminal waste of great paper stock that would have been much better put to use by reproducing more full-page examples. The five chapters could have been condensed into one introductory piece perhaps ten pages long or so, and the remaining essays could have been inserted inside the genre groupings of the paintings. As it is, these minor essays are plopped directly in the middle of the different chapters, causing the reader to either interrupt reading the main text, or skip the essay and flip back and forth later on, in order to read all the material.
It could be that the paucity of this material forced the publishers to limit the full page examples. (Many of the smaller inserts are not reproduced from the original, but from the printed cover.) I could understand that, but I would just as well have seen a section reproducing the originals, along with supplemental material that might only reproduce distinctive pulp covers whose originals are lost. And, while I think the author rightly focuses on the most dramatic examples of this art, I also wouldn't have minded seeing a few reproductions (if they exist) of the romance, sports, or the train story pulps, or of some of the other, less sensational magazines, many of which were still extraordinary.
I suppose I shouldn't complain - what is here is excellent. It is a nice supplement to someone's collection of pulp magazines, or of other coffee table books concerning 20th Century Illustrative Art. The shame of it is that it has so much wasted potential.