Monday, January 8, 2018

Paperback 1005: All Men Are Liars / John Stephen Strange (Dell 438)

Paperback 1005: Dell 438 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: All Men Are Liars
Author: John Stephen Strange
Cover artist: Robert Stanley

Condition: 6/10
Estimated value: $5-10

Dell438
Best things about this cover:
  • "I solemnly swear ... aw, who am I kidding? All men are liars, amirite!? Up top!"
  • Her side-eye! I really should have a "Women Looking At Losers" blog tag. (See Paperback 1004)
  • Her mustard suit is smokin'
  • Shouldn't "man about town" be hyphenated? ... wow, even dictionaries seem divided on this one. One thing no one's divided on: the Ben Affleck movie "Man About Town" is probably best left back in 2006.

Dell438bc
Best things about this back cover;
  • Mapback!
  • Love the Gay '90s font on the title, wtf
  • How have they managed to make Manhattan look so boring? So many things on that island we get ... a generic courtroom interior!?
  • The crossword maker in me is like "hmm... is HDQRS really a valid abbr.?"
Page 123~

Won Way Street rose and strolled across the well of the court.

Sorry. I'm dead. That name just killed me.

~RP

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Paperback 1004: The Dark Chase / David Goodis (Lion 133)

Paperback 1004: Lion 133 (PBO, 1953)

Title: The Dark Chase (Nightfall)
Author: David Goodis
Cover artist: [Julian Paul]

Condition: 4/10
Estimated value: let's say $50

Lion133
Best things about this cover:
  • My god her radiant disappointment is glorious! He was supposed to take her someplace swell tonight, I bet.
  • Fantastic contrast between the tagline and the picture: "100 Savage Hours ... of Johnny Cleancut Polishing His Gun"
  • "Ed Harris and Audrey Totter are ... Bored in Peoria!"
  • She has what Christa Faust calls "Bitch Eyebrows"—great ones—and I don't know what you call that 1/2 akimbo hipcock of exasperation, but it's working. Truly GGA (Great Girl Art)
  • This is the third cover in my collection (so far) with the "Paul" signature. The first one was ... the very first paperback I ever wrote about.

Lion133bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • Yeah. *That's* the part of the front cover we all want to look at again.
  • My name is Jim Vanning / I'm way into canning / You all won't believe / The great ketchup I'm planning.
  • I have a gun ... I will use it on them, on the whole gang of them ... and I will use it in a box ... and I will use it on a fox ...
  • Real talk: David Goodis is one of the titans of paperback noir and this book is a treasure. It's beat to fuck, but in the most aesthetically perfect and readable way. Quintessential, this one.

Page 123~

He splurged on a brocaded robe.

Ew.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Monday, January 1, 2018

Paperback 1003: Corinne / King Coral (Bee-Line 175)

Paperback 1003: Bee-Line 175 (PBO, 1967)

Title: Corinne
Author: King Coral
Cover artist: photo cover

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $25-30

[Newest addition to the Doug Peterson Collection]

BeeLine175
Best things about this cover:
  • Ariel? ... What happened?
  • I'm not familiar with the various forms of cantilevering and what not that are used in women's undergarments but that top seems physically impossible
  • LOL King Corals' fancy af signature stamp. "I'm an icon! I'm a brand name!" he said to himself as he sat behind the wheel of his Toyota Tercel in the parking lot at the West Covina Safeway ...
  • OK that fabric is pretty hot. I would wear a tie with that pattern for sure.
BeeLine175bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • "I quit!" said American everyman Pete Diamond. "Sure, whatever," replied his boss.
  • TEXAS is a state. NEW ORLEANS is a city. MIAMI ... is in a smaller font for some reason. THE COVER DESIGNER should be fired.
  • Pete Diamond sounds like a sex addict / serial killer. I don't know what's protecting Corinne, but she's lucky.

Page 123~

She was laughing now. Suddenly and loudly she'd broken into laughter as though I'd pulled the world's funniest funny.

"Is this how words work?" Pete funnied. "I have nil idea!"

~RP

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Paperback 1002: Naked in Paris / Zack Robertts (Carousel 513)

Paperback 1002: Carousel Books 513 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Naked in Paris
Author: Zack Robertts
Cover artist: cheap-ass photographer

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $12-15

[Newest addition to the Doug Peterson Collection]

Carousel513
Best things about this cover:
  • Super-hot top and chair totally undermined by world's most disgusting carpet remnant
  • Nice gams, tho
  • I like how she's carefully posed but also looks Completely surprised someone is taking her picture. "I'm just gonna enjoy a little after-party time with my favorite carpet remnant and ... oh! A photographer! I didn't see you there!"
  • Zack Robertts—the extra T is for "titillation"! (is what I assume his business cards said)

Carousel513bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • Hell yeah, it's frank! All the best stories are frank! Frank!
  • Modern love = sex in this mid-century butterfly chair—bonne chance!
  • "World capitals," LOL. "Which ones?" "Some of them!"

Page123~

It wasn't exactly as I had planned and dreamed it over many months, but it was only for a brief stopover, but I was going home. And I felt pretty good about it.

But I don't feel pretty good about that first sentence, but what do I know?

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Paperback 1001: I, Barbarian / Jay Scotland (Avon T-375)

Paperback 1001: Avon T-375 (PBO, 1959)

Title: I, Barbarian
Author: Jay Scotland
Cover artist: [George Ziel]

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $12

AvonT375
Best things about this cover:
  • His mind on women, his groin on horses
  • I, Shirtless—the flamingest novel east of the Urals!
  • His left hand is weird. Like it should be holding something. An ice cream cone, or a lovely bouquet of flowers, perhaps

Avon T375bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • This novel's not frank, but it is frankish
  • Adjective every noun!
  • I like this little sword-split design

Page 123~

"Didn't you notice the unbounded delight in the eyes of his highest excellency when you gave that last feverish lunge toward the edibles?"

If there's another way to approach edibles, I haven't found it.

~RP

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Paperback 1000: The Case of the Musical Cow / Erle Stanley Gardner (Pocket Books 1063)

Paperback 1000: Pocket Books 1063 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: The Case of the Musical Cow
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner
Cover artist: photo cover (Silver Studios)

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $12-15

PB1063
Best things about this cover:
  • After "All About Eve," Bette Davis's career took a weird turn there for a bit...
  • Out with the old kind of mystery about DOPE and MURDER, in with the new kind of mystery about DOPE and MURDER. What's new, you ask? Well, musical cows, for one. Admit it, you did not see that coming.
  • Is that an Eames chair? That's some pretty stylish bondage.
  • There is a *lot* of rope in her lap, which the red-painted case title and the immersive mustard experience are probably supposed to distract you from.

PB1063bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • I love (like, Love) that the exciting red cursive intro text just says "Rob Trenton."
  • I also love (like, Am In Awe Of) Erle Stanley Gardner's psychopathic signature.
  • Ooh, Europe. How exoticish!

Page 123~

Rob Trenton, who had been listening incredulously, said, "That's a lie! That whole statement is false. This man is one of the . . . "

At this point, Rob Trenton was deemed both too implausible and too boring to continue as a functioning character in this story, and so he simply exploded, leaving the remaining characters staring (incredulously, of course) at an empty chair.

~RP

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Paperback 999: All Shot Up / Chester Himes (Ace T-434)

Paperback 999: Avon T-434 (PBO, 1960)

Title: All Shot Up
Author: Chester Himes
Cover artist: Uncredited (!!) (update: appears to be work of George Ziel)

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $65-80

AceT434
Best things about this cover:
  • Gah, so great. So so great. Multiple scenes of hot hardboiled greatness. Tough-guy mug, sexy naked lady, trenchcoat gunfight ... bar! All the good things.
  • Chester Himes is fantastic. Coffin Ed and Grave Digger are unique and important figures in the history of detective fiction. Badass *and* hilarious. Their dialogue is amazing, as are their razor-sharp observations on race relations in the city. Highly recommended.
  • Either that dude is holding the wrong end of the cigarette or he's holding a very tiny test tube.

AceT434bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • Big on alliteration, this copywriter. First babes bourbon and bullets, now hailing in Harlem...
  • "Eight—Count 'em, eight—corpses." Eight, OK, I believe you, eight. Jeez. Don't get so defensive.
  • "Skidding on ice and breathing fire"—which Game of Thrones book was that?

Page 123~

"I'd rather be bit in the rear by a boa constrictor than sitting here waiting for something to happen, and I can't even guess what," he complained bitterly.

It's a boa constrictor ... I mean it can bite, sure, but ... it's kind of known for ... the other ... oh nevermind.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]