Monday, March 19, 2018

Paperback 1012: Only For Money / Mark King (Unique Books 146)

Paperback 1012: Unique Books 146 (PBO, 1967)

Title: Only For Money
Author: Mark King
Cover artist: [looks like Eric Stanton, but I dunno...]

Condition: 6/10 (tight but warped)
Estimated value: ~$25-30

Best things about this cover:

  • Septuagenarian Barbarella brings grave tidings to Boris and Natasha's bondage party
  • There are so many things to say about this cover, and yet my eyes are having a hard time seeing anything but that hat / cape combo.
  • HatCape: for when your shoulders, mouth (!), and head are cold, but your boobs need air!
  • HatCape: for when you want to look sexy, but talking would only ruin it!
  • It's like three extras in three different low-budget genre flicks decided to meet up outside for a smoke break. Or like three porn actors have not been given sufficient direction: "Do you want to ... should we ... I mean, we're dressed like this, I assumed ... wait, why is there a trash can here? This does not make me feel sexy..."
  • I'm digging the light blue border. Sincerely.

Best things about this back cover:

  • Mmm. Minimalist.

Page 123~

He has no time to waste. He is anxious to expend himself. He puts his lips to the young girl's breast and, bending his body like a bow, shoots arrow after arrow into the soft flesh.

If you run a sex writing workshop, well, good news: I found your "Don't."


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Monday, March 12, 2018

Paperback 1011: She Wouldn't Surrender / James Kendricks (Monarch MA301)

Paperback 1011: Monarch MA301 (PBO, 1960)

Title: She Wouldn't Surrender
Author: James Kendricks
Cover artist: [Robert Maguire] (attribution from here) (and here)

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $20-25

Best things about this cover:

  • Wow, this really ticks all the boxes: naked redhead with a gun, painted by Robert Maguire, posing as "Americana," on one of the greatest mainstream sleaze imprints of the 20th century. Monarch Books got some of the greatest cover artists to work for them, and I love how they had all these subseries designed to give their softcore books a patina of respectabilty. Who could quibble with your passion for "Americana"!? Communists, that's who.
  • "Whoa, a *real* redhead! Wait'll I tell Wilb-" [gets shot in the neck]
  • My favorite part of this cover is weirdly her hat

Best things about this back cover:
  • Hmmm. It sounds like she *would* surrender, sometimes.
  • Sure, your girl has charms, but do they pulsate? Do They!?
  • OK, "Only the dead were incapable of remembering her" is kind of a good line
  • 🎶Wanton eyes! They're watching you! They see your Union boots...🎶

Page 123~

[nah, I don't like this page—it's all gruesome war stuff: horses being maimed and what not ... I much much prefer the teaser text on the opening page, headlined NAKED ENCOUNTER]
The soldier whirled. His eyes bulged at the sight of the naked girl, her magnificent breasts jouncing as she stopped abruptly to stare back at him wantonly [...] Too late he saw the weapon in her hand. Too long he had stared at the undulating breasts, the quivering eyes, the tantalizing smile...
JOUNCING! Part jiggling, part bouncing, all *deadly*!


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Friday, March 2, 2018

Paperback 1010: Georgia Boy / Erskine Caldwell (Signet 760)

Paperback 1010: Signet 760 (5th ptg, 1957)

Title: Georgia Boy
Author: Erskine Caldwell
Cover artist: James Avati (signed, not attributed)
Interior illustrations: Birger Lundquist (attributed on copyright page)

Condition: 8.5/10
Estimated value: $8-12

Best things about this cover:

  • Great Girl Art. Godawful Goon Art. I want to CGI that guy off of the cover.
  • "Check under your hood, ma'am? [snort]" Seriously make him go away.
  • That guy is not a "boy." In fact, I don't see any boys here at all. False advertising!
  • Caldwell was the king of "earthy" "bawdy" midcentury rural near-porn. Country folks are freer with their bodies—more like animals—dontcha know. I never got the appeal.
  • It's actually quite good art. I'm just not buying the guy at all. He looks uninterested—like he has a tire rotation to get back to.

Best things about this back cover:
  • No alloys here! Looking for alloys? Well, keep moving, buster!
  • "This reviewer" LOL. "It was a dark time ... personal pronouns were Forbidden!"
  • Ah, who could forget PA STROUP? Everyone? Oh, OK.
  • "Yardboy"

The best part of this book by far is the interior illustrations. From the copyright page: "The line drawings by Birger Lundquist are reproduced from the Swedish edition of Georgia Boy (Son av Georgia) by permission of the Forum Publishing Company, Stockholm, Sweden." Here are a couple examples (there's one on about every third page!):

[whoa, racy]
Page 123~
"He told me he wasn't married," Lucy told Ma. "He said he was a single man all the time."

"Single man!" Ma yelled.

She got red in the face again and ran to the fireplace for the poker.
Ah, good ole fire poker: a harried Ma's best friend.


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Monday, February 26, 2018

Paperback 1009: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea / Theodore Sturgeon (Pyramid G622)

Paperback 1009: Pyramid G622 (PBO, 1961)

Title: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Author: Theodore Sturgeon
Cover artist: Jim Mitchell (credited, back cover)

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $10-15

Best things about this cover:
  • I guess if your name's Sturgeon, writing about sea creatures is probably inevitable
  • Love the design on the dragon-eel, and the sub, and the font. Peak midcentury fantasy design
  • This was a movie, apparently. It was also a television show, which is streaming via Amazon Prime, which I discovered because who wouldn't be curious after seeing this book
  • The writing in this book is superior. Sparkling and witty in a way I do not associate with novelizations of B movies. But that's what happens, I guess, when you get a legend to do the work, I guess. Sturgeon is something else
Best things about this back cover:
  • AFIRE is a word I don't see that often, except in crosswords
  • I really, really want Destiny to be the name of some aquatic femme fatale
  • Here's the movie, free on youtube. The format is completely jacked, so I don't think I can bear watching it. Maybe if I ever get super-bored. I'm almost certain this book is infinitely superior to the movie
Page 123~
It was Emery, too, who wondered what had killed the whale. Even the ripped, tattered evidence of the 'cudas at work could not conceal that the whale had been riven, blasted, crushed. Someone aboard might certainly have thought of an answer if it had not been for the murder of O'Brien.
Normal reader: "Whoa, what a vivid image of a mangled whale being feasted on by barracudas." Me: "Hmmm .... CUDAS ... I wonder if I should add that to my crossword wordlist ..."


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Friday, February 16, 2018

Paperback 1008: Rogue Queen / L. Sprague de Camp (Dell 600)

Paperback 1008: Dell 600 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Rogue Queen
Author: L. Sprague de Camp
Cover artist: Mike Ludlow

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $8-10

Best things about this cover:

  • That seems a reasonable way to learn about sex tbh
  • "OK, so, step 1: put the spear away"—Earth-man
  • I'm sure that phallic rocket is in no way a phallic symbol
  • That is some very convenient cape and forearm
  • Her hair is amazing

Best things about this back cover:

  • "You ... complete ... me ... seriously, do it, complete me, I'm not a woman yet, get on with it."
  • You take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have the Facts of Full Womanhood, The Facts of Full Womanhood!
  • That is the sloppiest damn ringed planet I even did see. It's like a 5-year-old drew a ball of yarn

Page 123~

"It is a curious feature of Terran culture that when the men do something of a stupidity they always blame their wives."

I like her.


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Friday, February 9, 2018

Paperback 1007: Tragic Ground / Erskine Caldwell (Signet 661)

Paperback 1007: Signet 661 (27th ptg, 1957)

Title: Tragic Ground
Author: Erskine Caldwell
Cover artist: James Avati

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $8-10 (weirdly couldn't find this 1957 printing at abebooks)

Best things about this cover:

  • That's a hell of a face-mash. And embrace. And wino.
  • "Oh, the juvenile delinquents and their dungarees and heavy petting, why, in my day... [glug glug glug] [pass out]"
  • I sincerely love her capri pants. And the title font.
  • This cover is close to immaculate.

Best things about this back cover:

  • [sniff sniff] What's that smell? .... oh, I see you're reading Caldwell. My, that's pungent.
  • "Casual ribaldry and haphazard lovemaking" is my new lifestyle ideal.
  • What is this, the Adjective Olympics? You can't get past a single damn noun without some adjective going, "Hey, look at me!" I'm surprised it doesn't end with "over 35,000,000 frank and febrile copies."
  • LOL that Saturday Review blurb. "Tired of cooked sex? Well have I got the book for you..."

Page 123~

Spence lay partly awake holding his knees against his stomach for warmth and wondering where his pants were.

Pantsless pungency!


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Monday, January 29, 2018

Paperback 1006: The Pusher / Ed McBain (Perma Books 3062)

Paperback 1006: Perma Books 3062 (PBO, 1956)

Title: The Pusher
Author: Ed McBain
Cover artist: Charles Binger

Condition: 6/10
Estimated value: $35


Best things about this cover:
  • This cover is full of wonders, but the very most amazing part, for me, is luminescent cop face looking back over his shoulder like, "Uh ... wasn't me."
  • Pictorially, I love the placement of the bare light bulb, but looks to be hanging about waist-high, which ... come on, even shitty apartments have to be moderately practical. Maybe he didn't kill himself 'cause of dope. Maybe he just got so frustrated at trying to get the light bulb to hang right that he was just like, "fuck it, I'm out."
  • This seems an unlikely position / location in which to hang oneself. I'm no expert. But still.
  • Detective: "This looks like ... what is this some kind of miniature turkey baster? Hey, Jim, come here and look at this?"
  • The turn of his ankle is lovely and tragic. Same with the stubbed out cigarettes.


Best things about this back cover:

  • Seriously, this is one of the grimmer back covers, after one of the grimmest covers I've ever seen. This book's not messing around.
  • Aha! It *wasn't* suicide by hanging. Well, let me be the first to say, it honestly didn't look like suicide by hanging.
  • Not a big fan of back covers that basically describe the front cover, tbh. SEEN IT! Tell me something I don't know.

Page 123~

She supposed, of course, that there were men who would try anything once, just for kicks. Why not a girl who couldn't hear or talk?

My favorite part of this is, "of course."


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