Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Paperback 855: The Remarkable Kennedys / Joe McCarthy (Popular Giant PC 850)

Paperback 855: Popular Giant PC 850 (1st ptg, 1960)

Title: The Remarkable Kennedys
Author: Joe McCarthy
Cover artist: photo cover

Estimated value: $5-8

PopLibPC850

Best things about this cover:

  • That remarkable hair. He's actually holding a nail in his left hand, and he's about to drive it into the desk with his head.
  • Remarkably, this book was published in February 1960, well before JFK was president. It is a slim little piece of Americana/Propaganda.
  • Not *that* Joe McCarthy (I assume).


PopLibPC850bc

Best things about this back cover: 

  • John Folksy Kennedy.
  • Wow, Eunice was a tall drink of water.
  • The unreadable subtitle on that Robert F. Kennedy book is "The McClellan Committee's Crusade Against Jimmy Hoffa and Corrupt Labor Unions"


Page 123~

"He did well, but he would have done much better if he had somebody with him who knew the score instead of all those crew-cut college boys in their silk suits," one veteran says.

"Crew-College Boys In Their Silk Suits" sounds like a niche-market pin-up calendar.

~RP

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Paperback 854: Spring Riot / Jay Presson (Lion 42)

Paperback 854: Lion Books 42 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: Spring Riot
Author: Jay Presson [Jay Presson Allen, screenwriter of some note; also, a woman] [h/t Bill Crider]
Cover artist: Alan Smithee (uncredited, actually)

Estimated value: $10-15

Lion42

Best things about this cover:

  • "I want MORE than your body, Susan … I want … I want your green sofa. I'll give you $20."
  • His face reminds me of the Jaime Sommers ("The Bionic Woman") beauty/styling head my sister got once as a gift and then left on the bricks in front of the fire and then her face did a slow horror-movie cave-in. It's a good thing we can't see the right side of his face, because I am convinced it is doing terrible things.
  • Art here is just terrible. Those hands! His are practically amphibious. Hyper-slim and not convincingly human.
  • I love her 1000-yard stare. "No, Steve. I'm meant for bigger, for much bigger things than this book cover."


Lion42bc

Best things about this back cover:

  • Ah, the '50s, when rape = "passion." Good times.
  • I keep seeing "Kipping Silk" and thinking "that sounds like fun … what is that?"
  • "His mouth closed down on hers…" For the CPR fetishist in all of us!
  • I love the idea of her palm "exploding" across his mouth. Exploding palms would be a cool superpower.
  • Oh, she's "evil," so it's OK. You can enjoy the rape scene with no guilt. Just don't your friends how it ends (!?!).


Page 123~

And wonder of wonders, the next day she did go docilely with him to the dentist.

I don't even want to touch that sentence. I'm gonna leave it there in all its perfect, crystalline glory.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, January 23, 2015

Paperback 853: Anna Becker / Max White (Bantam 830)

Paperback 853: Bantam 830 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: Anna Becker
Author: Max White
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $8-12

Donation to the collection from The Second Reader Bookshop (Buffalo, NY)

Bant830

Best things about this cover:

  • Who can forget Anna Becker's great novel, "Max White"? Or vice versa, I forget.
  • This cover raises one (and only one) very important question: Where Can I Get That Lamp!?
  • Anna had vowed to protect the Jesus Chair at all costs! ALL COSTS!
  • Ew, what is he doing with his right thumb?
  • Ew, "torn between fright and desire" is rapist talk, man. "She was shaking and resisting, but … ya know." Gross.


Bant830bc

Best things about this back cover:

  • So basically it's an exposé of the sexy librarian.
  • A "FRANK" exposé! Hell yeah, "frank"!
  • Sometimes I think paperbacks came to exist because hardback dust jacket cover art was just So Bad.


Page 123~

So when Harrison said he liked Anna better now, she was not prepared to see what he meant.

I understand, Anna. We all understand. P.S. run.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Paperback 852: The Astronaut / Hank Searls (Pocket Books 6093)

Paperback 852: Pocket Books 6093 (PBO, 1962)

Title: The Astronaut
Author: Hank Searls
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $5-10

Donation to the collection from The Second Reader Bookshop (Buffalo, NY)

PB6093

Best things about this cover:

  • It's the touching story of a lonely Stormtrooper and his inflatable girlfriend…
  • If you're gonna fall to your death, may as well go out ogling bikini-clad blondes.
  • This must be just before he captures her and puts her in a bottle and makes her wear pajamas all day long.
  • The design here is actually spectacular. It's got that wackadoodle '60s vibe. Nice incorporation of the letter "O" into the spacesuit design. Stars in her eyes are a little cheesy / spot-on, but her little green bikini makes a nice visual impact, and the overall sun-drenchedness of the thing is a nice counterbalance to my mostly Dark cover collection.


PB6093bc

Best things about this back cover:

  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Literally.
  • "You down with M.P.P.?" ("M.S. Ph.D.!")
  • Whoa, "hanky-panky at the motel"!? Tell me more. Seriously, if it happens at motels, I need to know.
  • Project Head? Really? No one batted an eyelash at that? OK, then, '60s, carry on …


Page 123~

Straight in front of him were the retro-rocket controls, welded immovably in place so that the chimp could not override ground control.

Chimps? It's got chimps? Talk about burying the lede…

~RP

P.S. Many thanks to John from The Second Reader Bookshop in Buffalo, NY, who reads my crossword blog and responded to my fund-raising drive there with a donation of books for here. Two more coming later this week.

P.P.S. John also sent me this postcard, which … well, if you all won't appreciate it, I don't know who will:

LUBERACK
[Miss Lube Rack]

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, January 16, 2015

Paperback 851: The Puzzle Planet / Robert A.W. Lowndes // The Angry Espers / Lloyd Biggle, Jr. (Ace D-485)

Paperback 851: Ace Double D-485 (PBO/PBO, 1961)

Title: The Puzzle Planet / The Angry Espers
Authors: Robert A.W. Lowndes / Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
Cover artist: Ed Emshwiller / Ed Valigursky

Estimated value: $15-20

AceD485

Best things about this cover:

  • Brigitte Bardot senses that things are about take a very, very freaky turn.
  • That's some Left Bank space helmetry she's got going there.
  • In the future, cameras will weigh 80 pounds and Mr. Clean will have Really let himself go.
  • No one could stop Steve Rockwell from making the "Barbarella" prequel of his dreams!



AceD485b

Best things about this other cover:

  • "Float, harlequin! Float to hell!"
  • Mind-Bowling: It Takes Balls
  • In the future, everyone and everything will orbit Rutger Hauer.


Page 123~ (from The Angry Espers)

"May I speak with Doctor Alir?" Corban asked.
"Doctor Alir is not here."
"When is she expected back?"
"She will not be back," the doctor said. "She's been … transferred."

Spoiler alert: Doctor Alir is now a pin girl in Rutger Hauer's Human Bowl-a-Rama.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Paperback 850: Famous Sheriffs and Western Outlaws / William MacLeod Raine (Perma Books P18)

Paperback 850: Perma Books P18 (1st ptg, circa 1948)

Title: Famous Sheriffs and Western Outlaws
Author: William MacLeod Raine
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $15-20

PermaP18

Best things about this cover:

  • What are "Things you'd find in the most cliché depiction of a saloon"?
  • Hardbound paperback. Because "Perma"nence. Permabooks is retrospectively adorable.
  • So the guy shoots his gun then lays it gently down on the table and walks away. Seems … implausible.
  • I like the aural juxtaposition (!) of "cloud" and "rain" in this dude's name.


PermaP18bc

Best things about this back cover:

  • "BOOKS*TO*KEEP." It kills me that your core concept is that paperbacks should come in a hardbound version for preservation purposes … and then several years later, you still have the same name, but the hardbound versions: gone.
  • This company is dedicated to stretching the meaning of "permanent" as far as possible before it snaps.
  • The problem with the PERMAgloss, as any paperback collector knows, is that "perma" part is a damn lie. Shit peels off like crazy. Here, it's just pulling from the surface slightly, creating weird puddle-like patterns that I'm not sure you can even see on the scans.


Page 123~

But they did not leave wholly unavenged.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Paperback 849: Warrant for X / Philip MacDonald (Pocket Books 328)

Paperback 849: Pocket Books 328 (1st ptg, 1945)

Title: Warrant for X
Author: Philip MacDonald
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $10-15

PB328

Best things about this cover:

  • "Light, damn you! Stupid modern, flame retardant bodies! I want s'mores now!"
  • By far the fanciest lamppost you're likely to see on any of my covers.
  • I genuinely love how the body spills out of frame. And the color scheme. And the "X".


PB328bc

Best things about this back cover:

  • "Kidnapping!" is pretty anti-climactic. "Cannibalism!" was about what I was expecting with that build-up.
  • They used to tell you how much it would cost to ship the book to a soldier overseas. Now it's just "Share it with anyone in a uniform, don't ask us what it costs, how should we know?" I hope people gave books to their diner waitresses.

Page 123~

He said: "I'm a busy man. Great matters hang upon my every word and action." He drank coffee. "I might justly be likened to the spider."

Though not lacking in confidence, Anthony was still working on his metaphor skills.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]