Friday, September 14, 2007

Paperback 15: Gold Medal 605

Paperback 15: Gold Medal 605 (PBO, 1956)

Title: Dead - and Kicking
Author: Frank Castle
Cover artist: Mitchell Hooks

Yours for: $12

Best things about this cover:
  • My eyes! If that skirt's stripes were any color other than gray, I think I'd be having seizures right about now.
  • Gray-striped skirt over gray-striped skirt against scribbly ochre background and scribbly gray background. This is one of the most deliberately ugly covers ever (and Mitchell Hooks is a fabulous cover artist, so I have no idea what happened here)
  • "Francy" appears to be having a stroke (her right hand!). Wait, which one's "Francy?" The big woman or the small, dead one? Are those supposed to be the same woman? I'd ask that guy in the middle there with the gun and the guilty expression, but he seems anxious to get somewhere.
  • Hmm, I'm not familiar with that use of the verb "bloomed" ...
  • Red heels. No victim's outfit is complete without them.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Correct use of "whom" in penultimate paragraph
  • "Desperately enough to comb California for her" - wow, that is desperate
  • Apparently in the 50's, plastic surgery had not yet been done on anything but the nose; that, or her body was magically resistant to physical manipulation of any kind: "nothing on earth could alter a single curve of that wonderful body of her..." Really, not even, I don't know, a chainsaw? A year's supply of french fries? Nothing?
  • Did that dude shoot himself? His gun is smoking, but he's lurching backward like he's been hit.
  • Beware the giant floating head of Francy!


Michael5000 said...

Oh MAN! This one is, as it is said, laugh-out-loud funny! Hopefully I haven't blown my sober work persona....

Might I add:

-->Saying that the addle-brained Brad "loved Francy enough to try to save her life" isn't exactly the most dramatic statement of passionate devotion I've ever encountered.

-->"The shape of her nose," strictly speaking, IS a "curve of that wonderful body of hers."

-->I think the back cover dude DID just get shot -- the red smear works as both lips and as suggested blood spatter. Maybe he shot somebody, WHILE getting shot. Maybe the book ends with Brad and Vince capping each other at the end of the long night of violence. (Just guessing, I've never read it. I only read suspense thrillers with boats.)

Rex Parker said...

This book desperately needs a boat.


Anonymous said...

Apparently changing "the shape of her nose" was too big a task for the cover artist. On the back, he just leaves a big, blank smudge where her nose should've been!!