Paperback 25: Hillman 6 (1st ptg, 1948)
Title: Riders of Buck River
Author: William MacLeod Raine
Cover artist: Uncredited
Best things about this cover:
It's a pretty generic western cover, except...
I love the bullet whizzing through the brim of his hat. If I had to judge by this picture alone, I would say that this man is a dead man. He appears not to know all the rules of a gunfight.
First rule of a gunfight: wear your matches on your head - check!
Second rule of a gunfight: find cover - this man has absolutely no protection. He appears not even to know that for protection, the fence needs to be between you and your would-be assailant.
Third rule of a gunfight: hold your gun properly - first of all, I have no idea what kind of stance he's in, or what he thinks he's doing with his left arm. Second, my theory is that he's not actually squinting with his right eye in order to aim; I think he lost his right eye the last time he tried to fire a gun while holding it six inches from his face.
Fourth rule of a gunfight: make sure your gun is of the bullet-shooting and not the orange popsicle-shooting variety.
The back cover is not really interesting except for its obsession with hyphenated words. If we were to judge the book just by these words, then we'd have to conclude that it's a book about rip-roaring, fast-moving, hard-bitten, small-time cow-punchers and old-timers.
Check out the final sentence:
"The story of the settlement of the difficulties is thrilling told." [sic!]
Note, if you are writing an allegedly action-packed story, you might want to avoid the "Noun-prepositional phrase-prepositional phrase-linking verb" construction. Not too ... thrilling. Also might want to familiarize yourself with the concept of the adverb.