Sunday, October 14, 2007

Paperback 29: Dell D209

Paperback 29: Dell D209 (1st ptg, 1957)

Title: Paths of Glory
Author: Humphrey Cobb
Cover artist: Walter Brooks

Best things about this cover:

  • Ugly, pseudo-abstract expressionist cover - though if you look closely, you can see that there are actually little people in the painting: soldiers scampering up a hill. All the gorgeous cover paintings that go uncredited ... and yet this cover somehow merits an artist credit. Life is unfair.
  • Lack of sensationalist cover art, plus 35-cent cover charge, plus blurbs from nearly reputable newspapers, let us know that this is "serious" literature.
  • This is our first movie tie-in - a very collectible subset of vintage paperbacks. Though it's nowhere mentioned on the book, Paths of Glory is directed by Stanley Kubrick (one of his first major films - 1957). The novel is not lying when it tells you that the film is "great."

Best things about this back cover:

  • The stony mug of Kirk Douglas!
  • I wish I knew what "it" was in that blurb by "The Nation" - I'd hammer my students for leaving the referent so ill-defined.



wendy said...

Yes, Paths of Glory is one fantastic war movie. I don't think I realized it was adapted from a novel.

Michael5000 said...

it = "the kind of thing that Mr. Cobb writes about." 'Tis a clumsy phrasing, indeed.

I actually kind of like this cover... although it does remind me of the cartons of chocolate, vanilla, & strawberry ice cream you can buy, all in the same box....