Sunday, April 20, 2008

Paperback 83: Trouble Follows Me / Kenneth Millar (Lion Books 47)

Paperback 83: Lion Books 47 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: Trouble Follows Me
Author: Kenneth Millar (aka Ross Macdonald)
Cover artist: unknown

Yours for: $14


Best things about this cover:

  • "Gimme a 'D'! Gimme an 'E'! Gimme an 'A'! Oh hell, just give me a kiss, big boy!"
  • "I demand to know how why you aren't wearing an American flag on this lapel, you bastard!"
  • "Honey, you know I love caressing your elbows, but people are starting to stare ..."
  • I admire this man's ability to check out the smoking man behind him despite the fact that the laws of nature forbid it - how is he able to see through his own left shoulder? Maybe he's checking him out in a mirror just off-screen...
  • If you changed the text on the cover, you could easily turn this picture into a cover for a Kinsey-era "My secret gay life" and / or "Do I like boys or girls?" novel (an actual subgenre of which I own a few examples). The smoking man could be stalking our hero, but he could just as easily be checking out his ass.

Best things about this back cover:

  • "Death tracked him." So the smoking man is ... Death. That's deep. Allegorical.
  • "Moslem attitude of prayer" ???
  • Sam Drake - sounds nothing like Sam Spade. How dare you suggest it's a pathetic rip-off.
  • Kenneth Millar became one of the best-selling and best-reviewed crime fiction writers of the 20th century under the name Ross Macdonald. He is, more than anyone, responsible for the general shape, tenor, feel, idiom, etc. of the modern detective novel. This is not, IMOO, a good thing. Watered down, moralistic P.I.-ness ... hero is flawed but ultimately unequivocally Good. Give me Chandler's Philip Marlowe Any Day of the Week.
  • This particular book is sun-faded like crazy, and has clearly been read multiple times (once by me). It's encased in a plastic slip cover (the way I found it). Still, it's tight and complete and a great, great reading copy.
  • It's #47! (Meaningless to you unless you graduated from the same college as I did)

RP

2 comments:

Arundel said...

Wonderful cover. Another great thing: it's on a sleeper car of a train, always a nice noir touch, a vanished 20th century space. I'm sure the sleeper cars had plenty of intrigue!

-Arundel

Quin Browne said...

you continue to be my secret blogcrush.