Friday, May 30, 2008

Paperback 103: Jimmy the Kid / Donald E. Westlake (Ballantine 24650)

Paperback 103: Ballantine 24650 (1st ptg, 1976)
Title: Jimmy the Kid
Author: Donald E. Westlake
Cover artist: Robert Grossman (if I'm reading that signature correctly)

Yours for: $17

Best things about this cover:

  • Originality. My collection pretty much stops in the late 60s, but there's another ten years in there where cover art / design still shows some creativity and sparkle. I love this cover, in that I can imagine the characters of all the people just by the way they are drawn. I want to know more about them. I want to know why Mickey lost his eye. I want to know why Ronald Reagan and Shelley Duvall are about to knock over an amusement park concession stand. I want to know what Woody Allen is reading. I want to know.
  • Donald Westlake is a sensational writer with great comic timing, but his books have never been made into good movies, which seems not only a shame, but a surprise. His books are vivid, action-packed, and they read like scripts. The guy wrote the Oscar-nominated script for "The Grifters," so he knows dialogue. I just don't understand why Hollywood has (mostly) either ignored or botched him. Actually, "The Hot Rock" was pretty good, and "Point Blank" was great, but those are both 35+ years ago now.
PAGE 123~
(It was during that statement of the woman's that the head FBI man had extended toward Harrington a slip of paper containing the penciled words, "Tell her to prove it.")
"Um. Prove it."
"I said, prove it."
"Prove what? That I'm gonna call you again?"
(During which, the head FBI man had been with great exaggeration mouthing the sentence, "That they have the kid!")



Anonymous said...

The artist is Robert Grossman, who has done a lot of work for The Nation.

John E said...

Thank you for the nice scan. I collect Mr. Grossman's work. Your comments about the painting's creativity are pretty creative in themselves.