But first, I gotta clear the decks from last year. So today, I give you the dregs of last year's book hunt. The stuff that was bad enough for me to want it, but not bad enough to make the first four rounds of Book Sale write-ups that I did last year. How's that for a teaser!?
First off, "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh," a novelization of that ... famous? ... movie of the late '70s, written by the undoubtedly proud Richard Woodley:
That cartooning reeks of late 70s Mad Magazine. I wish I had an artist credit. The book/movie appears to be about a skinny man with gout hands who has taught his basketball to fetch fish. You may also be interested to know that
- the official title of this book, according to the publication info page, is "The Fish that Saved Pittsburg" (no "h")
- this movie featured Dr. J, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, someone calling himself "James Bond III," Jonathan Winters (!), the great character actor M. Emmett Walsh, and, perhaps most inexplicably, Stockard Channing.
- this movie is "wacky" (but you knew that)
Edison Marshall was a workhorse. This is the third book by him that I've featured on this blog, and there are probably more to come. I love the idea that writers who were very popular at one time are now nearly completely unheard of. Big fan of evaporating pop culture. This cover - is that Michael from "L.A. Law"? He has this supercilious look on his face that just seems to be inviting rancor / violence. Seriously, don't you want to hit that guy? His presence has clearly sent a chill up the Mongol girl's spine - look how she clutches herself and huddles in terror.
Yes, that "Dayan." This is the eye-patched general's "21-year-old-daughter" (sic on that last dash!). This book is full of "candor" that shocked "Israel's older generation." That means that Yael liked to !@##, or, according to the back cover copy, "take love where she finds it."
Next there's ...
I'm laughing just looking at this book. It may be the most surreal-looking book that I own. I like to imagine that it's about the Academy Awards. Or two fish, both of whom are named "Oscar."
More animal-related hilarity...
- "Paul Bunyan Swings His Axe" (original title: "Paul Bunyan Comes Out," "Paul Bunyan's First Pride Parade!," or "Paul Bunyan is FABULOUS!")
- "Swings His Axe," indeed.
- "Merlin Olsen is ... Paul Bunyan!"
And now, a few anomalies:
- "Hmm, let's see, I'll just clear this brush here and OH MY GOD!"
- "I told you, Betsy, ours is a love that cannot be."
About the cover: I think the subtitle ("Overkill") says it all. "We've created a bomb that disperses tanks!"
And lastly, a legitimately great book cover - first edition of Calder Willingham's "End As A Man"
This book is worth a couple hundred dollars in this condition. I believe I paid one. Dollar. The cover design on this thing, while simple, is bold and memorable. I wish contemporary books had this kind of design sense. This book jacket was designed by Stefan Salter, and he and his brother George were both fantastic mid-century book designers. This novel, Willingham's first, was exceedingly controversial in its day, as it dealt with "corruption and sadism in a southern military college" (read: "homosexual subtext"). Willingham went on to success as a screenwriter, with credits on "Paths of Glory," "Little Big Man," and "The Graduate."
More from my regular collection on Wednesday.