Thursday, April 9, 2009

Paperback 217: The Naked Sword / Anthea Mitchell (Popular Library 601)

Hey everyone - I'm going on vacation until next Sunday (Apr. 19). In order not to stop the flow of cover goodness, I am setting Blogger to autopost five or so paperback entries. Here's the deal, though. I haven't done commentary for any of them - this week, that's your job. For the next week, we will see what kind of observational gold you can deliver in the Comments section. Make me proud. Here's a practice round:

Paperback 217: Popular Library 601 (1st ptg, 1951)

Title: The Naked Sword
Author: Anthea Mitchell
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $9


Page 123~

Then the bearded man rose to his feet and came down from the dais and Josselin saw that he was as great in stature almost as Sir Kevin O'Derg.

~RP

22 comments:

Merc said...

He tried to suppress the sneeze to be polite amid the tumult, but the jammy-clad maiden he'd rescued was already bored and asleep. So he sprayed her good.

Whistler said...

what are those pants... pajamas?

also - "wench of Islam"??

Lyndee said...

Front Cover:

"A Lusty Novel"

What was the cover artist thinking when that dude's face was painted?

I must say, my favorite part is the completely disinterested look on that horse's face.

Horse 1: Hey, that guy is having a stroke on your back while an unconscious topless woman in sweatpants clutches his tunic.

Horse 2: AGAIN?


Back Cover:

Josselin? Really?

"Now, as the girl's body trembled against his, Josselin thought she was offering herself." He thought? Presumably, the next part reads: "Unfortunately, he was wrong. She was just really cold, being half-clad and all."

Why are that chick's eyes always closed? The back cover art sort of gives me the impression that she's blind...he's leading her by the arm and hand while simultaneously eyeballing her rack.

Page 123:

And you know what they say about Sir Kevin O'Derg.

(Sorry about the long-ness of the comment...I'm really bored.) :)

Anonymous said...

Best things about this cover:
-Dude, that's not a naked sword. That's a naked woman. Sorry.
-These expressions are ridiculous. I think our lusty crusader is supposed to look fierce, but he just looks like he is gearing up for a major temper tantrum. And as Merc points out, the woman is clearly asleep.

Best things about this back cover:
-I've never seen the term "half clad" before, but it's a fairly apt description for the woman on the cover.
-"the soldiers of Kanrak"? Did the Crusaders just overthrow Johnny Carson?
-No, really. This blurb comes from a real magazine. Really.

Zach M. said...

This title would make Freud proud. Hell, it makes me proud.

You know, he looks like he just smelt something awful, and she looks like she just dropped three Ambien into two fingers of whiskey and called it a night. Even the horse looks like he's seen this before. The guys in the background seem to be playing sword golf or something. Are we sure this is a Crusade and not the office trip to the Renaissance Fair?

Also, could you cram a few more nationalities/religious views into that 2nd paragraph on the back cover? I think its only missing a Zimbabwean tribe or two to complete its world-wide representation.

Eunice said...

I think her narcolepsy has just kicked in and the dead weight is too much for him and his back is going out. His face screams "I've slipped a disk!" Oh yeah, you can bet they're ending up on the ground.

The background is clearly a battleground, so her topless pajama-bottomed self is a bit odd. Not to mention her feet are very clean, so if he picked her up off the ground... Oh wait, there's me being all "logical."

She's about as "Oriental" as Maureen O'Hara.

Whitney G said...

Best Things about the Front Cover
* Anthea Mitchell, you had me at "A Lusty Novel of the Crusades."
* And honestly, it's about damn time someone wrote about all the hot sex happening during the centuries of brutal, blood-soaked military campaigns in the Middle Ages.
* I love how perfectly pointed the Muslim girl's feet are. She may be partly nude and terrified, but dammit, she's got grace.
* The Knight has the bulbous nose and flushed cheeks typical of a raging alcoholic.

Best Things about the Back Cover
* Josselin's gaze isn't exactly resting on her face there, is it?
* So the Muslim woman is a scared young girl recently kidnapped by Egyptian soldiers AND a "wench of Islam." She's the Madonna and the whore all in one!
* Wow, this novel is both "lustful" and "surging." Will I need a cigarette after reading it?

Elaine said...

Back cover:

"Have you seen my matching harem pants?" she whispered.

C'mon, we all know that if the Wench of Islam is ravished by the orthographically-challenged knight, she's the one who gets stoned to death for it. At the same time, the Crusader is getting a closer look and realizing that this is no "young girl." Oooooooee! A painted houri!

Anonymous said...

At first I wondered why she was topless in the middle of a melee. But then I noticed the knight's cross is pink, meaning he's crusading against breast cancer, so obviously he must be giving her a breast exam. That's why on the back of the cover he's still staring at her chest. He's just making sure everything's alright.

Erik said...

Front: the way her hand is curled, it's possible she's holding a very small dagger - maybe she's playing "pin the tail on Eric Idle" and that's why her eyes are closed. This would also explain his expression (well, that or extreme constipation).

@Eunice,
Mmmm... Maureen O'Hara.

utter-scoundrel said...

"A Lusty Novel of the Crusades"

Because killing infidels in the name of Christ is so sexy.

libwitch said...

I am just trying to get past laughing at Naked Sword (to which I had flashbacks to every high school sex ed class teacher intoning "use a condom!") and the idea of the irony of Lusy Novel of the Crusades.

Because the first thing I think of when I think of the Crusades is willing sex. Yep.

I just..yeah. Some of beyond snark for me. I am glad to see that everyone I else did a fantatisc job though.

Beth said...

Best things about the front cover:
- The reins in the knight's hand could be confused with blood spurting out of the "wench's" back.
- The almost peaceful expressions on the soldier's faces in the background. "Stabbing another Oriental. How zen."
- The longing look in the horse's eye. It just wants to be free to roam the plains.
- The rosy cheeks on the knight. Rosicrucian indeed! Either that, or he has a bad cold. Or perhaps has been drinking. Many options.

Best things about the back cover:
- When I think Crusades, I think lusty.
- I'm not by any means a book collector and I know almost othign about the reviewers, but "Real Magazine"? It sounds too fake.
- "THE Christian Knight and THE wench of Islam" - obviously a well-known story, indeed.
- So he followed this girl into the palace garden and now he is assuming that her trembling is some sort of acquiesence to his manliness? Typical Crusader.

Stoutcat said...

Sorry, but I'm betting there isn't anything in this book that Lawrence Schoonover didn't do better in "The Burnished Blade". Except perhaps the cover art.

Alix said...

This girl is **completely naked** from the waist up. You're telling me the battle didn't come to a screeching halt the minute she showed up? Then this must be that special Fabulously Gay Crusade that mysteriously gets no mention in the history books.

"Don't be afraid!" True, the exclamation point has moved a safe distance away from the rest of the sentence, but don't read anything into that. It's perfectly safe, I tell you!

mr said...

"A Lusty Novel of the Crusades"

I sure hope this isn't set during the Children's Crusade.

justjack said...

When her book couldn't break through in the overly crowded "lusty novel of the crusades" genre, Anthea dropped her nom de plume, went back to "Andrea," and switched to White House News Reportage.

JamiSings said...

See, I just can't manage to make a snarky remark here. I keep thinking the reason she's topless is he saved her from one of the other "Christians" who was about to rape her. Without knowing the story that's how I "read" the cover.

I do have to say she looks about as historically accurate as Ben Hurr's watch.

Elaine said...

If they were about to rape, her, though....didn't they rip off the wrong part of the costume? oops
Well, the flimsy fabric just couldn't stand up to rough handling, no doubt.

Ben Hur wore a watch? Maybe those pocket-sundials were just too inconvenient.

JamiSings said...

I think it was Ben Hur. I just know I read one of the movie goofs is either he or one of the extras is wearing a watch you can clearly see.

Anonymous said...

Front Cover: Those pants she's wearing are the finest in 50's lounge wear.

Back Cover: 'Umm, your hair smells divine oh Sir Knight.'

Wench Of Islam - that would make a great band name.

'...saw that he was as great in stature ALMOST AS Sir Kevin O'Derg.' Almost as!? Drinking and pulp writing do not mix.

Michael5000 said...

Oh, I think drinking and pulp writing mix well enough.

I am SO BUMMED I slept through the reader-comment Pop Sensations....