Friday, August 7, 2009

Paperback 274: Man Divided / Dean Douglas (Gold Medal 407)

Paperback 274: Gold Medal 407 (PBO, 1954)

Title: Man Divided
Author: Dean Douglas
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Yours for: SOLD! (Aug '09)

Best things about this cover:

  • In case it's not clear, "half world" = gay gay gay. See also "twilight world."
  • "He had to choose — a half world or a world of woman's love" — if his posture's any indication, that decision has already been made.
  • The guy in the chair displays the classic "Sucker Slouch" (TM). It's common on noir/hardboiled covers. We will see a variation of this pose again on Sunday.
  • You can almost hear the guy deflate: "ohhhh ... fuck." He can't even look at ... her? Wait, how do I know the seated guy is the "Man Divided" in this scenario? Why do I have a feeling that the "woman" in the pale green has a voice like Jack Palance?

Best things about this back cover:
  • See, I told you. "Twilight world." Right on cue.
  • "Then the contest began." I hope it's a baton-twirling contest. I love a good baton-twirling novel.
  • "The problems of our times" = worst euphemism for homosexuality ever. I'll take outright offensive over this hazy blandness. Hell, I'd take "baton twirling" over this.

Page 123~

The next morning there was the mute evidence on the floor, the broken glasses and the pool of water from the melted ice cubes. Cromer had been furious about something. She had not asked. She had waited curiously to see.

Bi-curiously, that is.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Jean said...

"Bring him from the shadows into the sunlight"? Did V. C. Andrews write this blurb?

Erik said...

"A man's greatest tragedy - and fear." Being cut in half with a machete? Cause that's the first thing I think of when I think of a man divided... maybe he was cut in half because it was twilight and the guy with the machete couldn't see clearly.

Oh, and "baton-twirling" might actually be a pretty good euphemism, at that. "Gonna go home and twirl the baton tonight!" ... or maybe not.

Katie said...

"Subtlety and compassion," huh? Actually, compared to what else was out there on "this forbidden theme," yes, probably.

DemetriosX said...

Actually, the woman on the cover has a real Lauren Bacall/Anne Bancroft thing going. The question is she buttoning or unbuttoning her jacket? The look of disgusted disappointment would suggest buttoning.

Eunice said...

There is an actor he looks like, Farley Granger maybe? Maybe he's just depressed in general, that room is pretty bleak.

I was thinking Lauren Bacall/Katherine Hepburn for her. The top button is buttoned. The bottom button is buttoned. Why is she starting (or finishing?) with the middle one? Her face says she wants to punch him.

"a world of woman's love" wouldn't that be a different "twilight world" novel?

Frank said...

"Miss Hepburn, are you trying to seduce me?"

Yeah, the "subtlety and compassion" are just coming off this book in waves.

Alix said...

She looks like she's fixin' to smack the twilight right out of his head.

This book reminds me of Victorian novels, in which no one ever flat-out dies. As a kid, I spent eons trying to figure out whether, in Little Women, Beth had really died or was just going to rest comfortably on the sofa for the rest of the book.

Dan said...

Being gay is Man's greatest tragedy and fear? My greatest fear was always going to school naked, and my greatest tragedy was the time I got my foot stuck in a cannon....

Keri said...

Huh, I thought the Lauren Bacall on the woman, too, but also the guy looks like Elvis to me. My first thought was that this artist was lazy about finding people to pose for him and just opened up a Hollywood magazine and didn't bother to sufficiently alter the appearances.

Tulse said...

I thought the Lauren Bacall on the woman

"You know you don't have to act with me, Steve. You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow."

It seems oddly appropriate. To Have and Have Not...a World of Woman's Love.

Now we just need Walter Brennan to make an appearance -- "Was you ever bit by dead bee?"

Brian Busby said...

'Why do I have a feeling that the "woman" in the pale green has a voice like Jack Palance?'

Well... her skirt doesn't seem to quite hang right. Could it be that that scarf is hiding a rather large Adam's apple?

beggar1015 said...

...a haunting novel of the problems of our times.

Because goodness knows there was no such thing as homosexuality/bisexuality before the 1940s.

And my first thought was also Katherine Hepburn when I saw the cover. As for the guy, he looks more like a young Stewart Granger.

Sandy said...

consider submitting this one to the book bloggers.