Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Paperback 291: The Maltese Falcon / Dashiell Hammett (Pocket Books 268)

Paperback 291: Pocket Books 268 (1st ptg, 1944)

Title: The Maltese Falcon
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Cover artist: Leo Manso / Stanley Meltzoff

Yours for: Hell no

The following is so self-evidently awesome that I refuse to sully it with my usual commentary:

Here's the original 1944 cover:

And now here's the cover of the DUST JACKET (you heard me) they issued several years later (this image went on to grace the cover of a later Permabooks edition)

Page 123:

"Morning, Sam. Set down and bite an egg." The hotel-detective stared at Spade's temple. "By God, somebody maced you plenty!"


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Frank said...

I love that Pocket Books kangaroo. It always makes me think of Kanga from Winnie the Pooh.

I hesitate to admit it, lest I give you a coronary, Rex, or risk banishment, but these covers are... underwhelming.

Anonymous said...

The 1944 back cover copy is underwhelming; the dust jacket is better.

Alix said...

The first cover -- what are those, zombie hands? If any of them were within reach of the Falcon, they don't look as though they'd have the strength to grab it.

FINALLY, a new post! That's right, I'm layin' a guilt trip on you, Rex! Trying to, anyway...

JRSM said...

So envious of you owning this!

Elaine said...

Usually, Rex, you are bolder than this! And you like delivering a whack to stuff from 1947....

Rex Parker said...


I knew *you'd* appreciate it. There's a reason this book isn't for sale. It's a kind of holy grail. Both covers famous; the Manso cover a beautiful, simple, symbolic cvr (love the yellow/orange swirl), the Meltzoff a sexed-up version of the very scene in the novel that was cut from the movie. Actually, in the book, there is no curtain separating them when she strips to prove she doesn't have the $$$ on her.

Dustjacketed paperbacks of any kind are rare, and this one's legendary.

Sam Spade: Underwear Inspector = Priceless.


Erik said...

You need to know about this book, if you don't already:
The Doom Pussy (a book about the Vietnam war, as it happens...)

Lisa in Oz said...

OMG. Love. LOVE. I read all of Hammett's books when I was a teen - how can you not adore someone who created both Sam Spade AND Nick & Nora Charles?

Michael5000 said...

"N'Thoorg, having finally found the statuette that had lured him all the way to San Francisco from Omicron Beta IV, reached out his three massive trembling hands to seize it."

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