Thursday, April 1, 2010

57 Books from the University Book Sale: Book 57

Title: Fightin' Fool (Pocket 2316, 5th ptg, 1956)
Author: Max Brand
Cover artist: Tom Ryan

Yours for: $7

  • "Fightin' Fool!" — well, title, you're at least half right.
  • Before the Tiger Woods fist pump, there was this.
  • You gotta love this guy's enthusiasm. He hasn't even managed to get out of the manacles, and yet he's still super-psyched: "That's right, I got guns ... plural!"

  • Best tag line in a long, long time. Jingo! It's like Jenga and Yahtzee rolled into one, and yet dangerous close to a racial slur at the same time. Edgy! I only wish it read, "Nobody plays Jingo, sucker!"
  • This back cover copy is a random excerpt and tell us nothing about the story. Except that Jingo is kind of shooty.
  • The last simile doesn't really work, in that getting your fingers into a glove can be awkward and would likely involve way more time than your enemy would need to drop you. You also need two hands to do it (unlike drawing and firing a sidearm ... assuming westerns haven't been lying to me all these years). I think the writer was thinking of the idiom of something's "fitting like a glove," and then just ... went off track.

Page 123~

Wheeler Bent was silent. He stared at the girl with half-closed eyes, for suddenly it came over him that Jingo was as like this girl as though he had been born her twin.

First, why are the girl's eyes half-closed? Second, "Wheeler Bent" indicates that Max Brand was awesome with names, and that Jingo was no fluke. Third, everything after "Jingo" in that second sentence is a stylistic disaster. We could start with the redundancy of "born" (how else can you be somebody's twin?) but by the time the sentence gets there, it's already an ungainly mess.

~RP

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3 comments:

Alix said...

Nobody played Jingo for a sucker and lived... 'cept his mama, who named him freakin' JINGO.

L. said...

I'm left to wonder if Jingo has a brother named Jango. Their evil mother (for what else could she be for coming up with such names) walks around singing "I've got sons named Jingo, Jango, Jingo"

Michael5000 said...

If the gentleman on the cover is Jingo, and the girl is "as like him" as all that, I suppose I'd look at her with half-closed eyes, too.