Sunday, August 1, 2010

Paperback 339: The Case of the Backward Mule / Erle Stanley Gardner (Pocket Books 6083)


Paperback 339: Pocket Books 6083 (5th ptg, 1961)

Title: The Case of the Backward Mule
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $6


Best things about this cover:
  • A conceptual mess. What century is it? Why is the space princess massaging her scalp, and what does it have to do with bizarrely mustachioed Chinese man on the donkey? No wonder I've never heard of "Terry Clane" and "Inspector Malloy"—how do you expect to get an enduring series off the ground with this muddled a marketing campaign?
  • "Behold, as Eva Gabor summons miniature Chinese ghosts from the distant past using the power of her Magic Updo!"
  • God, the more I look at this cover, the uglier and sillier it gets. Different colors on all the different (stupid) fonts? I'd cut Everything But The Girl and start over.

Best things about this back cover:
  • "Don't touch anything! You're leaving blue fingerprints everywhere!"

Page 123~

"In our business, we don't do too much speculative thinking, Mr. Clane. We investigate. And when we investigate we make it a point to cover all of the possibilities."

"I see."

"Even," Malloy went on, "including that poker-faced Chinese servant of yours, Yat T'oy."

"I see."

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

7 comments:

Jean said...

Is it just me, or does the girl have no neck?

Thomas Parker said...

She sure does look like a Gabor of some sort, Rex. You chould choose worse models...

JamiSings said...

Even though he's on a mule, not a horse, I can't help but think that any second someone is going to say, "Look again, Yat T'oy is now diamonds!"

Amanda said...

Hilarious!

Rick said...

In Chinese mythology one of the "Eight Immortals" is Zhang Guo, a hermit with powers of magic.
He is accompanied by his mule.

Khang Guo often rode his mule backwards and is sometimes depicted that way in art.

I don't know what this may have to do with the book. Maybe the story involves the theft of a Chinese porcelain of the Immortal. Anyway, I did think it was interesting what seems to have inspired that part of the cover.

Deb said...

Joan Rivers before plastic surgery!

Toemailer said...

What a great blog! Didn't even know I needed this, lol. Will be baaaack!