Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Paperback 346: Death Takes an Option / Neil MacNeil (pseud. of W.T. Ballard) (Gold Medal 807)

Paperback 346: Gold Medal 807 (PBO, 1958)

Title: Death Takes An Option
Author: Neil MacNeil (W.T. Ballard)
Cover artist: Uncredited (can't read that signature) [probably Gerry Powell]

Yours for: $10


Best things about this cover:

  • Ugh—somewhere in the 800s, perhaps a bit earlier, GM covers tend to get ugly as hell. There's this aesthetic that is all about sloppy. Everything looks sketched and half-finished and generally terrible. Also, the books seem flimsier overall, but that may be an unfounded impression. All I know is that lady's right thigh is a cartoonish "flesh" tone, esp. compared with the flesh on the rest of her body.
  • What the hell is up with that guy? Is he a. rapping b. playing a zombie c. walking on a very narrow beam or d. about to put a quick end to a pig-catching contest?
  • Title appears to be an allusion to 1934 Fredric March movie "Death Takes a Holiday."


Best things about this back cover:

  • Only one thing: "Their descriptions."

Page 123~

She had red hair and good eyes and a beautiful figure. He wondered if the stories were true that some of these girls were dancers who, coming to Vegas with a company, found out that they could make three times as much juggling a tray as they could kicking their legs in one of the floor shows.

"What's your name, honey?"


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DemetriosX said...

Actually, I think the guy on the front cover is directing an orchestra. With a hammer.

Deb said...

Three times as much for being a cocktail waitress than for being a dancer? I suspect that both "waitressing" and "dancing" have changed quite a bit since that back cover blurb was written.

Unless "juggling a tray" is a euphemism for something else, in which case--yeah, OK.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

I believe the cover artist on this one is Gerry Powell.


Rex Parker said...


Thanks so much. I'll put that attribution in brackets. Certainly squares with what I'm seeing in the signature.


Larry said...

I like Red-heads a whole lot, but actual slim hardbody redheads as depicted on these covers and from the text excerpts are pretty rare. Amazing that most of these particular types of Gingers have involvement with sleazy private dicks!

Tulse said...

I hope that Death cashed out before the tech bubble burst, because those options are probably worthless.