Sunday, January 16, 2011

Paperback 382: The Conspirators / Frank Kane (Dell First Edition C127)

Paperback 382: Dell First Edition C127 (PBO, 1962)

Title: The Conspirators
Author: Frank Kane
Cover artist: Mort Engle

Yours for: $6

DellFEC127.Consps

Best things about this cover:
  • "O Steve, you're the captain of my heart! I hope we can stay like this forever and not be killed in some freakish accident like a spontaneous tidal wave..."
  • I kind of love how Engle can evoke an entire yacht from just two panes of glass and one of those phallic knobby things on the steering wheel.

DellFEC127bc.Consps

Best things about this back cover:

  • Ugh.
  • Is the text supposed to mirror the tidal wave on the cover? Because if so, fail.
  • Gray-on-blue = not advised as a cover copy option unless you hate your readers, good taste, and common decency.

Page 123~
Carter kept his eye on the blade, started circling crab-fashion.

Fully half the sentences on this page are written in this conjunction- and pronoun-hating fashion. "He glared at Carter, pulled a long-bladed fishing knife from the scabbard at his belt." "Joe started to protest, subsided at a snarled order from Carter." Etc. Maybe Kane thinks it creates momentum. I think it creates annoyance. In me. Being a hard-boiled writer means not just paring down your prose, but knowing where the paring is supposed to happen.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

6 comments:

Deb said...

At first glance, I read the title as THE CONSTIPATORS--were they consuming iron supplements and lots of cheese?

Sammy said...

Clearly, Mr Kane well knew about paring, as all the fights seemed to have been knife fights.

Karla said...

Ugh, the writing reminds me of Michael and Jeff Shaara, whose styles drive me up the wall.

borky said...

Deb: "At first glance, I read the title as THE CONSTIPATORS--were they consuming iron supplements and lots of cheese?"

...'CONSTIPATORS'? Consuming 'iron'...lots of 'cheese'?

Oh, god, Deb, man! Have you been infected by the same 'secret' gay media code meme I have?

Sammy: "Clearly, Mr Kane well knew about paring, as all the fights seemed to have been knife fights."

...'pa(i)ring'? ...'fights'? ...substituting 'knife' for 'gun' as in such euphemistic cowboy scenes as when John Ireland and Montgomery Clift 'handle' each others 'weapons'?

...not you, too, Sammy!

Karla: "Ugh, the writing reminds me of Michael and Jeff Shaara, whose styles drive me up the wall."

In your little piccy, Karla, is that either Michael or Jeff driving you up the wall?

Phew! A hetero-based pun at last!

Howard B said...

Belatedly read the post, enjoying the descriptions.

Upon looking at the style of the writing, hurting brain headache-fashion.

Will Errickson said...

I find that wave on the cover distressing and anxiety-inducing. Excellent work there.