Friday, April 8, 2011

Paperback 401: Louisville Saturday / Margaret Long (Bantam 931)

Paperback 401: Bantam 931 (1st ptg, 1951)

Title: Louisville Saturday
Author: Margaret Long
Cover artist: Robert Skemp

Yours for: not for sale


Best things about this cover:
  • "Louisville Saturday" being regional slang for a three-way. Not to be confused with a "Louisville Sunday," which is a decidedly sex- and alcohol-free evening of potroast and Lawrence Welk at your in-laws.
  • This is the first vintage paperback I ever bought. I walked into a used bookstore in Ann Arbor after having read Robert Polito's "Savage Art" (a bio of Jim Thompson) looking for books that looked like the Amazing paperback originals reproduced in the book. It was somehow a revelation to realize that although I couldn't afford Thompson paperbacks, I could afford thousands and thousands of other books that had what I'd admired in the Thompson books—lurid cover art and sensational cover copy. Addiction set in almost immediately.
  • Best thing about this cover—better than the young Robert Mitchum stopping dead in his tracks and double-taking on the we-might-be-hookers/friends/lesbians/sisters duo—is Mitchum's primly hatted lady companion, whose face is cut in half but who still has that unmistakable look of "well, I never" and "hussies!" written all over her (half) face.
  • ... In An Army Town?!!! Nooooooo! Not that! (seriously, wtf? Replace "Army" with "Zombie," and maybe the drama would seem called for)
  • "Frank!" I opened to a random page and was treated to an extended and oddly detailed description of breast-feeding. . . which is frank. Frankish, anyway.


Best things about this back cover:

  • "Sort of," HA ha. High praise! "In that she uses words and writes about human beings, she is Totally Hemingwayesque!"
  • Look at Sterling North, getting his early male feminist on!
  • If this book was ever "burned" (for any reason other than keeping warm in an emergency), I'll eat my hat.

Page 123~
She was now repelled and hotly attracted by memories of swimming parties [1] and the embarrassing, rough nakedness of gross, coarse bodies suddenly exposed in swimming suits. She wondered that the familiar faces were still the same, with the alarming bodies so bare [2], that these men she knew were so shameless and unaware of their disgusting and appealing ugliness. [3]
  1. "Memories of swimming parties"=not where I thought that sentence was going.
  2. An allusion, of course, to the phrase that was originally *supposed* to rhyme with "rockets' red glare."
  3. Wow ... she is, as they say in Louisville, messed up.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Pete said...

Men have been writing about sex-and-war for a period of time best described as 'over thirty years'? Does Mr. North frequently confuse years with centuries?

borky said...

Gra'ma Half-face: "I guess I should be grateful for those two young trollops catchin' sex crazed Robert Mitchum's attention an' takin his thoughts off slammin' me up against the ball and bangin' me from behind so hard m'false teeth fly out m'mouth - DAMN IT!"

Wendy White-blouse: "'Ginger', honey, keep your hand firmly on y'ha'penny - I think he's spotted y'pullover puppies're false!"

'Ginger' Blue-blouse: "He looks like he's in need of a light - maybe he thinks I'm carryin' one o' those novelty lighters that look like a luger."

Robert Mitchum: "Little do they suspect I'm really a pod person from the Donald Sutherland version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and any moment now I'm go'n'o start goin' SKREEEEEE!!!"

borky said...


Sterling North's so clearly giving Margaret Long the HARD SELL - comparing her to Hemingway, predicting the book'll be so controversial it'll be burnt - he's either married to her, her father, or IS her!

Deb said...

Few people are aware that, at one time in its history, Louisville was populated by vast numbers of women dressed as the cigarette girls from "Carmen."

Anonymous said...

That isn't Robert Mitchum.

Blue said...

I've always been repelled by the uncouth hairiness of awkwardly swim-trunked men. and I'm messed up in an "Indianopolis" way