Title: Kiss Me, Deadly
Author: Mickey Spillane
Cover artist: James Meese
Yours for: $13
Best things about this cover:
- "OK, you can see my left boob, but it's gonna cost you. *Really* cost you..."
- What room are they supposed to be in? The kitchen? An office? Somebody's workshop? I'm kind of mesmerized by the miniature barn-like structure directly over the guy's head. And by the crimson carpet, of course.
- I have a huge crush on Spillane's writing. Lush and emotive and tornadic and fearless. I haven't read this one, though—just seen the (insane, campy) movie. It is one of the great Bad movies of all time.
Best things about this back cover:
- In case you didn't know, in the middle of the last century, Spillane was the best-selling author since Moses. Infuriated critics, who still don't know what to do with him, frankly. Easy to love Hammett and Chandler. Hard to love the (gun-toting, dame-ogling) bull in the china shop.
- If you've never read Spillane, I recommend "One Lonely Night" most of all. It develops the idea that Hammer is "evil for the good." It also features a very memorable spanking scene.
[The ropes] were wet and slippery with my own blood. My fingernails broke tugging at them, but it was the blood that did it. I felt one come free, the next one and my hand was loose. It only took a few minutes longer to get the other one off and my feet off the end of the bed and I was standing up with my heart trying to pound the shock away and the pain back in place.~RP
P.S. blog traffic here is up but comments seem down. I would be happier if things were the other way around, actually. Of course I'd be happiest if traffic *and* comments were up. So feel free to chime in, and spread the word.
P.P.S. I am toying around with focusing my Crime Fiction course (this fall) on the Vietnam War era (roughly '60-'75). Books and movies don't have to have anything specifically to do with the war. Recommendations are welcome. Also, this summer I will be watching my way through Every Crime Movie (VERY broadly defined) in that period (though I may not make it out of 1961, who knows). I'll be letting you know what's on tap every week or so. So far I've watched "Portrait in Black" (1960) (Anthony Quinn, Lana Turner; horrible) and "Never Let Go" (1960) (Peter Sellers; amazing). "Never Let Go" was a revelation, with Peter Sellers as a sadistic garage owner at the center of a stolen car ring. Definitely makes the "Recommended" list. I'm halfway through "Le Trou" (1960), a prison escape movie that (so far) is wonderful. Also halfway through "The Girl in Lovers' Lane" (1960), which I'm watching as an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000," so that should give you some idea how good it is...
In the crime fiction queue for this week: "Beatniks" (1960) and "Seven Thieves" (1960). Looks like "Beatniks" also got the "MST3K" treatment, so ... that should be fun.
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