Paperback 456: Fabian Books Z-114 (7th ptg, 1959)
Title: Stairways to Sin
Author: Kip Madigan
Cover artist: Uncredited
Yours for: $14
Best things about this cover:
- "So this is a sporting-house? Gee, neat. So, where's football and baseball and stuff? ... Badminton?"
- "Alright, Billy, I'll pull a quarter from behind your ear one more time, but then I have to get back to fucking strangers for money, OK?"
- Whoever did this cover painting this missed the art class about "perspective." And "proportion." And "good."
- "Windbreak?" Again, I have to wonder if cover copy in this era wasn't written primarily by ESL students armed only with dog-eared thesauruses and an admirable "what-the-hell" spirit.
- 7th printing!!!! Unless this thing had print runs of, like, six, I'm stunned.
Best things about this back cover:
- This is the first time I've ever seen "sporting" to describe prostitution. "I know that when I need a windbreak, I like to go sporting. Works every time."
- "Though his work is out of tune with the literati" ... HA ha. You could have stopped that sentence after "tune."
- "Incest for Rene"!?!?! Wow. Worst Christmas ever.
- Thousands of letters!!!! I would literally (i.e. figuratively) kill to read even a half dozen of those letters.
"I'm not dumb," she said, dauntless, "I'm just ignorant."
"For instance, what does 'dauntless' mean?"
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P.S. it's something called Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I doubt this blog counts as a book blog in the sense that the Appreciation Week's organizers intend, as it's overwhelmingly about covers, not content. Anyway, here's my part—anyone listed under "Fellow Cover Critics" in my sidebar is worth checking out. My favorite book blog that is not mine is "Caustic Cover Critic." Always thoughtful writing about the good, the bad, and the phenomenally ugly in the world of book covers. And thus ends my contribution to building blogger "community" in anything but the most indirect of ways. Cheers.