Sunday, December 18, 2011

Paperback 490: The Fifth Man / Manning Coles (Berkley F88)

Paperback 490: Berkley Medallion F880 (1st ptg, 1964)

Title: The Fifth Man
Author: Manning Coles
Cover artist: n/a

Yours for: $6


Best things about this cover:
  • OK, it's kind of dull, but what it lacks in the half-naked lady department it partially makes up for in the cool graphic design department.
  • I like the chess pieces as a visual representation of the title. Very clever. "Check mate." "But that's not even a..." "I SAID [gun cocking sound] 'check mate'."
  • I'm going to suggest that Tommy Hambledon is a lousy name for a hero (or a villain, or a person anyone might care to read about). Unless you play a mean pinball or design overpriced red white & blue mall clothes, if you are a grown man you should not go by "Tommy."


Best things about this back cover:
  • Great design, but that phrase doesn't exactly pop. There's just no menace to the word "portfolio."
  • Looking at Tommy Hambledon's other "adventures," I'm led to wonder why this book doesn't have the word "Today" in it.

Page 123~
"I am very much obliged to you, Superintendent," said Warren.

"Don't mention it. I am delighted to see you alive, Detective Inspector. I—we—began to think you weren't."

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DemetriosX said...

I'm greatly bothered by the non-concentric circles in the O on the front and back covers. It's very distracting. Couldn't the graphics department afford a couple of rulers?

"Agent without portfolio" probably works better for the British. They're obviously playing off of minister without portfolio, which they occasionally have in their cabinet. But I agree with that Tommy Hambledon is a terrible name for a hero. Manning Coles is cheesy but more along the lines of what you might expect.

Pete said...

Damn! Given the last two covers I thought we were in the midst of an arm-pit marathon, ending with Octopussy with eight shaved pits. Quite the disappointment