Monday, January 2, 2012

The P. Morrison Donations #6: Beware the Curves / Erle Stanley Gardner (Pocket Books 75598)

The P. Morrison Donations #6

Title: Beware the Curves
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner ("writing under his famous pen name A.A. Fair")
Cover artist: Well, hello there ... aren't *you* a tall drink of water ...


Best things about this cover:
  • Sometime in the mid-60s, the quality of pb covers started to go downhill—art gave up its real estate to text, usually the author's NAME or a detective's NAME. Cover paintings get smaller and then eventually disappear, leaving only stock photos behind.
  • This cover is designed to do one thing: make you wonder "is that her nipple showing through the lacy dress, or just a shadow...?"
  • Gardner was exceedingly prolific and, in part because of that prolificness, artistically underrated. He writes a good story, and I prefer these Lam and Cool detective stories (for which he used the pseudonym "A.A. Fair") to anything else he did.

Best things about this back cover:
  • What design! ... is what I'd say if I were looking at a different book. As I say, the '60s bring about the slow uglification of paperbacks until we're left with ... this.

Page 123~
She pursed her lips. "I can usually size up character," she said. "And if I can't, well, if anyone gives me a double cross, Donald, I'm ruthless, absolutely, utterly ruthless."

"Most women are," I told her, "but few of them admit it."
"Dames," he added with a shrug. "Whaddyagonnado? ... Seriously, what do I do? They keep walking away from me every time I try to talk to them. Ruthless bitches, why won't you talk to me!?"


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re Back Cover - What Design? How can you say that? I've spent the last half hour trying to infer the significance of the lone pube there.