Sunday, February 26, 2012

Paperback 505: One Minute Past Eight / George Harmon Coxe (Dell D346)

Paperback 505: Dell D346 (1st ptg, 1960)

Title: One Minute Past Eight
Author: George Harmon Coxe
Cover artist: Robert Maguire (mysteriously attributed to Freeman Eliot)

Yours for: $7


Best things about this cover:
  • "No. Not yet. I will show you my boobs at one minute past eight ... and not a minute sooner."
  • This title was the result of arduous negotiations between the "8:01" people and the "Fifty-Nine Minutes Before Nine" people.
  • How in the world does this cover painting get misattributed to "Freeman Eliot" (see back cover attribution)? Aside from the fact that that is manifestly a Maguire girl, there's the little matter of the partially visible and absolutely distinctive *signature* in the bottom right corner. Maybe "Freeman Eliot" is like the "Alan Smithee" of paperback cover art credits—when you want to take your name off a dog, you have them attribute your work to a catchall fake name.


Best things about this back cover:
  • In case you forgot the title, the clock is here to remind you.
  • This is one of the least grabby back cover synopses I've seen.
  • What is this "cold conviction?" Surely not the mere (cliché) fact that "He was in a strange land, among strange people, and up to his neck in murder." PS "Strange people?" They're Venezuelans, not Martians.

Page 123~

Dusk had begun to finger the sidewalks now and here and there a light winked on in some store window.

Unless Dusk is identifying the guilty sidewalks in a sidewalk line-up, I'd *really* consider changing that verb.


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L. said...

Erle Stanley Gardner says: "Entertaining, gripping and exciting." Well, I can say those words too! Why am I not on anybody's book cover?

Seriously, I've always wondered about those blurbs on book covers from other authors saying nice things. Have they really read the book? Do they really know the author? Or do they just throw out some generic words like Erle here and get paid a small sum for the use of their name?

Rex Parker said...

I think Gardner just wants us to call the author "gripping Coxe."

Deb said...

Maguire or not, that's Jane Russell on the cover