Friday, June 15, 2012

Paperback 538: Nightmare Alley / William Lindsay Gresham (Signet 1326)

Paperback 538: Signet 1326 (4th ptg, 1956)

Title: Nightmare Alley
Author: William Lindsay Gresham
Cover artist: James Avati

Yours for: $21

Best things about this cover:

  • A noir classic. Early editions (Signets, like this one) are pretty rare. New York Review of Books reissued this book a couple years ago.
  • "Nightmare Alley, or The Carny's Ennui"
  • "I'm so ashamed that Eddie Munster has to see me in this get-up."
  • Not just "frank"—"Brutally Frank!" This book is so frank, it hurts my eyeballs.
  • No lie, I love her outfit. Pants could be a little lower-waisted, but the bra is a total win.


Best things about this back cover:

Ooh, the rarely seen "Double Frank" paperback. Nice. Whoa, triple ... though that SF Chronicle quote is really just a callback of the front cover copy.

William Lindsay Gresham is not happy with how this photo session is going.

Page 123~

Under that brilliant stare she began to simper and found it difficult to control her hands.

This explains why she's looking away from him and anchoring her hands on the edge of the, let's say, dunk tank.


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Jerry House said...

Pointy horns atop each cup..oh, you devils!

Odd fact: Gresham's first wife eventually married C. S. Lewis.

Deb said...

Johnny Depp IS John Waters as the Carny in "Nightmare Alley"!

Titus Groan said...

The 1947 movie was quite powerful. I didn't see it at the time (way too young) but have, and watched, the dvd a couple of years ago. It's a keeper.

I see there is a 2010 version. I won't be watching it as I don't want to dilute my memory of the "real" version.