Friday, September 7, 2012

Paperback 557: The Eight of Swords / John Dickson Carr (Berkley G-48)

Paperback 557: Berkley G-48 (1st ptg, 1957)

Title: The Eight of Swords
Author: John Dickson Carr
Cover artist: Robert Maguire

Yours for: $9

Best things about this cover:
  • First things first: that dress is Hot. 
  • Apparently he did *not* mean "Eight of Spades" and did *not* appreciate being interrupted. 
  • The perspective here is weird, creepy, and visually arresting. I like this cover despite its being one of the more aggressive examples of the weapon-to-crotch motif. 
  • Maybe he's just tickling her. Or maybe she's not real and we're witnessing some strange sword-painting technique. 
  • Maguire is my favorite cover artist of all time. I love how he didn't even bother finishing this painting. "Uh, Mr. Maguire, sir, were you going to finish this painting, or ..." "YOU DON'T TELL BOB MAGUIRE WHEN HIS PAINTINGS ARE FINISHED. BOB MAGUIRE TELLS YOU!"


Best things about this back cover:
  • The N.Y. Herald Tribune makes Mr. Carr sound like a mystery rapist.
  • I like Dr. Gideon Fell because his name is a complete sentence.
  • Strangely, the thing I like best about this cover is the font on the publisher's address.

Page 123~

Spinelli's lip lifted in a sardonic quirk. He sniggered. "Hey, are you a dick?" he asked.

If you like sardonic sniggering, this is your book.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]


Anonymous said...

Yes. Yes I am a dick. A plumber by trade, a dick by predilection.

Titus Groan said...

I think that Agatha Christie quote may have been deliberately ambiguous!

DemetriosX said...

I'm seriously bothered by her shadow. The head is OK, but the shadow behind her right shoulder looks like it belongs to a hunchback. No matter where the light for that is coming from, it has to be coming from a different source than the light casting the shadow of her head.

Anonymous said...

Dr, Gideon Fell, but did he get up? Enquiring minds want to know.

Titus Groan said...

I do not love thee, Dr Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not love thee, Dr Fell.