Monday, January 21, 2013

Paperback 594: Pal Joey / John O'Hara (Penguin 580)

Paperback 594: Penguin 580 (1st ptg, 1946)

Title: Pal Joey
Author: John O'Hara
Cover artist: Uncredited (jonas???)

Yours for: $8

Peng580

Best things about this cover:
  • I love the early Penguin covers because of their interesting, abstract quality. Even when they're representational (as here) there seems to be this attention primarily to form and shape and color. The gorgeous, stylized (and floating?) ashtray and cigarette, the ovate spotlight, the wackadoodle yellow font, the lopped-off parallelogram of the microphone. It's not as beautiful as this later cover by Barye Phillips (a movie tie-in featuring Sinatra), but it's pretty sweet nonetheless.
  • Even the wee, all lower-case type of the author's name is making me happy. 
  • The one thing that bothers me here is the part of his lapel / sleeve that looks like a cow's udder. Thankfully, that's in the shadows, but still...

Peng580bc

Best things about this back cover:
  • Book's got all its original permagloss, but it's a bit dirty. Sorry. 
  • Not much to say about this. O'Hara is a deeply underrated writer. His short stories are particularly captivating. And, of course, Appointment in Samarra rules. Highly recommended.

Page 123~
I give with the vocals and wolf around in a nite club and see the best and it is not good enough if I can call up the highest paid bag in Chi and get it for 1/2. Mostly at that time of the nite I want it for free and with love too at that.
~RP

REX-OMMENDATIONS! (things I've read or watched recently that are pulp/noir-related and good): Gun Machine by Warren Ellis (2013); Detour (d. Ulmer, 1945); Tomorrow Is Another Day (d. Feist, 1951) [had a lot of fun spontaneously live-tweeting this last one with a few other noir aficionados when it showed on TCM the other night—thinking about setting up some future TCM/noir live-tweeting event; stay tuned. Email or tweet me if interested...]

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3 comments:

Sparky said...

Gene Kelly the model?

Lisa in Oz said...

I deeply enjoy the deployment of both "ovate" and parallelogram" here. So underused outside of an art or geometry class. That is all. :)

bertilak knight said...

I believe those "udders" are stylized folds/wrinkles on the inside bend of his jacket's elbow.