Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Paperback 657: The Red Badge of Courage / Stephen Crane (Pocket Books 154)

Paperback 657: Pocket Books 154 (5th ptg, 1951)

Title: The Red Badge of Courage
Author: Stephen Crane
Cover artist: John Alan Maxwell

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • This book is weird. It's a 5th printing, 1951 paperback, but retains the look of a book from a decade earlier. Perhaps this is because this book is a "classic" or "literary" or whatever—which was the backbone of Pocket's catalogue in the early years, before they figured out, you know, sex sells.
  • This book is also in near-perfect condition. Square, bright, barely read. Always feels like a minor miracle to pull a 50- to 60-year old paperback off a shelf and see it so pristine.
  • I like how this guy's coming right at you. The tone of the whole painting is very (appropriately) ambiguous. All the storied elements of war (bombs bursting in air and what not) mixed with stumps and sad expressions and a very sickly sky.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Pretty straightforward. Nothing to see here.

Page 123~
The men stared with blank and yokel-like eyes at him. He was obliged to halt and retrace his steps. He stood then with his back to the enemy and delivered gigantic curses into the faces of the men. His body vibrated from the weight and force of his imprecations. And he could string oaths with the facility of a maiden who strings beads.
I'm getting really tired of all this hyper-competent writing. It's throwing me off my game.


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