Saturday, March 30, 2013

Paperback 627: When Strangers Meet / Robert Bloomfield (Pocket Books 1171)

Paperback 627: Pocket Books 1171 (1st ptg, 1957)

Title: When Strangers Meet
Author: Robert Bloomfield
Cover artist: Robert Abbott (is this the same guy as "Robert Abbett"—experts, please advise)

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • The palette on this thing is insane. It's like the painting is badly rusted. I love it.
  • I love how the cover is dynamic and violent but his eyes are still and icy and looking right at you.
  • Not usually a fan of cursive fonts, but this one has a combination of sass and formality that I really like. 
  • Everyone dressed better in 1957.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I love how they tell you the amount down to the penny.
  • One lasting impact that "Rocky IV" had on the world is that I can't take the name "Dolph" seriously.
  • It's a crossword solver's delight through the middle of this cast: ANSEL! NELDA! ODON! Those are all names built for heavy grid action.
  • How can you not love the word "hoofer"?
  • Apparently there was a time when one could be a "mysterious young uranium prospector" and no one would bat an eye.
  • If Odon Kovach "crossed the border illegally, the first question that presents itself is: which border, exactly?

Page 123~

But his gross, florid features revealed nothing of his thoughts. He was still taciturn, still dour and surly.

Robert Bloomfield scored in the 87th percentile on his SAT Verbal. Or so I'd infer from this passage.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Paperback 626: Sleep-In Girl / Dick Kamp (Midwood 34-896)

Paperback 626: Midwood 34-896 (PBO, 1968)

Title: Sleep-In Girl
Author: Dick Kamp
Cover artist: photo cover

Yours for: $19


Best things about this cover:
  • Well, sure. Everyone sleeps in at dick kamp—it's exhausting!
  • Sleep-In Girl cares not for comforters.
  • Whatever she's wearing is doing odd things to her midriff. I can't quite reconcile her top and bottom halves.
  • This cover would be 200% better if that cigarette were lit.


Best things about this back cover:

  • "Dangling."

Page 123~
Suddenly I jumped as her tongue flicked against my lips like a searing coal...
You know how, when you're kissing searing coal, there's this, like, burning sensation? It was like that.

Oh man, I want to quote this whole page. It will make you hate sex / descriptions of things. For instance:

My hand moved to her breast and stroked its silken texture (1) and its rounded curves. The I cupped its lovely fullness in my palm, gently squeezed and kneaded its soft resiliency. Between my fingers I caught her exquisite little nipple, rolling it like a pebble and tugging and pulling at it until I felt it come quickly alive beneath my touch, springing up hard and erect (2). She lifted a shoulder from the bed to thrust her breast against me and her taut nipple stabbed into my palm (3). 

(1) "Mmm, your breasts are like tofu, baby."
(2) But it started out like a "pebble." How much harder can it get?
(3) You can tell if she's adequately aroused by looking at your palms. Are they bleeding? Well then, you're good to go!


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Paperback 625: Meet Me at the Morgue / John Ross Macdonald (Pocket Books 1020)

Paperback 625: Pocket Books 1020 (3rd ptg, 1959)

Title: Meet Me at the Morgue
Author: John Ross Macdonald
Cover artist: Victor Kalen (sic! — it's Victor Kalin)

Yours for: $13


Best things about this cover:
  • Too much hiding.
  • I'll give the font one thing—it's unusual. Not sexy. Not scary. Not pretty. But unusual.
  • One of the redder books I own.
  • I feel like Victor Kalin is cheating here: "I got this sketch ... it's kinda finished ... just throw some red over it."
  • If the red weren't translucent, the gender of the person behind the curtain would be Way more ambiguous. 
  • This is one of the many names Ross Macdonald had before he settled on Ross Macdonald. His real name was Kenneth Millar.
  • This edition came out the year Chandler died (the 54th anniversary of Chandler's death was yesterday—his 125th birthday is later this year).


Best things about this back cover:
  • Hey, more cursive—bit more grown-up this time.
  • Red Carbuncle, the lovable drunken angry clown!

Page 123~

"Damn my eyes!" He struck himself sharply on the scalp with his clenched fist, but in such a way as not to disturb the part.

'Cause that's how he rebooted his eyes when they froze up.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Paperback 624: Men Working / John Faulkner (Bantam 1023)

Paperback 624: Bantam 1023 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Men Working
Author: John Faulkner
Cover artist: Harry Schaare

Yours for: $16


Best things about this cover:

  • After "The Wizard of Oz," Bert Lahr fell on hard times.
  • Apparently the word "Working" has undergone a major redefinition.
  • "You want my hat? 'Cause I ain't gots no use fer it no more. Here. You take it."
  • John Faulkner continues to plow his little corner of the fictional world—Slovenly Sexpots and the Yokels Who Gawk at Them.
  • Guess the ink was wet at some point. I'm never seen title-streaking like that before.
  • Best part about this cover: Yellow. And Red. Even in that shapeless dress, she explodes off the page.
  • "Blunt": "Frank"'s ugly cousin.


Best things about this back cover:

  • Oh yeah. Blunt Frankness! That's the stuff.
  • "We're under attack from critical applause. The last salvo hit Jerry. Jerry? You OK? JERRY!?"
  • In case you missed it the first time: blunt frankness. None of that round-about, elliptical, evasive frankness for John Faulkner. Nosiree.

Page 123~

"Good God," said the Board of Health again. Then, "Do you mind if we look at your toilet room?"


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Paperback 623: Alien Planet / Fletcher Pratt (Ace F-257)

Paperback 623: Ace F-257 (1st ptg, 1964)

Title: Alien Planet
Author: Fletcher Pratt
Cover artist: Ed Emshwiller

Yours for: $11


Best things about this cover:
  • In many ways, a rather generic scifi title / cover (I mean, come on, Alien Planet? That's the best you can do?). But all of this intricate techno-organic Rube Goldberg-esque machinery is gorgeous. There's man, there's monster, and then there's the in-between—which I'm gonna call the "Psychotic Fish Rollercoaster."
  • Also love the design on the dude's spacesuit. It's ornate, clean, and confectionary. I wanna lick him real bad.
  • That monster thingie is super-creepy if you really look at it. Looks like generic "alien" until you notice the humanoid features; that's what makes it really nightmarish. The face. The opposable thumbs. All floating in their own haze of stink. Good stuff.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Humanish hands harder to see here. Also, this thing's a lot less scary out of context. 
  • Apparently this is a "classic novel." I checked the original publication date. 1932.
  • I would've sworn "Murashema" had to be based on "Hiroshima," but the original publication date suggests not. Too early for that name to be very evocative in the west. 

Page 123~

The big man gave a heave that threw me on my side. I clutched him desperately, but at that moment the prisoner won free, snatched up the javelin and calmly and accurately plunged it into the throat of the man who was now trying to down me.

If unintended sexual subtext is your thing (you know, plunging "javelins" into throats and what not), this is your book. "I shifted position to bring the big man under me," etc. etc.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, March 22, 2013

Paperback 622: Willing Women / Connie Sellers (Novel Book 5019)

Paperback 622: Novel Books 5019 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Willing Women
Author: Connie Sellers
Cover artist: Uncredited

From The Doug Peterson Collection (recent acquisition)


Best things about this cover:
  • Here we see Novel Books testing out its novel strategy of just printing the title of the book wherever there's blank space. "What's the name of that book again? I forgot."
  • "CARNAL ORGY"?! Why, that's my favorite kind of orgy! How did you know?
  • "Our wigs come in blond, flaxen, and molded rubber. You like?"
  • Man, the closer they come, the more nightmare-inducing they get.
  • This cover is being photobombed by the closest lady's left boob. Photoboobed.
  • The condition of this book is nearly flawless. Square, bright, unread.
  • "(Wheaton)," HA ha. Big time!


Best things about this back cover:
  • Nothing sleazes up a photo like eye bars.
  • I like how I'm supposed to believe that "Masae" is just another name, like "Margaret" and "Sara."
  • The best, and worst, phrase on this, or any, book, is "piece of female."
  • P.S. Great dane.

Page 123~

Her mouth slid back and forth on the muzzle, tongue loose, lips spread. Her body arched, shuddered as her hips rotated. She crushed the barrel harder between her breasts and moaned.

Um ... I have read this passage several times, and I am not joking when I say it *appears* that she "makes love to" a shotgun. You do *not* want to know what the moment of climax looks like. Do. Not. Want. I, sadly, cannot now unknow it.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Paperback 621: Jazz Me Baby / Karl Kelly (France F29)

Paperback 621: France F29 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Jazz Me Baby
Author: Karl Kelly
Cover artist: [photo cover]

From The Doug Peterson Collection (recent addition)


Best things about this cover:
  • Fold-out! And what a reveal! Darkly-crotched panties and bunched-up hosiery. This photo screams "klass!" Also, "model needs to eat / pay rent."
  • "Here, lie on these sad, cold little metallic pillows. Perfect. It's like you're the giant in the harem. Le Sexy!"
  • I really hate that the title doesn't have the comma where it belongs. Sincerely.
  • Favorite word on this cover: "American" — "Following the huge of success of 'Jazz Me Baby' overseas ..."
  • Maybe if you say "routine" again the description will ironically sound less routine.
  • Karl Kelly needs a better agent. His name's nowhere to be found on the cover. And it's not like they don't have enough real estate.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I am curious YELLOW!
  • "in his off-hours, or even during his working hours OMG WHY DO THESE WORDS EXIST?!"
  • "The inner yearning burning" is a phrase you should use to describe all your amorous urges. Pretty please.
  • "Pneumatic!" Wait, is that where you operate her by a system of pulleys? Or ... wait, no, that's where you can't slam her because of her compressed-air system. Practical!

Page 123~

I strode masterfully (strode? hell, dad, I wobbled!) to the bed room, not even looking around to see if she was following me.

"STRODE? HELL, DAD, I WOBBLED!" is the new "Looks like you've been behind the barn!"


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Paperback 620: My Bare Lady / King Coral (Bee-Line 110)

Paperback 620: Bee-Line 110 (PBO, 1966)

Title: My Bare Lady
Author: King Coral
Cover artist: Uncredited

From The Doug Peterson Collection (recent addition)


Best things about this cover:
  • Eliza Wear-Little! [pats self on back, whispers 'nailed it.']
  • Lose the evil-octopus wig, put the pants *on*, ditch the belly-scratching doofus, and we're in business!
  • Best word on this cover: "desert." 
  • This cover looks like it's covered in a horrible white film. I know. I KNOW. Gross.
  • King Coral! I loved her 1971 album, "Tapas Tree."


Best things about this back cover:
  • One of the greatest taglines of all time.
  • Ordinary women know nothing of Naked. Nothing! Why, it involves lotions, unguents, pulleys, dry ice, oxen ...
  • Teacher of tricks! For my first trick ... Disappearing Dignity!

Page 123~

Light, tender, soft little caresses and moist warm kisses were bestowed and received by our bodys, with no force, and no searching.

Come for the passive voice, stay for the improper pluralization!


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Paperback 619: The Odd Kind / Arthur Adlon (Beacon B492F)

Paperback 619: Beacon Books B492F (PBO, 1962)

Title: The Odd Kind
Author: Arthur Adlon
Cover artist: Milo

From The Doug Peterson Collection (recent addition)


Best things about this cover:

  • This title answers the question: "What kind of face did the angry lesbian ghost have?"
  • "Ancient rituals" is some through-the-looking-glass euphemism. I guess it's tied to some idea of ancient Lesbos. Or child sacrifice. One or the other.
  • This artist liked to get his models so drunk they pass out. Then wait. Then just as they're awakening from their stupor, bam—paint them!
  • This model's stupor must be considerable. I mean, normally, when a murderous, vengeful, crudely painted ghost materializes in your bedroom in a big cloud of smoke, you'd turn around and look.


Best things about this back cover:

  • Whoa. "Bisexual." You don't see that word a lot on paperbacks. Interesting.
  • Re: LA MODENA—The "town in Italy" thing kind of undermines the whole "strange name" thing. "Oooh, your name's so strange." "It's a town in Italy." "Oh ... I see."
  • Oh, sure, LA MODENA is "strange," but *that* dude's name is *totally* normal.
  • I have flipped through this book and that question, "did they want him or each other?" Well, it's each other ... for a while. But then it's him. Pam dies. LA MODENA and Jorge end up together. P.S. Spoiler alert.

Page 123~

Mod laughed nervously. "What will you tell them, baby?"
"How the hell do I know, until they ask me?" Pam answered half seriously. She swung around and regarded Mod critically. "You don't expect me to get up and announce I got married—to a girl—do you?"


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, March 15, 2013

Paperback 618: Easy Women! / Orrie Hitt (Novel Books 5065)

Paperback 618: Novel Books 5065 (PBO, 1961)

Title: Easy Women!
Author: Orrie Hitt
Cover artist: photo cover

From The Doug Peterson Collection (new acquisition)


Best things about this cover:
  • Strangely, the part of all this nutso text that made me laugh hardest is "... ON IT!"
  • So ... they're a bunch of lazy welfare queens, but they have orgies 24/7?! They sound ... industrious, at the very least. 
  • That 10,000,000 number is less impressive when you consider he wrote about 100,000 books.
  • I love the design on this, in the way that I love completely inexplicable things. I've never seen text obscure my view of the action quite so much as it does here. I think people are making out next to the blond woman's left cheek ... but who can say?
  • I love how the one book Orrie Hitt has been dying to write is probably the one people have been least dying to read. "You know what this sleaze paperback needs more of? Ayn Rand." Said no one ever.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Hang on, let me get my reading glasses and a cup of cocoa.
  • I need to get ahold of "Animal Broad" and "Giant Orgy" asap.
  • "Novel Books: Books for men who really like being men with other men in a way that is "virile" but *completely* not gay."
  • I love how it's all "man" this and "man" that re: welfare, but of course the book is all about sluts.
  • "You'll applaud his condemnation of their 24 hour-a-day orgies!"—oh, OK, so it's not a solid 24 hours of orgying, but one hour of orgying a day for 24 days. That's a *much* more reasonable orgy schedule. 

Page 123~

He had learned the meaning of power that night in Emily's room [1], the raw power of anger [2], and when he had reached home he had found love in his wife's arms, a wife who had smelled of scotch but who no longer drank [3].

[1] 50 Shades of Orrie!
[2] Uh oh ... someone go check on Emily.
[3] So either she started drinking again or some Scotch-slathered brute 24-hr-orgied her. You can guess which scenario I prefer.


P.S. the spine reads "A NOVEL BOOK / IS A MAN'S BOOK!"—At this point, I'm surprised they didn't just cover the whole book in cocks.

[Follow Rex Parker at Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Paperback 617: Ski Gigolo / Lew Lessing (Kozy Books K109)

Paperback 617: Kozy Books K109 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Ski Gigolo
Author: Lew Lessing
Cover artist: Uncredited

From The Doug Peterson Collection (new acquisition)


Best things about this cover:
  • Baby, it's cold outside. But also hot. And it's formal, so you'll need heels. Perfect!
  • Capt. Kirk's younger brother Gordie had an elf fetish and took a Lot of drugs.
  • Purple and green. Just ... 'cause.
(And now for the back cover. Brace yourselves ... if you suffer from coulrophobia, you'll want to look away now. Trust Me.)


Best things about this back cover: 
  • I know.
  • I know.
  • When Doug handed me this book this past weekend, a bunch of us spent several gasping minutes trying to figure out just what the hell we were looking at.
  • "Did somebody call a shirtless doctor clown?"
  • "They ran out of clown hats, so I just got one of them oversized drink umbrellas. Looks good, right? Yeah, I see you like it. What you doin', crunches?"
  • Good luck getting that chest hair out of your brain tonight.

All appearances to the contrary, this is not the cover of a second book. It's an ad (???) for another book in the Kozy series. You can decide for yourself if the final cover is any less soul-chilling:

I know. Tough call, right?

Page 123~ (of Ski Gigolo, just to be clear)

[I'm literally laughing as I open the book, before I've even read a word...]

He had just begun to feel the tactile pleasure of touching her.

Later, he would enjoy the ocular pleasure of looking at her.

But wait, there's more:

Kurtz forgot about the noises outside. The touch of Dorothy was too distracting, the pleasure too intense at being able to touch the pelvic region and feel the firmness of her skin respond with an involuntary twitch. 

Somehow this all seems like it goes better with the doctor-clown cover. "It's time for Dr. Laffs to touch your pelvic region until your skin twitches involuntarily. Baby."


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Paperback 616: Cop / Jack Karney (Pocket Books 898)

Paperback 616: Pocket Books 898 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Cop
Author: Jack Karney
Cover artist: Stanley Zuckerberg

Yours for: $10


Best things about this cover:
  • I love this cover so much it hurts. Where to begin? 
  • The framing! They're apart, but together, but apart, but ... and such a contrast in tone. Male/female. Calm/kinetic. White/pink. Dressed/undressed. Professional/domestic. On and on. And on. And their expressions! Revealing but enigmatic. Is he here to arrest her? Sleep with her? Both? And how does she feel about that? Excited? Headachey? Feels like there's a thousand pages of subtext in this one shot.
  • The pink! Such a bold color choice, and the last color you'd expect to have "COP" written over the top of it. 
  • The title! Bold, simple, and apparently, by its slight angle, printed on the surface of the door ...
  • The detail! The careful positioning of his hand, the texture of the metal fixtures on the door, the stockings, the cigarette. A thousand points of awesome.
  • Total lack of blurb / cover copy. Exactly the right choice for this cover. I'll supply my own overheated blurb, thanks.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "Get wise!" I love how this book talks. Stop making me love you so much, "Cop"!
  • OMG, the back cover is talking not to me, but to Joe! And I'm just eavesdropping, I guess.
  • The problem of Joe's "conscience" says a lot about that front cover—shake her down? Take her to bed? Walk away? Does it matter? 

Page 123~
For the next five minutes the cab driver told Joe what he thought of cops in general, citing cases to prove his point that the hackie and the policeman were natural enemies. When he finished, he said, 
"I can smell a cop a mile off. Fact, I just look at a guy and can tell how he makes a buck. You look like a lawyer."
Swing and a miss, hackie!


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, March 1, 2013

Paperback 615: Death Is My Comrade / Stephen Marlowe (Gold Medal 986)

Paperback 615: Gold Medal 986 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Death Is My Comrade
Author: Stephen Marlowe
Cover artist: Uncredited (Barye Phillips?)

Yours for: $10


Best things about this cover:
  • "You must be this tall to ride this comrade."
  • Mad Maxine in "Beyond Oniondome"!
  • Not a fan of Gold Medal's late-50s/early-60s "Don't-Finish-The-Painiting" phase.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Generic Detective Head Shot!
  • "Tune in" — ha ha. It thinks it's TV.
  • Hmmm, I'm no Chet Drum, but 'Rodzianko' and 'Rodin' sound awfully similar.
  • Ooh, ripe *and* luscious *AND* underage! Just like Chet likes 'em.

Page 123~
Gone was the hail-fellow-well-met attitude, gone the booming voice. The big, shaggy man slouched slowly and wearily across the room. I gave him a cigarette. His big hand shook as he cupped the flame I offered. "For some of us dialectic reasoning makes the difference," he said. 
Silly commies, no longer hailing your well-met fellows. Chet Drum scoffs at you!


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]