Friday, February 7, 2014

Paperback 739: Main Line / Livingston Biddle, Jr. (Popular Library 402)

Paperback 739: Popular Library 402 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Main Line
Author: Livingston Biddle, Jr.
Cover artist: Barton

Yours for: $9

Pop402

Best things about this cover:
  • Slouchy guy's expression is priceless. I can almost hear him going "Pfft. Dames. Whaddyagonnado?"
  • I love the action in this painting, but her face doesn't look quite … attached. Almost like she's holding a face-mask up to her real face as she runs.
  • This painting has amazing street-level details. The cracks in the sidewalk, the guys on the stoop, the red awning, the hot dog / Italian ice vendor. It's a cool action street shot unlike almost anything I've seen on my paperback covers.

Pop402bc

Best things about this back cover:
  • The '50s, when things you might say to a cabbie were considered erotic.
  • "Uh, I said 'Take me to a hotel,' not 'Take me to a shabby downtown hotel.'"
  • I like how they are going to have one of those so-called, quote unquote "one-night stands." Oh, the saucy lingo.

Page 123~

"That's true … I can't offer Cassandra security in the terms you outline—but I honestly believe I can make her happy."
"You have found a place to take my daughter?"
"Yes."
"Where is it?"

This is an awfully dark game of 20 questions.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

4 comments:

Pete said...

Where am I going to take her? Well sir, though I'm not comfortable talking about this with her father, I planned on taking her from behind, then finishing by rotating her 180 degrees and sticking my ...

Oh, you mean where are we going to live?

Forget what I just said.

Amanda said...

The girl's face is creepy and disturbing and the guy in green looks like he's been mud wrestling and the blue pants guy looks like he went a giant number 2. The rest of the cover looks great.

DemetriosX said...

Yeah, the red highlights on the green suit are kind of weird. I'm also bothered by the way the dress has slipped off her shoulder. There's something not quite right about it that I can't put my finger on. Just generally, this cover could have been the very pinnacle of awesome if the woman had been better done.

And that is totally Sinatra as Nathan Detroit in the canary yellow suit.

Larry said...

I thought Livingston Biddle Jr. was a made up WASPY sounding Philadelphia Main Line moniker, but according to wiki this was a real life blue blood guy who wrote 4 novels about Philadelphia in between going to boarding school and playing tennis for Princeton.

So that means this is a semi serious piece of fiction which the cover is trying to dress up a sex novel. That describes probably half of the covers in this collection.