Title: Wild Town
Author: Jim Thompson
Cover artist: Robert ***ing Maguire!
Yours for: $65
Best things about this cover:
- It's pretty much the quintessential cover. It's the first book I brought home (almost 20 years ago now) that made me feel like I had committed; I was really doing this; I was a collector. I got into paperback collecting because of Polito's Thompson biography, with its B&W repros of all Thompson's Lion paperback originals from the '50s. The idea that I actually owned a first edition J.T.—however mauled (and it is mauled)—was mind-blowing to me. I spent more than I should have, as I often did when buying books from my earliest dealer (what's up, Kaleidoscope?), but I Did Not (and Do Not) Care.
- Robert Maguire is the greatest paperback cover artist of all time and I will fight anyone who says otherwise, despite my being highly averse to violence of all kinds. That is how much I care about this subject.
- I'm not even sure how you *get* a book to tear like that. It's like some drunk person decided to see if he could tear it in half, after failing to get anywhere with the phone book, and then got distracted immediately after starting. Gash runs from spine to dead center of the cover and appears to affect many of the first pages. The effect on readability, however, as well as overall book tightness, is nil.
- "Are you suffering from migraines brought on by stress, hormones, or the occasional dead guy in your oil field?! We've all been there, right ladies?"
Best things about this back cover:
- Put up or shut up, Job!
- Hey look—competent, genuinely engaging cover copy! Huzzah.
- It's your classic sheriff-meets-beautiful-tramp-of-a-wife story. I'm sure it all ends well.
Her head moved irritably against the pillows. She took a deep breath and held it; then, slowly let it out again in a quiet sigh of surrender.
"All right, Bugs," she said. "All right, darling. You don't trust me, but I'll still—"
"Out with it!"
"I want you to kill him. I want you to kill my husband!"
So, spoiler alert, I guess.
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