Thursday, September 25, 2014

Paperback 819: The Dain Curse / Dashiell Hammett (Vintage V-624)

Paperback 819: Vintage V-624 (1st thus, 1978)

Title: The Dain Curse
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Cover artist: Alan Reingold

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:

  • Oh, '70s. Never change.
  • Aside from the horrible color scheme, the other things that scream "'70s" are the particular look of the cult leader (very hippy-Jesus-chesthair) and the Manson-murder-looking girl.
  • I actually kind of love this cover. Highly unusual, lots going on. Long live Mustachioed and Fedoraed James Coburn!


Best things about this back cover:

  • Just the dumb-looking statue and some words. With the ornate title font now in isolation, we are left to marvel at its bright blue shadow. The book really wants to convey period authenticity, really, it does, but …
  • The aesthetic appears to be "Deco Goes to Woodstock."
  • Ross Macdonald secretly hated Chandler (for good and bad reasons), and so every quote I read from him now about anyone else's greatness, including his own, always contains a tacit, "So Fuck You, Ray!" This includes the Macdonald blurb often used on Chandler covers.
  • I tend to leave books just as I bought them. Hence the '90s price tag. No sticker puller, I.

Page 123~
"Now how can you say that?" he remonstrated. "Ain't she a dope fiend? And cracked in the bargain…?"
I would read "Ain't She a Dope Fiend?"


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Zeke said...

You really need to add a tag "Dope fiend with machette" to your categorization strategy. Actually, how have you gotten this far without it?

bobby sneakers said...

I'm certain that copy is early 90s, not 70s. The miniseries was at that point, as suggested by the older Coburn.

Rex Parker said...

No. You are not certain. A quick google says mini-series was '78. Not sure why book clearly says "Vintage Books Edition, 1972"—must've just reissued that edition w/ a different cover when the mini-series came out. But early '90s … no.


Rex Parker said...

And "Dope Fiend With Machete" … added.

Anonymous said...

"Assorted Neuroses" is my new band name...