Saturday, November 22, 2014

Paperback 834: The Lying Days / Nadine Gordimer (Signet D1237)

Paperback 834: Signet D1237 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: The Lying Days
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Cover artist: James Avati

Estimated value: No idea (only one copy listed at abebooks, and it's a laughable $276.58) (Real value probably closer to $20)


Best things about this cover:

  • Everything I don't like about Avati rolled into a neat, boring ball. Still. Inert. Dull.
  • This one is so inert that you are encouraged to see it as a photo, and not a real woman. The flowers laid over the top are a nice touch, but the overall effect of this cover is still snoresville.
  • "More Exciting" is not a convincing direct quote.
  • OK, her shoulder's kind of hot. And that is generally the best thing I can ever say about an Avati cover: "Kinda hot." He's an artist that likes to paint vaguely sexy situations, but emphasis on "vaguely."


Best things about this back cover:

  • Nadine Gordimer would go on to win the Nobel Prize. I believe this is her first novel.
  • Her author photo is fantastic.
  • I read the first few pages of this just now. Deeply concerned about race, as you might expect from someone writing from deep inside Apartheid-riven South Africa.

Page 123~

Joel, from whose book and whose talk I was even beginning to see that the houses we lived in in Atherton and on the Mine did not make use of space and brightness and air, but, like a woman with bad features and a poor complexion who seeks to distract with curls and paint, had their defects smothered in lace curtains and their dark corners filled with strands of straggling plants which existed for these awkward angles between wall and wall, as one evil exists simply for another.


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capewood said...

That page 23 quote. Would you call that a run on sentence? I had to stop in the middle and start again because I thought I missed a period somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with you about Avati. Frankly, I could never understand what all the shouting was about, from pb aficionados and his painter peers. Look up the word "dreary" in my dictionary, there's an Avanti painting next to it.

Graham Powell said...

That "more exciting" blurb makes me think the review was something like "anything would be more exciting than 'Cry, The Beloved Country', so I guess this qualifies."

Michael5000 said...

More exciting than "Cry, the Beloved Country'? That is a heavy claim.

Pat said...

The book should have been titled: "Why does Nadine Hate periods!"