Thursday, June 23, 2016

Paperback 953: Spill the Jackpot / A.A. Fair (Dell R117)

Paperback 953: Dell R117 (1st thus, 1962)

Title: Spill the Jackpot
Author: A.A. Fair (Erle Stanley Gardner)
Cover artist: Harry Bennett

Estimated value: $10-15
Condition: 9.5/10

Best things about this cover:
  • So. Great. It's like a rogue's gallery of hot and shady '60s people.
  • Redhead's cigarette is freaking me out. Like some sixth finger that got horribly bent backwards.
  • Just genius to use the margins of the cover this way. The encroachment of text, to the point of total visual dominance, is of course one of the most lamentable trends in paperback history. This cover responds to that trend not by shrinking the art (which often happened) but by incorporating the text into the art, making the margins the place of real action. It's superior cover design.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Man, that "VEGAS" font is god-awful—totally out of sync, period-wise, with the cool-modern front cover.
  • Oh wow, that's a rake. I had to look at that visual element very closely to figure that out. This back cover is the Bizarro version of the front cover, i.e. it's Terribly designed.
  • "Jaded pleasure seekers"! I relate to these people. JPS4LIFE!

Page 123~

Somehow, looking at her, you felt she hadn't been to bed and that she wasn't accustomed to going to sleep before daylight.

Coincidentally, Vampire Weekend was playing on the radio when I typed this out.


P.S. I found this immaculate Detective Book Club offer card sleeping safely in the pages of this book.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]


Jerry House said...

The back cover had me confused for a few seconds. WE GAS? Oh, wait. I see.

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DemetriosX said...

I think that's Jimmy Durante at the back right corner (between the old lady and Jerry Dunphy/Kent Brockman). Actually, while the women all look like random women, the men all look like somebody, although most of them weren't anybody in 1962. I see James Dean, either Tom Waites or Fee Waybill, John Kerry, and Bono.

And the title of this book has stuck me with the Eric Burdon & WAR hit "Spill the Wine".