Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Paperback 997: The Mask on a Wanton's Torso / John Reade (Venus VV104)

Paperback 997: Venus Books VV104 (PBO, 1964)

Title: The Mask on a Wanton's Torso*
Author: John Reade
Cover artist: a photographer in the anteroom of hell

Condition: 9/10
Estimated value: $20-ish

[newest addition to the Doug Peterson Collection]

VenusVV104
Best things about this cover:
  • Looking at this cover is about as close to watching a snuff film as I'll ever come. It's horrifying. I feel like the cameraman murdered her like five seconds after this shot was taken. Or else she was paid in heroin and sent back out into the snow dressed just like that. Most of my sleaze paperbacks are campy fun to look at. This one, no, not.
  • If you burn that couch, hundreds of damned souls are unleashed into the world, to torture and haunt the living.
  • "Here, put this on"—the world's most negligent art director
  • Ah, the world of erotic nonsense phrases—so delicious. Lust game! Sin secret! Wanton's torso!?!?
  • *You see how I put an asterisk by the title (up top)? That's because ... well, how to describe it? This book is unique, in my experience, in having a title on the cover that Does Not Match The Title On The Spine (which reads "The Mask *OF* the Wanton's Torso"(!?)). But it's uniqueness doesn't stop there. Forget two titles—this book .... Has Two Authors: WHO IS PHIL BOTNER?!
VenusVV104int

And the back cover:

VenusVV104bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • Stud Hunter! I think I own one of those.
  • Shame event! Passion fling!  FLESH GAIETY!!! Beat that ... every other back cover sleaze copywriter.
  • That's not how en dashes work.
  • Yikes, even the line spacing on this is disgusting.

Page 123~ (brace yourself)

There was a door there. She could not remember how she had come upstairs. Frantically she opened it. There was only a tiny passageway, leading to another door. Frantically she thought it might be a back way down, down and out of this house.

Torn between laughing at Double Frantically and crying at the attempted poetry of that second "down,."

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

5 comments:

Jean said...

WOW. That's just...wow....

DemetriosX said...

Looking at the title page, my brain first failed to see the T in the author's name. I suppose that's what Venus was going for.

To me, Stud Hunter sounds like one of the names Mike and the bots come up with in that MST3K bit where they're tossing out all those "manly" names.

Greg Bucher said...

The version sold only to adults removes the censorship bar and allows you to pruriently look at her hands.

Rex Parker said...

Mmm, hands

vintagehoarder said...

Am I the only person who saw the title and thought, "You wear a mask on your head, not on your torso, dummy!"