Monday, May 21, 2018

Paperback 1021: Horns for the Devil / Louis Malley (Pocket Books 894)

Paperback 1021: Pocket Books 894 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Horns for the Devil
Author: Louis Malley
Cover artist: George Erickson

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $10-15

PB894
Best things about this cover:
  • "I Want You ... For U.S. Mafia"
  • Not many covers break the fourth wall quite this breakingly. "Who are you? You got my sandwiches?! Well then whaddya want? Shut the fuckin' door! You lookin' at my girl!? Jerry, Lou, show this guy what for!"
  • This is a fantastic cavalcade of mugs. Hall-of-Fame B-movie extras. Just hanging around, waiting for someone to call them up for another stint in Generic Mid-Century American Crime Story. "Our regular Girl At Bar No. 3 turned her ankle. You're in, kid!"
  • It's not exactly like the work of director Louis Malle, but it is ... Malle-y.
PB894bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • "Look here! Now I'm big and two-toned and my background is Rage Red! Where's my *&%^ing coffee?!"
  • Severio Lebbrosa! That means "seriously like a leopard."
  • No, no, no, it's "first you get the money, then you get the power, *THEN* you get the women." Come on, man. Did you not watch "Scarface?"

Page 123~

When they got out of the car Ralph squeezed her hand, but she wanted more than that. It had come so suddenly.
This was the very least boring sentence, which is wedged in between a conversation with an old lady and a scintillating drive to Westchester. I probably shoulda just let you think it was prelude to a steamy sex scene. Sorry.

~RP

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Paperback 1020: The Lineup / Frank Kane (Dell First Edition B125)

Paperback 1020: Dell First Edition B125 (PBO, 1959)

Title: The Lineup
Author: Frank Kane
Cover artist: Victor Kalin

Condition: 6.5/10
Estimated value: $10-12

DellB125
Best things about this cover:
  • So gorgeous. Victor Kalin with that insane take on the police interrogation lamp, but instead of the perp being all sweaty and nervous, this lady's like "What the fuck do you bozos want?" It's not a harsh light of intimidation, but a warm, caramel light revealing the real power in the room. "Keys? ... What keys?"
  • That dress! That posture! Sorry, bullet point 2 is just gonna be an extension of bullet point 1. She is all style and attitude. Those dough-faced dudes are inconsequential and marginal and now they know it. I love her.
  • Whenever anyone tells you that smoking can be sexy, this is what they're talking about. It allows people to reveal themselves gesturally. Her hands are mesmerizing. Also: lips, nails, dress—all on point. The Drab Twins don't know what to do.
DellB125bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • Mid-century S.F. = So Hot. This is the S.F. of "Vertigo." Do the cable cars still run? They were iconic in my youth (I was born in S.F.).
  • Wait, what? MY name is Ben Guthrie!!!!? Second person!? Hoo, boy, sign me up. And thanks for not making me "Matt Greb," as Greb is a name you'd make up in a panicked haste if you were really bad at making up names
  • Today, November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day...
  • "... you put your cop phone to your cop ear, sit on your cop ass, and say with your cop mouth, 'What?'"
  • What, a novelization of a TV show!? O please O please (checks youtube...) Oh, cool. Looks like its name got changed to "San Francisco Beat," but here ya go!!!

Page 123~
"I"d say you were all trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey, Doc," Greb added. "Must feel a little foolish taking the fall alone."
"Metaphor? check! Cop patter? check! Man, I am killing it at my job today!"—Greb, in his head, probably.

~RP

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Paperback 1019: The Primitive / Chester Himes (Signet 1264)

Paperback 1019: Signet 1264 (PBO, 1956)

Title: The Primitive
Author: Chester Himes
Cover artist: [Tony Kokinos] (signature top left)

Condition: 6.5/10
Estimated value: $30

Sig1264
Best things about this cover:
  • White lady trying hard not to think about centuries of brutal racism and her own complicity therein ... I assume.
  • There's drunk, there's very drunk, and then there's "I only made it half way through taking my shoes off" drunk
  • The red of the red shoes is very red against the non-color of everything else. Echoes the title font color. I like.
  • This novel was heavily cut for the US audience, which, like, couldn't deal, I guess. It was published right before Himes made the turn into hardboiled crime fiction with his Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones series (so great)
Sig1264bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • The End of a Primitive was the original title of the book (the title used when the book was finally published in unexpurgated versions, 40+ years later)
  • So the white woman is just white but the "Negro man" is "embittered"? Normally I don't beg for more adjectives, but come on.
  • Van Vechten tryna get cute with that "white heat" shit, I bet. He's a white dude who wrote a book called Ni**er Heaven. A key figure in white people's "discovering" Harlem. I highly recommend Mat Johnson's current comic, Incognegro: Renaissance, which is set in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance and features a Van Vechten-like figure in the first issue. Good stuff.
Page 123~
"Oh, sure," he said, thinking, "I like de big gut, do you like de big gut?"
~RP

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Paperback 1018: Top Hand / Dwight Bennett (Perma Books M-3023)

Paperback 1018: Perma Books M-3023 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: Top Hand
Author: Dwight Bennett
Cover artist: Robert Schulz

Condition: 7.5/10
Estimated value: $20-25

PermaM3023
Best things about this cover:
  • I love this cover. It's one of my favorite covers, and definitely one of the best western covers I own. The genre tends to be pretty, let's say, predictable in its images, and not exactly daring or unusual in its cover iconography or style. But here, the frame within the frame, the way the room simultaneously brightens to shocking orange and fades into sketchy monochrome, the non-triumphant, weary, wounded cowboy posture—it's all simple, elegant, gorgeous. Even the way his hand in the door jamb (i.e. his TOP HAND, GET IT!?) echoes the fallen hat in the opposite corner feels deliberate and precisely composed.
  • OMG is this going to be some finely observed epic Joycean tale told covering every detail of a single day in this cowpoke's life, told entirely from the perspective of his left hand, because I hope so.
  • OK, now I want the left hand to be an actual character, one with whom the cowboy regularly talks to and from whom he seeks advice. Señor Wences-like.
PermaM3023bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • Oh, cool, the Inter-Saloon Mud Wrestling and Pig Wrangling Championships, I've heard of this
  • "What do you mean quits?" "Well, I didn't actually say 'quits,' so ..." 
  • I feel like this back cover has taken all the wonderful mystery out of the front cover.
Page 123~
Joe pulled himself loose from his dark reflections.
This is frontier-speak for "logged off of twitter."

~RP

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Paperback 1017: The Best Go First / Frank O'Malley (Bantam 959)

Paperback 1017: Bantam 959 (1st, 1952)

Title: The Best Go First
Author: Frank O'Malley
Cover artist: "Phillips" (signed, but no idea who this "Phillips" is)

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $10-15

Bant959
Best things about this cover:

  • She's really taking the gun to that "O" like "hint, hint! I am on the Make," but ... he seems preoccupied with driving other rods into other chambers.
  • "Look, I see your little innuendo there, Martha, but this Extortion-Murder is not gonna Extortion-Murder itself, so settle down!"
  • The best go first. Steve, with his dirty gun and lack of torso covering, went third, most days, at best.

Bant959bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • It's like they meant to send in the final tagline but accidentally just sent in their brainstorming notes and the printer didn't understand and just went with All Of The Descriptive Words
  • Crisp! Realistic! Sounds .... Frank! (the author's name is Frank; this is an author's name joke; please clap)
  • Man, the adjectives are really running amok. I like how they added "hammering" after "driving" in case maybe we thought it was a novel about cars. Or maybe it is about driving ... to the hardware store!
  • How many times do I have to meet this m***erf***er?

Page 123~
She was a woman who talked when you wanted coversation and sat quietly when you wanted to think. That kind is rare.
No, that kind is inflatable.

~RP

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Paperback 1016: Sex Diary / Nat Brand (Hi-Hat 103)

Paperback 1016: Hi-Hat HH 103 (PBO, 1963)

Title: Sex Diary
Author: Nat Brand
Cover artist: [Uncredited]

Condition: 9/10 (tiny notch up top, else Perfect)
Estimated value: $20-25

[Newest addition to the Doug Peterson Collection]

HH103
Best things about this cover:

  • Oh, sorry, I see you're studying. I'll come back later.
  • "Knock knock" "Who's there?" "ORAL" "ORAL who?" "ORAL the salacious sight gags used up or do you have one more you'd like to try out?"
  • Of all the disturbing things here, the most disturbing is that either that dude wants to put beer in a martini glass or else that gin needs a bottle opener (?!). Or else that's champagne, in which case everything is wrong, burn it all down...
  • Oh, and her mouth. That is also disturbing. The mouth-to-Everything-Else ratio is way, way off.

HH103bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • As if this back cover type were not hilarious enough, this one omits the closing phrase! It's supposed to go "RIDICULOUS OPENING PHRASE... / Cover copy that sounds like it was written by a prurient 11-yr-old then translated into Ukrainian then Portuguese then Urdu then back to English again... / RIDICULOUS CLOSING PHRASE." I have countless examples of this very type of back cover. And yet, here, I am forced to use my imagination to finish off the final sentence. The depraved inkstains of her WHAT!?!?! LUST PEN? SIN QUILL? I'm gonna lose sleep over this.
  • "The entries of the facts of her lust sessions" ... [steps back, admires wordsmithery, kisses fingertips] ... MWAH!
  • "Penetrating pen" ... "every shocking inch" ... The subtlety! It's maddening!

Page 123~

His hands slid haltingly on her belly.

I think we're done here.

~RP

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Paperback 1015: Three-And-A-Half Women / Fred May (Private Edition 372)

Paperback 1015: Private Edition PE 372 (PBO, 1966)

Title: Three-And-A-Half Women
Author: Fred May
Cover artist: [Uncredited]

Condition: 9/10 (I mean, square, unread, bright, wow)
Estimated value: Priceless ... also, I don't see this book anywhere on the internets, so ???

Newest addition to the Doug Peterson Collection

PE372
Best things about this cover:

  • The paperback cover gods giveth and the paperback cover gods taketh away and sometimes the paperback cover gods give you so much that it is simply overwhelming and it feels like punishment
  • I want to start with the hair. Her hair ... OK, moving on
  • This is One, One-And-A-Half Women, tops
  • One-And-Three-Quarters Buttcheeks
  • I feel like there is a black hole located somewhere under the bed that is exerting its gravitational pull in remarkably distorting ways. It's literally pulling him off the bed. Or else he's taking a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, not sure.
  • Someone was absent during Perspective day in art class. How big is that bed? How short is her left calf? What is that rope-holding peg even attached to??
  • His Fear Hand™!! (O god I *hope* that's just Fear Hand™ and not him trying to suppress something pushing up from under his camisole...)


PE372bc
Best things about this back cover: 

  • Nothing says "erotic reading" like "squatted" and (le mot juste) "haunches."
  • "Puzzled" made me literally LOL
  • Wait, how does he get his kicks??? All he did was leer at and/or ogle her, and she somehow knows about his kicks? Is flicking your eyes and wetting your lips code for something now? Is he just really into squatting haunches?

Page 123~
Betty now knew, of course, that Paul was the young man with whom Jill had spent the time in bed. She assumed that he had enjoyed the experience very much and was there to stake his claim. She also knew that Jill was basictlly [sic] a man's girl. Betty had conflicting emotions.
Ah yes, who can forget the young man with whom one had spent the time in bed? The time in bed is indeed worthy of fond recollection by those by whom it was experienced. Sex is something we humans are determinedly enjoying and no I am not a "bot" what is a "bot"?

~RP

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Paperback 1014: The Man-Hunter / Dick Donovan (Westbrook / American Detective Series No. 34)

Paperback 1014: American Detective Series No. 34 (Arthur Westbrook Co., date unknown)

Title: The Man-Hunter
Author: Dick Donovan
Cover artist: Unknown

Condition: 7/10 (considering how old it is: amazing)
Estimated value: ???????????
AmDet34
Best things about this cover:
  • Before I get to the cover ... what is this book? I am having so much trouble getting good information about it. Seriously, this is the best I've been able to do so far: an entry at the Dime Novel Bibliography that tells me virtually nothing. I don't know what year it's from. I don't know who did the cover. The internet is being remarkably unhelpful so far. Any info you can supply would be much appreciated, thanks.
  • Ok, the cover: so bright. There's some fading and foxing to the pages and back cover, the book is perfectly square and tight and the colors on this cover really pop. I think it's awfully beautiful, actually.
  • I like that "The Man-Hunter" is lost and has to ask the nice lady for directions.
  • Good horsey.
AmDet34bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • As you can see, lots of Sherlock. Mostly, when I look for this publisher, it's Doyle info I find—perhaps unsurprisingly, as he's a highly collectible author, whereas the rest of these folks ... ?
  • Oh, days of yore, your book titles were so much better. I am now desperate to read COP COLT, QUAKER DETECTIVE ... though I'll probably take a pass on CHIN CHIN, CHINESE DETECTIVE. . . 
  • "Postage stamps taken same as money"—well that's a new one on me.
Page 123~
"You have obtained the absolute proofs of her death?"
"No, madame. I have glorious news for you."
The woman's face fell.
"Glorious news for me?" she repeated.
"Yes."
"Well?"
"Kate Freelingburg lives."
"Ah!" came the quick ejaculation.
Now I really want a "Kate Freelingburg Lives!" t-shirt and/or bumper sticker.

~RP

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Paperback 1013: Serenade / James M. Cain (Penguin 621)

Paperback 1013: Penguin 621 (1st ptg, 1947)

Title: Serenade
Author: James M. Cain
Cover artist: jonas

Condition: 8/10 (laminate buckling in places, but perfectly square and tight)
Estimated value: $10-12

Sig621
Best things about this cover:
  • Ferdinand! What happened to you!?
  • Love jonas's covers. What they lack in luridness they make up in flat-color mid-century graphic beauty. Somewhere between figurative and abstract painting. Like if Mondrian did cheap paperback cover art. That bull's face is borderline cubist.
  • I love her impossible dress, the straps for which appear to start in her armpits
  • I also love the weirdly mathematically balanced JAMES and M. CAIN. So weird to isolate middle initial and last name like that, and yet ... five letters on one side, five letters on the other. Makes sense.
  • I also love how the expressive jagged lines behind the señorita make her look like she's in a mood.
Sig621bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • James M. Cain looks like a professor whose enthusiasm for medieval love poetry will never be shared by any of his students.
  • "F.P. Adams" is exactly the kind of name you would have to have in order to coneive the phrase "vernacularly dictaphonic."
  • Like Mildred Pierce and Double Indemnity, this book too was made into a movie. Unlike those movies, it is not famous (though it was directed by Anthony Mann and stars Mario Lanza, Joan Fontaine, and (!) Vincent Price). In the book, the singing protagonist has sex with a (male) impresario, and falls in love with a (female) prostitue. The movie ... did not preserve those plot elements. 
Page 139~ (I haven't even looked at p. 123 because, well, I saw this first and ...)
All of a sudden she broke from me, shoved the dress down from her shoulder, slipped the brassiere and shoved a nipple in my mouth. "Eat. Eat much. Make big toro."
"I know now my whole life comes from there."
"Yes, eat." 
I mean ... does he point when he says "there" or ... ? ... yeah, wow.

~RP

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Paperback 1012: Only For Money / Mark King (Unique Books 146)

Paperback 1012: Unique Books 146 (PBO, 1967)

Title: Only For Money
Author: Mark King
Cover artist: [looks like Eric Stanton, but I dunno...]

Condition: 6/10 (tight but warped)
Estimated value: ~$25-30

UB146
Best things about this cover:

  • Septuagenarian Barbarella brings grave tidings to Boris and Natasha's bondage party
  • There are so many things to say about this cover, and yet my eyes are having a hard time seeing anything but that hat / cape combo.
  • HatCape: for when your shoulders, mouth (!), and head are cold, but your boobs need air!
  • HatCape: for when you want to look sexy, but talking would only ruin it!
  • It's like three extras in three different low-budget genre flicks decided to meet up outside for a smoke break. Or like three porn actors have not been given sufficient direction: "Do you want to ... should we ... I mean, we're dressed like this, I assumed ... wait, why is there a trash can here? This does not make me feel sexy..."
  • I'm digging the light blue border. Sincerely.


UB146bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Mmm. Minimalist.


Page 123~

He has no time to waste. He is anxious to expend himself. He puts his lips to the young girl's breast and, bending his body like a bow, shoots arrow after arrow into the soft flesh.

If you run a sex writing workshop, well, good news: I found your "Don't."

~RP

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Paperback 1011: She Wouldn't Surrender / James Kendricks (Monarch MA301)

Paperback 1011: Monarch MA301 (PBO, 1960)

Title: She Wouldn't Surrender
Author: James Kendricks
Cover artist: [Robert Maguire] (attribution from here) (and here)

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $20-25

MonMA301
Best things about this cover:

  • Wow, this really ticks all the boxes: naked redhead with a gun, painted by Robert Maguire, posing as "Americana," on one of the greatest mainstream sleaze imprints of the 20th century. Monarch Books got some of the greatest cover artists to work for them, and I love how they had all these subseries designed to give their softcore books a patina of respectabilty. Who could quibble with your passion for "Americana"!? Communists, that's who.
  • "Whoa, a *real* redhead! Wait'll I tell Wilb-" [gets shot in the neck]
  • My favorite part of this cover is weirdly her hat

MonMA301bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • Hmmm. It sounds like she *would* surrender, sometimes.
  • Sure, your girl has charms, but do they pulsate? Do They!?
  • OK, "Only the dead were incapable of remembering her" is kind of a good line
  • 🎶Wanton eyes! They're watching you! They see your Union boots...🎶

Page 123~

[nah, I don't like this page—it's all gruesome war stuff: horses being maimed and what not ... I much much prefer the teaser text on the opening page, headlined NAKED ENCOUNTER]
The soldier whirled. His eyes bulged at the sight of the naked girl, her magnificent breasts jouncing as she stopped abruptly to stare back at him wantonly [...] Too late he saw the weapon in her hand. Too long he had stared at the undulating breasts, the quivering eyes, the tantalizing smile...
JOUNCING! Part jiggling, part bouncing, all *deadly*!

~RP

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Friday, March 2, 2018

Paperback 1010: Georgia Boy / Erskine Caldwell (Signet 760)

Paperback 1010: Signet 760 (5th ptg, 1957)

Title: Georgia Boy
Author: Erskine Caldwell
Cover artist: James Avati (signed, not attributed)
Interior illustrations: Birger Lundquist (attributed on copyright page)

Condition: 8.5/10
Estimated value: $8-12

SIg760
Best things about this cover:

  • Great Girl Art. Godawful Goon Art. I want to CGI that guy off of the cover.
  • "Check under your hood, ma'am? [snort]" Seriously make him go away.
  • That guy is not a "boy." In fact, I don't see any boys here at all. False advertising!
  • Caldwell was the king of "earthy" "bawdy" midcentury rural near-porn. Country folks are freer with their bodies—more like animals—dontcha know. I never got the appeal.
  • It's actually quite good art. I'm just not buying the guy at all. He looks uninterested—like he has a tire rotation to get back to.


Sig760bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • No alloys here! Looking for alloys? Well, keep moving, buster!
  • "This reviewer" LOL. "It was a dark time ... personal pronouns were Forbidden!"
  • Ah, who could forget PA STROUP? Everyone? Oh, OK.
  • "Yardboy"

The best part of this book by far is the interior illustrations. From the copyright page: "The line drawings by Birger Lundquist are reproduced from the Swedish edition of Georgia Boy (Son av Georgia) by permission of the Forum Publishing Company, Stockholm, Sweden." Here are a couple examples (there's one on about every third page!):

 [better...]
[whoa, racy]
Page 123~
"He told me he wasn't married," Lucy told Ma. "He said he was a single man all the time."

"Single man!" Ma yelled.

She got red in the face again and ran to the fireplace for the poker.
Ah, good ole fire poker: a harried Ma's best friend.

~RP

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Paperback 1009: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea / Theodore Sturgeon (Pyramid G622)

Paperback 1009: Pyramid G622 (PBO, 1961)

Title: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Author: Theodore Sturgeon
Cover artist: Jim Mitchell (credited, back cover)

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $10-15

PyrG622
Best things about this cover:
  • I guess if your name's Sturgeon, writing about sea creatures is probably inevitable
  • Love the design on the dragon-eel, and the sub, and the font. Peak midcentury fantasy design
  • This was a movie, apparently. It was also a television show, which is streaming via Amazon Prime, which I discovered because who wouldn't be curious after seeing this book
  • The writing in this book is superior. Sparkling and witty in a way I do not associate with novelizations of B movies. But that's what happens, I guess, when you get a legend to do the work, I guess. Sturgeon is something else
PyrG622bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • AFIRE is a word I don't see that often, except in crosswords
  • I really, really want Destiny to be the name of some aquatic femme fatale
  • Here's the movie, free on youtube. The format is completely jacked, so I don't think I can bear watching it. Maybe if I ever get super-bored. I'm almost certain this book is infinitely superior to the movie
Page 123~
It was Emery, too, who wondered what had killed the whale. Even the ripped, tattered evidence of the 'cudas at work could not conceal that the whale had been riven, blasted, crushed. Someone aboard might certainly have thought of an answer if it had not been for the murder of O'Brien.
Normal reader: "Whoa, what a vivid image of a mangled whale being feasted on by barracudas." Me: "Hmmm .... CUDAS ... I wonder if I should add that to my crossword wordlist ..."

~RP

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Paperback 1008: Rogue Queen / L. Sprague de Camp (Dell 600)

Paperback 1008: Dell 600 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Rogue Queen
Author: L. Sprague de Camp
Cover artist: Mike Ludlow

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $8-10

Dell600
Best things about this cover:

  • That seems a reasonable way to learn about sex tbh
  • "OK, so, step 1: put the spear away"—Earth-man
  • I'm sure that phallic rocket is in no way a phallic symbol
  • That is some very convenient cape and forearm
  • Her hair is amazing


Dell600bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • "You ... complete ... me ... seriously, do it, complete me, I'm not a woman yet, get on with it."
  • You take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have the Facts of Full Womanhood, The Facts of Full Womanhood!
  • That is the sloppiest damn ringed planet I even did see. It's like a 5-year-old drew a ball of yarn


Page 123~

"It is a curious feature of Terran culture that when the men do something of a stupidity they always blame their wives."

I like her.

~RP

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Paperback 1007: Tragic Ground / Erskine Caldwell (Signet 661)

Paperback 1007: Signet 661 (27th ptg, 1957)

Title: Tragic Ground
Author: Erskine Caldwell
Cover artist: James Avati

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $8-10 (weirdly couldn't find this 1957 printing at abebooks)

Sig661
Best things about this cover:

  • That's a hell of a face-mash. And embrace. And wino.
  • "Oh, the juvenile delinquents and their dungarees and heavy petting, why, in my day... [glug glug glug] [pass out]"
  • I sincerely love her capri pants. And the title font.
  • This cover is close to immaculate.


Sig661bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • [sniff sniff] What's that smell? .... oh, I see you're reading Caldwell. My, that's pungent.
  • "Casual ribaldry and haphazard lovemaking" is my new lifestyle ideal.
  • What is this, the Adjective Olympics? You can't get past a single damn noun without some adjective going, "Hey, look at me!" I'm surprised it doesn't end with "over 35,000,000 frank and febrile copies."
  • LOL that Saturday Review blurb. "Tired of cooked sex? Well have I got the book for you..."


Page 123~

Spence lay partly awake holding his knees against his stomach for warmth and wondering where his pants were.

Pantsless pungency!

~RP

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Paperback 1006: The Pusher / Ed McBain (Perma Books 3062)

Paperback 1006: Perma Books 3062 (PBO, 1956)

Title: The Pusher
Author: Ed McBain
Cover artist: Charles Binger

Condition: 6/10
Estimated value: $35

Perma3062

Best things about this cover:
  • This cover is full of wonders, but the very most amazing part, for me, is luminescent cop face looking back over his shoulder like, "Uh ... wasn't me."
  • Pictorially, I love the placement of the bare light bulb, but looks to be hanging about waist-high, which ... come on, even shitty apartments have to be moderately practical. Maybe he didn't kill himself 'cause of dope. Maybe he just got so frustrated at trying to get the light bulb to hang right that he was just like, "fuck it, I'm out."
  • This seems an unlikely position / location in which to hang oneself. I'm no expert. But still.
  • Detective: "This looks like ... what is this some kind of miniature turkey baster? Hey, Jim, come here and look at this?"
  • The turn of his ankle is lovely and tragic. Same with the stubbed out cigarettes.

Perma3062bc

Best things about this back cover:

  • Seriously, this is one of the grimmer back covers, after one of the grimmest covers I've ever seen. This book's not messing around.
  • Aha! It *wasn't* suicide by hanging. Well, let me be the first to say, it honestly didn't look like suicide by hanging.
  • Not a big fan of back covers that basically describe the front cover, tbh. SEEN IT! Tell me something I don't know.


Page 123~

She supposed, of course, that there were men who would try anything once, just for kicks. Why not a girl who couldn't hear or talk?

My favorite part of this is, "of course."

~RP

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Paperback 1005: All Men Are Liars / John Stephen Strange (Dell 438)

Paperback 1005: Dell 438 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: All Men Are Liars
Author: John Stephen Strange
Cover artist: Robert Stanley

Condition: 6/10
Estimated value: $5-10

Dell438
Best things about this cover:
  • "I solemnly swear ... aw, who am I kidding? All men are liars, amirite!? Up top!"
  • Her side-eye! I really should have a "Women Looking At Losers" blog tag. (See Paperback 1004)
  • Her mustard suit is smokin'
  • Shouldn't "man about town" be hyphenated? ... wow, even dictionaries seem divided on this one. One thing no one's divided on: the Ben Affleck movie "Man About Town" is probably best left back in 2006.

Dell438bc
Best things about this back cover;
  • Mapback!
  • Love the Gay '90s font on the title, wtf
  • How have they managed to make Manhattan look so boring? So many things on that island we get ... a generic courtroom interior!?
  • The crossword maker in me is like "hmm... is HDQRS really a valid abbr.?"
Page 123~

Won Way Street rose and strolled across the well of the court.

Sorry. I'm dead. That name just killed me.

~RP

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Paperback 1004: The Dark Chase / David Goodis (Lion 133)

Paperback 1004: Lion 133 (PBO, 1953)

Title: The Dark Chase (Nightfall)
Author: David Goodis
Cover artist: [Julian Paul]

Condition: 4/10
Estimated value: let's say $50

Lion133
Best things about this cover:
  • My god her radiant disappointment is glorious! He was supposed to take her someplace swell tonight, I bet.
  • Fantastic contrast between the tagline and the picture: "100 Savage Hours ... of Johnny Cleancut Polishing His Gun"
  • "Ed Harris and Audrey Totter are ... Bored in Peoria!"
  • She has what Christa Faust calls "Bitch Eyebrows"—great ones—and I don't know what you call that 1/2 akimbo hipcock of exasperation, but it's working. Truly GGA (Great Girl Art)
  • This is the third cover in my collection (so far) with the "Paul" signature. The first one was ... the very first paperback I ever wrote about.

Lion133bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • Yeah. *That's* the part of the front cover we all want to look at again.
  • My name is Jim Vanning / I'm way into canning / You all won't believe / The great ketchup I'm planning.
  • I have a gun ... I will use it on them, on the whole gang of them ... and I will use it in a box ... and I will use it on a fox ...
  • Real talk: David Goodis is one of the titans of paperback noir and this book is a treasure. It's beat to fuck, but in the most aesthetically perfect and readable way. Quintessential, this one.

Page 123~

He splurged on a brocaded robe.

Ew.

~RP

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Paperback 1003: Corinne / King Coral (Bee-Line 175)

Paperback 1003: Bee-Line 175 (PBO, 1967)

Title: Corinne
Author: King Coral
Cover artist: photo cover

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $25-30

[Newest addition to the Doug Peterson Collection]

BeeLine175
Best things about this cover:
  • Ariel? ... What happened?
  • I'm not familiar with the various forms of cantilevering and what not that are used in women's undergarments but that top seems physically impossible
  • LOL King Corals' fancy af signature stamp. "I'm an icon! I'm a brand name!" he said to himself as he sat behind the wheel of his Toyota Tercel in the parking lot at the West Covina Safeway ...
  • OK that fabric is pretty hot. I would wear a tie with that pattern for sure.
BeeLine175bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • "I quit!" said American everyman Pete Diamond. "Sure, whatever," replied his boss.
  • TEXAS is a state. NEW ORLEANS is a city. MIAMI ... is in a smaller font for some reason. THE COVER DESIGNER should be fired.
  • Pete Diamond sounds like a sex addict / serial killer. I don't know what's protecting Corinne, but she's lucky.

Page 123~

She was laughing now. Suddenly and loudly she'd broken into laughter as though I'd pulled the world's funniest funny.

"Is this how words work?" Pete funnied. "I have nil idea!"

~RP

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