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

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

1 comment:

Jean said...

That is a beautiful cover. Wow.

('Salright? 'Salright.)