Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Paperback 24: Hillman 1

Paperback 24: Hillman 1 (1st ptg, 1948)

Title: Let's Make Mary
Author: Jack Hanley
Cover Artist: N/A
"Interpretative Illustrations by...": Charles L. McCann

Yours for: $15

"Let's Make Sex As Dull As Possible!"

You wanted it, you got it: Let's Make Mary! This book is so mind-blowing, so implausible, that I'm going to have to go beyond the cover to the book's interior illustrations! I fear there is no way to convey the hilariously bizarre and surreal vibe of this book, but I will try...

Best things about this cover:

  • "Being a Gentleman's Guide..." - What kind of 18th-century syntax is that?
  • "Scientific" - The Kinsey Report had a Massive influence on public discourse about sex, starting in the late 40s, and this book's packaging is definitely a result of that influence. Basically, Kinsey gave scientific legitimacy to public discussions of sex, and paperback publishers exploited Kinsey's success by dressing up their silly sex books (especially novels) as public service / educational publications. This book knows that it's ridiculous (it's clearly intended as humor). Others (which we'll see later) don't seem as aware that their claims of scientific legitimacy are far-fetched and absurd.
  • Love the TV screen design. I would watch a TV show with that title, especially if it were some Cinemax After Hours remake of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
Best things about this back cover:

I can't even touch this. Nothing I say could out-funny the book itself. Instead, I'll just compile a "Best Words and Phrases on This Back Cover":

  1. layman
  2. chortle
  3. Jim Dandy Special mustache (that's a band name if I ever heard one)
  4. Fuddle-Duddle
  5. M'Little
  6. consort
  7. primal urges
And now, a special peek at a few of the "Interpretative Illustrations":

Why in the World wasn't this image on the cover!? Grrrrr...

"Oog" I buy, but "Ssskck?" Worst Cavewoman Name Ever.

Oog is the most disturbingly drawn male figure I've seen in a while. I'm just glad I can't see his face.
"Disturbing" doesn't even begin to describe this. I find myself wondering how the drink got spilled. Then I find myself not wanting to know.
"What's Wrong," you ask? Well let's start with the fact that your lady friend has No Nipples. Then there's the fact that she is a noseless space alien. Then there's your @#$#-ing top hat, you jackass. Your facial expression isn't helping matters either. Is that enough?


PS sincere thanks to Bill Kristol and the folks at powerlineblog.com for plugging my site yesterday. Never thought my first major link would come from a political blog, but I'll take support wherever I can find it.


Michael5000 said...

With that fur pelt, living in a no-doubt flea-infested cave, I bet Oog's "scratchings" are indeed a wonder to behold.

OK, this is stinkin' hilarious. The only thing that dampens the fun a little bit for me is the title, with its creepy little connotation of "Let's Force Mary To!" But I'm probably being oversensitive.

Rex Parker said...

As for the meaning of "Make" - see definition 24 (!) here.


Unknown said...

Speaking for Mary's everywhere, Thank you Michael5000.

There is something at the same time creepy and smarmy about this book. I feel almost malicious laughing at it. But funny, yes.

Rex, where do you find them?

Anonymous said...

Creepy but funny? Yes.
Dated? Very much - nobody uses "make" in that sense now. Plus, those pictures???

Other notes:
I can't imagine owning books but never reading them. Then again, I buy books for the content, not the cover.
Since I have no time now (with two children - and, yes, a wife who wasn't seduced in eight easy scientific steps), I have to avoid bookstores, especially used ones - otherwise I walk out with at least two books.
But my wife still thinks I have too many books - but a large number (especially the non-fiction) aren't in the library.

Finally, the Powerline blog may be primarily political, but they also cover European soccer (Everton), music, and such.


Rex Parker said...

Every book I put up is in my own collection, which totals something like 2000 books. I have found them, over the years, in used bookstores all over the country (though I got a few of them on eBay). I started collecting as a form of procrastination - had no desire to write my dissertation. I haven't added to my collection at all in about five years - the books have just been sitting there, neatly bagged and tagged, waiting for attention. And now, it seems, I've finally found something to do with them all. There's a link in my sidebar explaining all this, actually.

Thanks for reading,

Orange said...

Lends a fresh frisson to "Oh, yeah? Make me!"

Anonymous said...

Ssskck = Suck cock