Saturday, October 13, 2007

Paperback 28: Signet Y6638

Paperback 28: Signet Y6638 (1st Signet, 1975)

: The Big Gold Dream
Author: Chester Himes
Cover artist: Uncredited

Best things about this cover:
  • Orange!
  • "Starsky and Hutch"-era font - and fashion!
  • Somebody needs to tell the white woman in the bra and panties that a back alley is no place to play leap frog.
  • Chester Himes rules - despite being a mid-70s reprint, this book is reasonably valuable, both because Chester Himes is the most important black crime fiction writer of the 20th century (sorry, Walter Mosley) and because this particular incarnation of Himes' work is hard to come by.
  • This cover is poorly designed - sometime starting in the late-60s, you begin to see these covers where a single realistic scene gives way to a composite montage, where lots of different pictures are crammed together into a kind of blob in the middle of the cover. Somebody's (bad) idea of artistic. Check out how this cover gets all abstract expressionist toward its edges - like it was finished by Rothko or Rauschenberg.
  • Yet another floating head - this time, an oddly benevolent-looking, kerchiefed young lady is preparing to devour Harlem.


Anonymous said...

"Should I mention that a book by a Black author is decorated with a huge phallic image in the very center of the cover? Probably not...."

Rex Parker said...

Wait, are you talking about the trash can? That's a phallic symbol!? That's one thick, oddly-shaped phallus...


Orange said...

I don't know what that implies about Oscar the Grouch's home on Sesame Street.

Michael5000 said...

There should be a separate section of the library for "mayhem yarns."