Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Paperback 43: Priory 1127

Paperback 43: Priory 1127 (undated)

Title: The Squeeze
Author: Gil Brewer
Cover artist: photo cover

"Let's see ... I feel as if we're one prop short of making this the most cliché hard-boiled cover photo ever. What are we missing? "Sexy" blonde? Check. Cigarette? Check. Alcohol? Check. I'm an aging "tough" guy, so ... Check. Hmmm. What could it be? Oh, right, now I remember. I've got it right here in my pocket..."

Best things about this cover:

  • In one of what must have been numerous cost-cutting moves, Priory apparently opted to use still photos from the first few minutes of 70s porn flicks for their covers
  • Is she supposed to be hot? She looks disheveled and drug-addled. That wig! (at least I hope that's a wig)
  • If a paperback has ever featured a less sexy couple than this, I haven't seen it

Priory books were "Produced in Israel" (!?) for a largely Commonwealth market (back cover features prices for NZ, AUS, UK, S.Afr., Canada, as well as U.S.). They are reprints of Ace Books (of which I have already featured many in my collection) and they appear to have been produced primarily in the early 70's. This book is terribly trashy and dirty and horrible. It reeks of cheap motel - the sticker only adds to the tacky ambiance. I tried to remove it, but that would have resulted in a horrible sticker pull, so I opted to leave it. Gil Brewer is actually a very accomplished crime fiction writer, and it would horribly unfair to judge this book by its cover. And yet I can't help myself.



wendy said...

How often do you see a non-hyphenated word hyphenated on a book cover? How about NEVER! It's not like there wasn't enough room to run 'gambled' on one line. Someone made the design decision that the reversed-out type had to remain on Mr. Sexy's suit. Kooky! I was more fixated by that than anything else in the shot.

Michael5000 said...

Wendy beat me to it. The hyphenation could create a nice effect on a better-designed cover, as it creates the phrase "bled his life away." On this cover, though, it just looks tawdry and stoopid.

wendy said...

Perhaps this could be the first entry in a new blog, in keeping with the current craze:

the blog of unne-
cessary hyphens

Just a thought ...

quin browne said...

hyphens are good. for pure suspense, though, you need ...'s

Rex Parker said...

I don't know how much I'd want to read a novel in which a GAM BLED. I like that this photo features her GAMs, though. Makes the hyphenation choice more interesting. Artistic even.


Anonymous said...

"The night he gam-bled his life away, they put a price on his shoulder. It was $1."