Thursday, May 8, 2008

Paperback 93: Darker Than Amber / John D. MacDonald (Gold Medal R1957)

Paperback 93: Gold Medal R1957 ([3rd ptg], [1968])
Title: Darker Than Amber
Author: John D. MacDonald
Cover artist: Ron Lesser

Yours for: $5

Best things about this cover:

  • "He'd seen a lot of girls, but nobody ... DARKER THAN AMBER"
  • Not surprisingly, this book has some racial issues (see back cover)
  • OK, is her name Amber, or is she just "amber-eyed?" And I thought you said "Darker than Amber." What gives?
  • I'm pretty sure it's an impossibility, or at least a paradox, if your "lily-white maiden" has "round heels."
  • This girl is deep in the middle of a boob-pointing contest - the object: stand on your tiptoes, and then point your boobs toward the sky without falling over. Closest to straight heavenward wins. She's working on a 45 degree angle here (not bad).

Best things about this back cover:

  • His pictures says: "What do you goons want?" or "Yes, I'm Professor McGrady. Can I help you?" Or "That damned roof is leaking again" or "How about now? Do I look like Popeye now?"
  • A "Wounded Spook" is not (thank god) what it sounds like.
  • "She chunked into the water..." That's more detail than I need.
  • Technically, at the end of that second paragraph, "cop" should have quotation marks around it. I'm just sayin'.
  • "Eurasian beauty" - awesome. We just don't have this rich, insane racial vocabulary anymore. Now ... we have three possibilities for the meaning of "Amber" - her eyes, her name, and her skin.
  • "... a heart like an ancient gutter"??! Full of ... relics? Vomit from the many vomitoria? Maybe if she gave up chunking into the water ...

~PAGE 123

"She was about twenty-five?"
"What did she do?"
"She'd been a prostitute for twelve years."
Merrimay's brown eyes widened. "My word, that's quite an early start, isn't it?"



Anonymous said...

45 degrees is not bad? I demand 70 just for the qualifying round.

libwitch said...

I would laugh at the text but I had a hs chem teacher who spoke just like that. You could blow up the chem lab, and all you would get from him was "My word!"

I know. I did.

Michael5000 said...

John D. is one of the writers I cut my literary teeth on. That's why I am now a man of such impeccable taste.

JimR said...

Oh man, Travis McGee! This is some of the best storytelling in the English language, mate. Seriously, have you READ the book?
Is it still available?

Bill from NJ said...

That Travis McGee. He was chock-a-block whole of all the isms - racism, sexism, chauvinism - but all of it was veiled.

All his titles had a color in the title.

Another example of my misspent youth