Thursday, June 19, 2008

Paperback 116: The Dain Curse / Dashiell Hammett (Pocket Books 295)

Paperback 116: Pocket Books 295 (1st ptg, 1945)

Title: The Dain Curse
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Cover artist: sadly, uncredited

Yours for: $10

Best things about this cover:

  • "Demons, I cast thee out!"
  • Where did her pupils go?
  • This is the rare "beheading" cover (I'm kidding - though her head does look like it was photo-shopped, badly, onto her torso)
  • I think her head has snapped back in revulsion from her assailant's fetid odor. That may explain the disappearing pupils as well.
  • I do like how he knocks her head so hard it goes out of frame.

Best things about this back cover:
  • "... and you're cursed with your mother's blood on your hands in babyhood" - aside from being enigmatic and disturbing ... "Babyhood?" Is that a word? Sounds like a good title for a talking babies movie starring at least one of the Wayans Brothers and, oh, let's say Ice Cube. It'll be like "Baby Geniuses," only ... blacker.
  • This may be the first book I've posted to feature the wartime exhortation to the reader to mail the book to a serviceman overseas. Very cool historical marking.

Page 123~

It was postmarked San Francisco, nine o'clock Saturday morning. Inside was a soiled and crookedly torn piece of brown wrapping paper, with one sentence - as poorly printed with pencil as the address - on it: "Any body that wants Mrs. Carter can have same by paying $10000-----" There was no date, no salutation, no signature.



Anonymous said...

Hammett! I <3 Hammett.

Hey, is that a blood stain on his collar, a lipstick stain, or just a conveniently placed stain on the cover of the book?

G said...

I love Hammett. Love love love.