Sunday, June 22, 2008

Paperback 117: Bodies and Souls / ed. Dann Herr & Joel Wells (Dell 0656)

Paperback 117: Dell 0656 (1st ptg, 1963)

Title: Bodies and Souls
Editors: Dann Herr & Joel Wells
Cover artist: Teason

Yours for: SOLD 9/18/10

Best things about this cover:
  • Finally, a paperback that deals seriously with the lingering problem of the Manichean Heresy.
  • "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, [Willard / Ben / Templeton / other rat name you can think of]"
  • Hmmm ... uh ... I guess this cover's got a rat. And a skull. And a candle. Those elements hold a certain visual interest.
  • If you like brown, this is the book for you.
  • This book is another good example of why paperback design starts sucking some time around 1960. Art becomes more like stock footage. Text starts dominating the cover in un-thought out and ugly ways. Quit shilling for the "Doubleday Crime Club" and give me the beautiful cover art I deserve! 50 cents for a paperback?! What am I, a Rockefeller?

Best things about this back cover:

  • When I want an authoritative literary opinion, I always turn to [squints to read fine print] the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer!
  • This reviewer is sadly and humorously unaware that "catholic" in fact means "universal." I know the reviewer meant "Catholic" in religious terms ... but precision of word choice matters, even if you do only work for the Columbus Daily Muffin.

Page 123~

from "The Finger of Stone" by G.K. Chesterton

"Have you heard the news I say," rapped out the doctor. "Boyg is dead."

Gale stopped in a sentence about Gothic architecture, and said seriously, with a sort of hazy reverence:

"Requiescat in pace. Who was Boyg?"



Cartophiliac said...

Yes, I suppose in the light of the recent election of JFK, Roman Catholicism was still fresh in everyone's mind in 1963... but for the reviewer, WHY was it remotely relevant enough to mention? Even more so, why did the publishers choose that quote, instead of the one from the Indianpolis Star?

Todd Mason said...

I suspect the Cleveland reviewer was having a a bit of fun, punning in a way that would still fly with the breakfast coffee crowd.

Anonymous said...

The placement of the Publisher's Weekly testimonial seems strange to me - as if it is finishing the sentence: "And eleven others...excellent!" Are they just super excited that there are 14 authors within?

Also, I hereby award Rex 10 "Super Smart Guy" points for creating a joke around the Manichean Heresy. Who knows this stuff?

Deniz Bevan said...

I'd like this one too :-) I can't believe you're selling so many - my trouble is I keep all the books I buy...