Friday, October 17, 2008

Paperback 152: Too Many Girls / Don Tracy (Berkley Books G-182)

Paperback 152: Berkley Books G-182 (1st ptg, 1958)
Title: Too Many Girls
Author: Don Tracy
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $9

Best things about this cover:

  • Her expression! Everything about her face and body language says "I Hate You."
  • I believe an oncoming train is about to drive right into this studio
  • "OK, you can take five, Ms. Marshall. I'll just lean against the wall here and stare at you creepily while holding my whiskey bottle at a suggestive angle, OK? OK."
  • Wait, if he's a newspaper photographer, shouldn't he care "what kind of pictures he took?"
"Steve, can you come in here for a sec."
"Sure boss, what's up?"
"Well, we wanted some shots for the story on the economic crisis..."
"Well, this is a photo of two squirrels kissing. And this appears to be a half-eaten sandwich."
"It is ... what's your point?"

Best things about this back cover:
  • So he was the guy responsible for the MAGRUDER film ... fascinating.
  • This guy is every "hard-boiled" cliché rolled into one, then boiled down to some kind of paste, and then smeared all over the soul of any decent person who comes into contact with him.
  • Apparently, you cannot be a "top-notch reporter" and "all woman" simultaneously. You have to do some kind of Clark Kent / Superman switch.
  • I like how we're supposed to believe that Elaine turned Ed out instead of vice versa. "You'll be a pimp and like it! [smack!] Take your money, you little bitch! [kick! smack!]"

Page 123~

The girl he'd been with was a tall, dark-haired girl, with a million-dollar build. She was canned-up proper and her eyes were kind of glassy.

She had undoubtedly been reading "The Day the Machines Stopped"

"Canned-up proper" is my new favorite expression



Anonymous said...

I too love the phrase "canned-up proper", but I have no idea what it means. Is it Cockney? "Look 'ere, gov, push off or me boys will can you up proper." Does it refer to her breasts -- "She had curves to die for and her low cut blouse showed she was canned-up proper." The context suggests it's another term for intoxicated, but really it's so wonderfully evocative and hard boiled that it seems it could mean almost anything. "Now Joe, I know you're sore at me, but don't get all canned up over this.". "Boys, grab your guns - we're goin' to this meetin' canned-up proper." It's so potentially versatile.

Anonymous said...

My good man, I'd like a 12oz can of hard-boiled photographer paste, please, and don't try to give me any of those leaky cans, neither. I want one that's been canned-up proper.

Oh, and throw in too many girls. I'm thinking of a little debauchery tonight.

Rex Parker said...

These comments are cracking me up. I am clearly going to have to change the tagline of this blog in the near future ...

Pop Sensation - Canned-up Proper!

May necessitate a redesign of the logo into the shape of a can of Soda Pop.


Michael5000 said...

A "first-class pimp" is, presumably, more posh than other grades of pimp?

This whole cover is the most ludicrously euphemistic allusion to pornography this side of The Big Sleep.