Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Paperback 165: Omnibook, August 1945 (incl. excerpt of "Black Boy" by Richard Wright)

Paperback 165: Omnibook, August 1945

  • Includes: "Authorized abridgments of four best-selling books," including "Black Boy" by Richard Wright - plus a "Back of the Book" essay by Bennett Cerf
  • Cover artist: Stefan Salter
Yours for: $12

Best things about this cover:

  • He's cyanotic! Clear! Stat! Seven cc's of ... something (my 1990s "e.r." lingo has run out)
  • This painting is eerie and gorgeous. That kid is scaring the hell out of me, though. He does not look happy. He looks like he wants his lunch money back.
  • I don't know if Salter intended for the kid's collar (the open neck part) to sort of kind of look like an outline of Africa, but either way - awesome.
  • I have a student who looks just like this kid. Well, he's just dark black, not blue, but that combination of menace and wonder in the eyes - the likeness is startling. Sadly, said student is currently in maximum security prison.

Best things about this back cover:

  • Hey, Bennett Cerf - I may know him from such game shows as "What's My Line?"
  • This article is actually really engaging - too bad it's "to be continued" inside the magazine (where you can't see it).
  • The cartoons in the corners are fabulous.
  • This article is reminding me that I have Terry Teachout's bio of Mencken still waiting for me, unread, on the bookshelf downstairs. I basically live my life surrounded by books that are staring at me, disgusted at my never having read them.

Page 123~

from "Coming Home," By Lester Cohen:

There was something about Stell, he thought, if she kissed you, if it was the real thing to her, the rest just came with it.

"The rest?" What? Her lungs? Her lunch?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ooh, eerie coincidence:
This morning our local paper celebrated the 100th anniversary of Richard Wright's birthday, prompting our daughter to ask "what's a centenial?"