Friday, December 5, 2008

Paperback 172: Operation Octopus / James Dark (Signet P3303)

Paperback 172: Signet P3303 (1st ptg, 1968)
Title: Operation Octopus
Author: James Dark
Cover artist: McGinnis or some imitator

Yours for: $9

Best things about this cover:

  • Before there was "Octopussy," there was ... "Operation Octopus"! Starring ... Mark Hood, the world's tiniest spy.
  • "Why is that star logo shooting the book number and the price at me!? I'll just duck down between the author's first and last names for protection..."
  • That's a lot of bare back. Looks a little ... gaunt.
  • Also, that's a lot of hair. Looks a little ... blue.
  • "Submarine city?" Guess I'll have to turn the book over to see what the hell's going on...

Best things about this back cover:

  • Boring:
  • Adjectives:
  • Large:
  • Red:
  • "Half-man, half-fish" - they called him: "Mafish!"
  • "Intertrust" is a front! Worst fake business name Ever.
  • "a body built for treason" - "Hey baby, you know who you remind me of? Benedict Arnold. That traitor was one shapely bastard."
  • "A string of hard-core-convicts, all skilled divers" - first, this copywriter is overfond of hyphens. Second, "all skilled divers?" What are the odds? "Damn, why did we ever put S.C.U.B.A. lessons on the prison continuing education schedule!?"
  • I can't tell if this is scifi or not. And I have absolutely no desire to investigate further.

Page 123~

"You haven't seen him," he went on tersely. "You didn't know him; you don't know what he is now. The damage is irrevocable. He'd be a moron forever. He'd want it this way. Wouldn't you? He'll be saving mankind. The dreadful pity of it," Hood said bitterly, "is that the poor guy will never know."

OK, two things

1. "Moron forever" - that's a memoir title that'll sell right off the shelves
2. No way, no how, does a whisky-swilling tough guy (which Mark Hood is supposed to be) begin a sentence with "The dreadful pity of it ..." Unless he is in some kind of time warp movie where he keeps switching back and forth from modern spy to 19th-century British Inspector.



LGD said...

Did your reference to her blue hair on the front cover have anything to do with her being described as a blonde on the back cover?

Leon said...

Thought this site might interest you:
Models Made Out of Books.

JamiSings said...

LGD brings up my point. If the main female baddie is suppose to be blond, then who's the blue haired chick?

Anonymous said...

That Benedict Arnold joke gave me a full, throw the head back laugh. Well done, sir.

Also, there's a song by the very short lived band Polaris called "Hey Sandy" (it was the theme song to the great children's show The Adventures of Pete and Pete), that starts out with what sounds like some clips of old movies....and one of them is a man saying "Wait until they see our submarines, with polaris!" Is it possible this is referring to this book (see the "LOST:" part of the back cover)?

pious agnostic said...

Wouldn't it be awesome if, when you turned the book over, the back cover had the reverse-perspective of the front cover? Sure, in this case, that would require a little nudity, but I'd be willing to put up with that. The scrawny blue-haired blond could lure me into treason.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, Cover Babe looks suspiciously like Modesty Blaise. Just sayin'.

laura linger said...

"That traitor was one shapely bastard."

*SPLORT!* Iced tea all over my monitor