Sunday, December 7, 2008

Paperback 173: Too Many Clients / Rex Stout (Signet J2334)

Paperback 173: Signet J2334 (1st ptg, 1962)
Title: Too Many Clients
Author: Rex Stout
Cover artist: Bill Johnson

Yours for: $12

Best things about this cover:

  • "I love my blankie!"
  • This is more mustard than any one cover should have to endure.
  • The floating head of Nero Wolfe looks none too pleased with this flirtatious, naked hussy. It's as if he's thinking "So this is what selling books has come to - PFUI!"
  • Good example of how paperback sellers learned to develop brand recognition - the whole left panel, with huge author name and logo Nero head, will get repeated on a whole series of Rex Stout mysteries. Thus cover art gets squished - the title seems almost irrelevant.

Best things about this back cover:

  • "Sex wasn't Nero Wolfe's specialty" - yeah, we can pretty much tell from his expression on the cover
  • Someone should win an award for the phrase "satin-upholstered bower of carnality."
  • An ad for a John O'Hara book! I Love John O'Hara, and he used to be Ridiculously popular.
  • Bantam is one of the few publishers I can think of who would use their back covers to advertise books Not by the author of the book itself - though this ad seems oddly placed and poorly demarcated, with nothing but a font color change and a black bar to let you know the bottom half of the back cover is unrelated to the top.
Page 123~

"They killed him. That's obvious. They killed him."

Well of course they killed him. That's obvious.



pious agnostic said...

Is that Lily Rowan on the cover?

Corey Wilde said...

They killed him? Was it obvious?

Anonymous said...

That woman looks pretty jaundiced, both figuratively and literally.

JamiSings said...

She's so yellow and so naked I want to start singing "Rubber duckie, you're the one, you make bathtime so much fun!"

Anonymous said...

Well, but yellow is Mr. Wolfe's favorite color, don't you know, so I'm thinking the cover artist was just sucking up...

Also, in TOO MANY CLIENTS, Wolfe uses what instantly became my absolute favorite phrase in the world: "usufructs of gallantry."

Your mission is to use this phrase at least once today--of course, it must be in correct context.

laura linger said...

I love these cheesecake covers that horny 12-year-old boys could easily smuggle into the bathroom with them when they "combed their hair."