Friday, December 26, 2008

Paperback 181: Guns Roaring West / Peter Field (Pocket Books 6212)

Paperback 181: Pocket Books 6212 (1st ptg, 1963)
Title: Guns Roaring West
Author: Peter Field
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $8

Best things about this cover:

  • "Guns Roaring West ... I said 'West' ... 'WEST!' ... aw hell, just leave it."
  • That is an arrow, right? Not some malformed cactus or a duck footprint?
  • "Powder Valley" sounds like the setting for a saga about babysitting cheerleaders
  • This main dude is quite elegant and suave in his erect bearing and mysterious, darkened eyes. His lime green neckerchief with white polka dots kinda undercuts the whole evil vibe.

Best things about this back cover:

  • From the looks of that boot, I'd have to say this is a story about the Western fashion industry. I expect some kind of fabulous dance-off at the end.
  • "His words rustled dryly in the heavy quiet" - I wish I had audio files of you all uttering "What yuh after here?" in such a fashion. I just can't imagine anyone Making Those Words Rustle Dryly in a Heavy Quiet! I'm trying to do it now, at my desk, and I sound like a combination of Clint Eastwood and pervert on the subway.
  • This is like a menu of the writer's choicest phrases - "Let's see ... I'll take the Rattlesnake Blur, with a side of Gun Roaring Hollowly"

Page 123~
Sloan's ordinarily vacuous countenance went wooden.

OK, I am beginning to fall in love with the daring, loopy, teenage prose of your average vintage paperback. I want to set up some kind of story project where I challenge people to write Very Short stories (under 500 words) using sentences culled from these books as the first line. I need to know more about Sloan. Any Sloan.



pious agnostic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pious agnostic said...

Sloan's ordinarily vacuous countenance went wooden. The sudden shifting sensation inside his stomach commanded his attention in a way that no simple dance-hall girl or gun fight could. After one sip from the small glass of muddy liquid before him, his breakfast of cactus nettles and ham hocks seemed to lurch within with the exotic rhythm of a Mexican hat dance. Without warning, his gut was seized with a violent cramp, and wind ripped from him, a short, wet trumpet blast in the heavy quiet of the saloon.

Sloe Sal, the barmaid, looked up at him, a carefully painted eyebrow arched in a mixture of disgust and amusement. She reached to her left, drawing a dirty rag across the bar and following it, increasing her distance from Sloan.

Sloan knew that at a time like this every moment counted. He whirled on the dusty floorboards, pushing stiffly upon the swinging gate doors that filled the doorway to the saloon, and stumbled out into the muddy street. He lurched to his right, searching franticly for a shadowed alleyway, fumbling with his gun belt and button fly. Heedless of the well-dressed townsfolk who promenaded along the wooden sidewalks, he quickly dropped his pants about his ankles, shuffling to the side of the building where brief solace lay.

He was still working his long-johns when the dam broke. “It’s true,” he thought to himself. “You never hear the one that gets you.”

Belvoir said...

Since they're "Roaring West", I almost want the cover's arrow shape to be pointing to the left. And not South, towards my crotch.

sexy said...