Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Paperback 187: Cabin Road / John Faulkner (Gold Medal 178)

Paperback 187: Gold Medal 178 (PBO, 1951)
Title: Cabin Road
Author: John Faulkner
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Yours for: $12

Best things about this cover:

  • "If you loved William, then it's within the realm of possibility that you might not hate ... John Faulkner!"
  • Erskine Caldwell paperbacks sold by the bushel, and they invariably featured unspeakably hot hillbilly women who had all their teeth. I guess the idea was that the poor were "earthy" (i.e. liked to do it). So there is a kind of post-"Tobacco Road" vogue in backwoods babery that you can see in a number of 1950s paperbacks.
  • Can a hillbilly be "ribald?"
  • This woman is a mess from the neck up. It's like someone photoshopped her head on wrong. Or broke her neck, waited for rigor mortis to set in, and then propped her up there.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Uh, nothing
  • Again with the "ribald"
  • See, I told you - "Tobacco Road"-ishness was clearly the selling point here
  • Steinbeck? *William* Faulkner? OK, now you're pushing it
  • "Earthy" "Ribald" "Lusty" ... "female problems"!? Does that mean the same thing it means now? Hey, what does it mean now? Wasn't that the name of a movie starring Divine?

Page 123~

"I don't see nothing to want to stand over there about," George said. "Hit looks like to me the floor's about the same as it is where at you're standing, what of it you can see fer them dogs. Ain't you comfortable there?"

I'm ... going to need a translator.



Unknown said...

John Faulkner's most popular book might have been his memoir, MY BROTHER BILL, but I confess to having read and really enjoyed all the books in the Cabin Road series.

Anonymous said...

The copy on the back cover sounds like they were trying to imply that the book just skirts on the pornographic: "lusty", "Uncle Good and his 'girls'", "earthy, uninhibited". Makes you wonder why it wasn't banned.

Based on the page 123 text, I was going to dismiss the author as a hack with a tin ear who had never met anyone from south of Philadelphia. But based on Bill Cirder's comments, I did a quick look around, and this guy was the real thing. He published in Colliers and was a popular novelist. That can't all have come from riding his brother's coattails.

warren said...

Or broke her neck, waited for rigor mortis to set in, and then propped her up there.

Oh, now you're knocking my hobbies?

Anonymous said...

That's a curious way to write a rural accent -- there's a "fer" and an "ain't", but none of the terminal "g"s have been dropped, and it's "you"s instead of "yah"s and "to"s instead of "t' "s (or some similar constructions). At first glance, I couldn't tell it was supposed to be an accent. (Then again, perhaps I don't know what the particular accent is supposed to sound like.)

JamiSings said...

Wow, she's almost as fat as me! Maybe men really did like their women with more flesh on their bones back then.

Sounds to me like George is telling someone they don't need to move to a different spot on the floor. Not that there is much floor to stand or sit on because of all the dogs around them.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the most important thing of all:

An Original Novel - Not A Reprint

Thank God for that. Reprints are evil. Almost as evil as that dress she's wearing. Living in the South I can assure you, no self-respecting earthy ribald hillbilly would be caught dead in that color. Unless, as previously theorized, she is dead, rigor mortis has set in, and she's been propped up against that tree.

Michael5000 said...

It's not rigor mortis. Her posture is perfectly plausible once you realize that the image has been rotated ninety degrees. She's pushing herself up from a reclined position.

sexy said...