Monday, February 16, 2009

Paperback 200: That None Should Die / Frank G. Slaughter (Perma Books M-4026)

Paperback 200: Perma Books M-4026 (2nd ptg, 1955)

Title: That None Should Die
Author: The insanely prolific Frank G. Slaughter
Cover artist: Charles Binger

Yours for: $6

So I had an early 70s movie tie-in of Chester Himes' "Cotton Comes to Harlem" all cued up and ready to go as my 200th Paperback ... and then I went to Plattsburgh.

Best things about this cover:

  • This doctor is

a. preparing to shoot the newborn at the ceiling like a rubberband
b. preparing to make "newborn tea"
c. deciding whether to keep it or throw it back
d. looking Way too long and hard at the baby's genital region, or
e. so handsome that nobody cares what he's actually doing

  • I love how the mother is the very least important figure on the cover - almost like an afterthought, or a shorthand visual cue to let you know that the baby is alive and he didn't steal it.
  • "That none should die, Dr. Rand Handsome ingested the mysterious, rune-inscribed baby before it could explode."

Best things about this back cover:

  • "That story alone is fascinating" - uh, no, sorry it's not.
  • If this description makes the book sound anti-socialized/nationalized medicine, that's because the book *is* anti-socialized/nationalized medicine. The first (teaser) page has as its headline: "President announces medical care free to rich and poor alike!" - in this book, that's the terrifying Orwellian future. Because we all know that real doctors are all driven by "ideals" (see cover), unlike nameless bureaucrats who want only to flatten all social distinctions and erect statues of Lenin.

Page 123~

"I shouldn't be saying this, I suppose, but you look like a better class of man than we usually get in a job like this, and I hope you're going to stay with us."

He added, "I mean, I'm not gay or anything, but dear god you're handsome."



warren said...

"...not that there's anything wrong with that!"

Lisa in Oz said...

When I first glanced at this, I thought he was holding up a small branded piglet. Which goes to show how maternal I am.

Also, I'm pleased to discover that "turning a trick" has more meanings than I thought (as far as I knew, this was the only definition).

lily said...




Anonymous said...

Sounds like temptation never even gets a chance. Booooring!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like temptation never even gets a chance. Booooring!

pious agnostic said...

I'm pretty sure that Mom is Elizabeth Taylor circa 1950

Anonymous said...

Is this a home delivery, or is a tea kettle standard issue for hospitals?

"Nurse, I need a nice cuppa, stat!"

Anonymous said...

The wording of the title threw me at first. I assumed an imperative with a misspelling: "That Nun Should Die!" I eventually got it, but I think that my misinterpretation would make a better story.

Anonymous said...

That Nun Should Die!"

I certainly would read it.

Eunice said...

Turning tricks, lusty wails, is this one of those, "doctor" books? Hmm? *eyebrow raise*

Michael5000 said...

One generally prefers stories in which temptations prove stronger than any ideals.

Elaine said...

This is at least a three-to- four-month-old baby! (I had a ten+ pounder, so I should know)....and I want to know how they got the mother cleaned up, dressed, and covered so damn fast. (Usually you're still waiting on the placenta, a lotta stitches, and hoping for drugs. Plus the "bed" is an unholy mess. Although this mom looks appropriately worn out, I don't recall any Victorian gowns or quilts even as lately as the 80's!)

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