Friday, April 24, 2009

Paperback 223: The Case of the Midwife Toad / Arthur Koestler (Vintage Books V-823)

Paperback 223: Vintage Books V-823 (1st ptg, 1973)

Title: The Case of the Midwife Toad
Author: Arthur Koestler
Cover artist: [Thomas] Upshur

Yours for: $11

Best things about this cover:

  • Puffy toad font - mesmerizing
  • Mystical Toad Overlord - will he kill us all or lead us to the promised land?
  • His (her?) right eye is so disturbing in its protruding bulbousness

Best things about this back cover:
  • Wow. Absolutely nothing.
  • If you're not going to use all the space on the back cover, at least make the font bigger so people can read the text more easily. Or at least format the text in a compelling way. Sheesh.
  • "Perhaps only he could have written it" - this kind of statement never makes any sense to me. Koestler did write it. Why would you sit around wondering who *could have* written something? Like the world was sitting around thinking "Oh, who will write 'The Case of the Midwife Toad?'" No one knew the world needed this book before he wrote it.
Page 123~

Did Kammerer breed water-mating Alytes with hereditary nuptial pads, and did the critical specimen show the pads before it was tampered with?




Nicole "Gidget" Kalstein said...

I thought the front cover was very "meh" until I saw the back cover. Sheesh.

Alix said...

"Case of the Midwife Toad" now there are five words I never would've thought of putting together.

It's like they left space for some artwork on the back and then forgot all about it. It's half-baked!

Excerpt: zzzzzzzz...

Alix said...

Oh, another thing: I grant you that Borgia feuds were savage, but sly? I didn't think discretion was necessarily their hallmark. Though I suppose poison is a bit more refined than, say, a knife through the gut.

Dirt Diggler said...

Hey! Look at the neat-o-keen planet and moon orbiting within that toad's left eye! ... Otherwise, *Yawn* ;~o

Dirt Diggler said...

"Reads like a thriller" ( .... on sleeping pills!)

Eunice said...

Maybe the back is supposed to be a do it yourself thing... like a coloring book.

Yeah, I got nothin'.

Thomas Miller said...

Dude, I gotta get me one of them nuptial pads. I think it comes with a water bed, if I read that right.

JamiSings said...

I just can't help but wonder if the cover of this book inspired the writers of Futurama.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a pulp
Reads like a thriller

(Goes to the tune of that shoe that looks like a pump but feels like a sneaker.)

suburbanbeatnik said...

All hail the Hypnotoad!

Elaine said...

Actually, I once read a book about this scandal! Hey, did that guy crib from Koestler?

Searching said...

I'm guessing the artist is Thomas Upshur (b.1944, according to Pitz's '200 Years of American Illustration').
Compare the toad's glossy, sensuous lips with those of Alice Cooper - ! - on the Upshur-covered paperback edition of 'Billion Dollar Baby' (Signet 1975)
-- Richard