Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paperback 229: Demented / Donald Jorden Young (Gold Star Books IL7-19)

Paperback 229: Gold Star Books IL7-19 (PBO, 1964)

Title: Demented
Author: Donald Jorden Young
Cover artist: uncredited (though I credited it to "Robert Maguire" for some reason - looks at least as much like the work of Mitchell Hooks)

Yours for: $20

Best things about this cover:

  • Instant Klassic - unread, near-perfect condition ... vibrant colors ... a stripping nurse (!?) ... a fifth-rate publishing house ... a text-book example of the Floating Head motif ... absolutely gorgeous, in all its sleazy marginality
  • "My prescription: take two of ... these."
  • "Anthony Perkins is ... Frankenstein's monster in ... 'Demented!'"
  • I like that the blurb features all three people depicted on the cover: "nurse," "ex-GI" with "war-born neurosis," and "weak professor," who frankly looks quite hale and handsome, if a bit disturbed by the hovering, giant head of Captain Mind Control...

Best things about this back cover:
  • This is basically a tepid, watered down version of the plot to "The Stars, My Destination" by Alfred Bester.
  • Love the random extra space between "perverted" and "lusts." It's like the copywriter tried many different versions of the final word and forgot to adjust the spacing when he'd finally decided on the winner. "Ah, 'lusts' ... le mot juste!"
  • As for the nurse ... Check her out here, in a primmer, more demure moment...

Page 123 ... is too boring, so here's something from the teaser page that opens the book:

Encouraged, he put an arm completely around her, so that one hand rested on her right breast. Encountering no objection he slid his hand into her blouse, which was low-cut with a natural inviting slit [?]. Feeling no bra against his hand, he was exhilarated holding her breast, so smooth and full, if a bit cool [!!?].



Unknown said...


The Stars My Destination is one of my all-time favorite books, but it's Alfred Bester, not Sturgeon. Bester doesn't get nearly enough credit these days for being mind-flippin' awesome, please do not take this away from him.

Rex Parker said...

Krap! My bad. I switched my Great SciFi writers around. I'll change it.


Rex Parker said...

You know what "Stars..." needed? Stripping nurses. Then it would have been perfect.


Eunice said...

The nurse on the cover is clearly wearing a bra, while the teaser is sans bra. False advertising!

You know, there really aren't enough books about "slow mind"ed(!) people and lascivious medical professionals... that aren't in a women's asylum.

Alix said...

The running professor looks like Gregory Peck from here.

Clearly, Nursie is not a real redhead.

Sorry, but Demented's eyes are too creepy for me; couldn't have the book in the house!

Dirt Diggler said...

First of all, a protagonist named after a slow moving bottom feeder is perhaps appropriate for this character.

Secondly, "Carp was a cook ..." should have been: "Carp was a kook ...".

Thirdly, if " .... a buddy he had loved and trusted ... left him to freeze." I think it's safe to say, Carp should choose his friends better!

Which ties, fourthly, into his newer acquaintance, the nurse. For "... IF a lascivious nurse had not put him on the trail of the man he called 'Marvin.'", THEN presumably the "three days of sheer terror" would not have ensued.

If that is the case, then the debutante nurse (Shirley Jones) has some incredibly mesmerizing mammaries named: "Mar" and "vin".

Tulse said...

So she's not moving and cold...sounds like he's already been at work with the knife.

Nicole "Gidget" Kalstein said...


Oh, dear God. I've rarely seen a teaser try so hard to be sexy and fail at it so pathetically.

"...he was exhilarated holding her breast..."

BOOBIES! Hm...a little colder than I thought they'd be.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Doctor Who time-travelled to pose for that first cover