Saturday, July 18, 2009

Paperback 259: Lincoln's Commando / Ralph J Roske and Charles van Doren (Pyramid G356)

Paperback 259: Pyramid G356 (1st ptg, 1958)

Title: Lincoln's Commando
Author: Ralph J. Roske and Charles Van Doren
Cover artist: Herb Mott

Yours for: SOLD (7/19/09)

Best things about this cover:
  • The title and picture made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it. That is the only reason I own this book. "Arnold Schwarzenegger is ... Lt. William Cushing in ... Lincoln's Commando!"
  • Actually, this guy looks more like ... who's that guy from "Ned and Stacey" and "Sideways?" Thomas Hayden Church?
  • The rebels on the Albemarle appear to be shooting in random directions and possibly at each other.
  • The water under Cushing's boat appears to be breaking on ... more, differently colored water. Weird.
  • Here we see Cushing continuing the time-honored tradition of deck-edge weapon-dancing begun years earlier by the infamous Pirate Wench.

Best things about this back cover:

  • Not much. We do get to see the NYT succumbing to a bout of sensational alliteration. That's slightly interesting.
  • Apparently Cushing was a daring daredevil with a daredevil career of daredeviltry. He was also fearless. And daring.

Page 123~
He was pleased to discover that his adventures were well known in the town, that the paper reported his arrival on its front page, and that all the little boys hung on his every word when they could get him to describe his exploits — and not only the little boys; everyone seemed appreciative.

"[...] and not only the little boys ... I mean, not that he's particularly into little boys or anything. Really, he was popular with everyone. I swear. Forget what I said about the boys."


P.S. Thanks for keeping up with my stepped-up summer publication pace. I'm loving the volume and quality of comments. Happy that the blog has a modest but loyal and reliably smart/funny following. Keep it up.

P.P.S. Thanks for the links, the tweets, and any other form of promotion you've provided for this site. Truly, deeply appreciated.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Orange said...

I thought your tweet was promising Lincoln going commando. I feel cheated!

In Chicago's Pride Parade, there was a float promoting an upcoming art festival that's using Lincoln's image as its logo. And on the float? Dancing men in tall, silver, Lincolnesque stovepipe hats, clad only in silver briefs. So that's what your tweet evoked for me.

That book's back cover is jarring to my eye. Why do the words in the "Their commander" section look more spaced out than what comes before?

Sobriquet Magazine said...

Why WOULDN'T we tweet this site, Rex?

Rachel Helps said...

I love how someone pencil-boxed "their mission" and "their commander." It's like he had a class assignment to write on the mission and commander of this novel...

Rachel Helps said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dirt Diggler said...

Has anybody seen what "adulterated courage" looks like? .... would that be penis-raising?

* For those interested, this link,

will give a good oversight to this actual battle and of Lt. William B. Cushing 's career. Note that his portrait has only three stripes on his sleeves (that of a 1864 U.S. Naval Lieutenant, )

rather than the cover's four (a non-existent rank at that time,

Alix said...

I know nothing of military strategy, but I'd agree, it's better to have all your men firing in the same general direction.

I am spoiled ROTTEN by this publication schedule!

beggar1015 said...

So where is this (rather vain) young lieutenant? I don't see him on the front cover. All I see is some old guy with an abnormaly short left leg who is about to be cut in two by the cannon aimed straight at him.

Sobriquet Magazine said...

I have to admit I still wish the apostrophe denoted a contraction instead of the possessive. THAT would be the tawdriest paperback on the entire blog.

Lisa in Oz said...

Lincoln's Commando may be my new favorite title of all time. I desperately need this to be made into a summer blockbuster starring Bruce Willis as a bald Cushing.

Michael5000 said...

They SAID that Charles Van Doren's half of the book was written in a soundproof booth, but it was actually being dictated to him through the headphones.

Frank said...

I see someone already made a "going commando" joke. Drats!

Also see that someone snapped this baby up right quick.

Deb said...

Long-time lurker; first-time poster. Michael5000 gets the WIN on this one.

I see the copyright is 1958, before Van Doren's admission in 1959 that his quiz show wins were bogus. At the time (1958), I think he was still a correspondent for the Today Show. This book might have been an attempt to cash in on his popularity.

Love this blog and wish there were a new cover every day.

Michael5000 said...

w00t! The WIN!