Monday, July 20, 2009

Paperback 260: Stairway to Death / Bruno Fischer (Pyramid 29)

Paperback 260: Pyramid 29 (1st ptg, 1951)

Title: Stairway to Death
Author: Bruno Fischer
Cover artist: I have it labeled "Meyer" but name visible in very lower left corner is "Frederick"...

Yours for: $10

Best things about this cover:

  • Death has some fierce fucking heels. But also some pretty lifeless-looking legs. Coupla upside-down bowling pins with seams drawn on. I've seen sexier gams in the window of Ralphie's house in "A Christmas Story"
  • Well if you build stairs like that, with a vertiginous drop and stairs nowhere close to perpendicular to the wall, then yes, someone's inevitably going to die.

Best things about this back cover:

  • This book is like an ex-fighter who had a long, brutal career, won more than he lost, and somehow managed to survive with this brains intact. It's got a lot of wear — stains and scratches and what not — but it's absolutely tight and solid and readable. More "broken in" than "busted." I would not get into the ring with this book. To say that it has "character" or "personality" is a polite way of saying it could still kick your ass, sonny.
  • It's interesting to me how much Fischer is being pushed here as a recognizable name. I didn't know he ever achieved real name recognition (except among later fans and collectors of hard-boiled lit).
  • Why are the quotes on these books such suckfests most of the time? "Plenty of Mystery"? It's a fucking mystery, NYT? What did you expect, a History of Prussia?

Page 123~
There was a tense silence. Oscar drank down the applejack.


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Nutrcracker, James Nutcracker said...

I think I see a bustle in her hedgerow.

Ms Avery said...

I think what gets me is Death's subtly unflattering skirt. I still kind of love the composition of the painting, though.

Alix said...

The stairway might be innocent; I'd talk to those Heels of Homicide first

Nicole "Gidget" Kalstein said...

I have to agree with Ms Avery regarding the kindergarden teacher skirt. And those are definitely mannequin legs. Also, the right ankle looks a little sprained.

If you're going to walk down Satan's Staircase there with a sprained ankle, of COURSE death will occur.

I also like the title, especially with the font sizes on the cover. "Stairway to DEATH!" Not Death. DEATH.


Tulse said...

It looks like Fischer was around the block a few times, given all the publishers listed for his books, or are these all from the same house?

Dirt Diggler said...

You gotta' appreciate this cover artist's rendering of perspective scale through open legs!

Veronika said...

DEATH liked to lurk in dorways at the bottom of badly constructed stairs. He'd wait around for a high heeled dame to come along, and then pounce.
It was a badly lit cruel world, and there weren't that many employment opportunities for a guy, who by misfortune of a dyslectic clerk had a name like his.
Sometimes, while waiting for his next victim, he wandered what would his life look like if his name had been the originally intended SEATH....

JamiSings said...

Judging from the thickness of the legs, I think those are mine. I don't remember modeling for a book cover. Especially for one from before I was born.

beggar1015 said...

Lush and Lurid!

Are they talking about the book or the view the guy has up the woman's skirt?

Michael5000 said...

Man, that through-the-dame's-legs-and-down-the-sinister-staircase perspective is just WASTED on the world's least threatening lurking dude. Situation doesn't look any worse than, say, the downstairs neighbor off to the early shift at the doughnut shop.

Sandy said...

this one might also be good for the book bloggers.