Sunday, July 26, 2009

Paperback 265: Look Behind You Lady / A.S. Fleischman (Gold Medal 223)

Paperback 265: Gold Medal 223 (PBO, 1952)

Title: Look Behind You Lady
Author: A.S. Fleischman
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $14

Best things about this cover:

  • All I can say is: there'd better be a comma underneath her head.
  • "For the last time, fella, I'm not 'lost.' I work in this here Mexican restaurant and I'm just takin' a smoke break. And I already looked behind me, and there was nothin' but a newspaper vending machine. Now beat it!"
  • Strangely the rainy street tableau in the background is far more interesting / beautiful to me than the Lady in the foreground.

Best things about this back cover:

  • Damn, no comma.
  • I am currently waiting for the perfect opportunity to use the line: "I'm probably signing my death warrant, baby, but I'm going to listen to you."
  • Oh, SHANGHAI FLAME, you don't say ... is that ... something?

Page 123~

"I was licked in Macao."

Well, we've all been there.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


DemetriosX said...

Fascinating. I did a little poking around and apparently A.S. Fleischman is better known as Sid Fleischman. On top of doing a lot of work in Hollywood and being a professional magician (like the hero of this book), he also won a freaking Newbery! He obviously learned a few things about the trade over the years.

Michael5000 said...

Awesome as always.

Veronika said...

o.k. this will bother me for a while: How did he put BOTH guns in his POCKET (singular) shouldn't he put them in TWO diffrent pockets?
First of all, either these were very small guns or a very big pocket.
Secondly, guns are heavy, and they were even more so in those days. I have an image of the hero walking crookedly because the guns are weighing down one side of his coat or jacket.
Finally, that's just bad strategy. If he has to draw quickly, he will fumble in his pocket, trying to get one of two objects in it, and that's giving that the hand near the pocket is free. Maybe that hand is holding something or raised or just facing an incoming attacker? What's he gonna do, say "Scuse' me one moment while I sort my guns out?"

IMO, Strategic redistribution of firearms is crucial, if you are going to spend any time in a room with a woman wearing a sheet, especially if you are contemplating suicide while listening to her...

Alix said...

Varus, Varus, bring me back my comma!

Dirt Diggler said...

"She was lost in a city of shame" ... where shame whims were a dime a dozen ... and she didn't want to vamp in the rain without a raincoat. Just then, a disheveled man clad only in a wide-opened overcoat and a smile called from the street, "Look behind you lady..."

Ms Avery said...

Shanghai Flame is what you might catch if you get licked in Macao.

C'mon, somebody had to say it.

Anonymous said...

"Are there guns in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?"

Candida said...

Demetrios X-- Very cool! I loved Sid Fleischman's kids' books. That puts this book in a whole new light for me.

Deb said...

When I saw the title, I thought, "I've read this book...and that cover really doesn't convey the essence of the genteel little English gothic I remember." A little sleuthing revealed that there is a book by mystery writer Margaret Erskine with the same title (it was also published as Don't Look Behind You and Death of Our Dear One)and it was also first published in 1952 (perhaps accounting for the title change).

I agree about the background. I love how the rainy streets are portrayed; the woman is 'meh,' but I'd love those shoes!