Thursday, July 30, 2009

Paperback 269: Night Squad / David Goodis (Gold Medal s1083)

Paperback 269: Gold Medal s1083 (PBO, 1961)

Title: Night Squad
Author: David Goodis
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $30

Best things about this cover:

  • One of the noirest, hardboiliest covers I've got. Iconic. Buncha badass fedora-wearing crime-fighters going to war. Strong light/dark contrast (just like the high contrast B&W of classic film noir). There's architectural detail in the dark parts, but you can barely see it. (actually, you can see it on the scan better than you can see it on the actual book ... weird)
  • Love the up-shot angle. Gives the guy in the doorway and the whole building a looming, larger-than-life feel. Also like how his descent of the staircase reflects the cover copy: "... and sent him down into the brutal throbbing heart of the slums."
  • Love the sickly green pall cast by the lamps. Also love the comically worried face of Fedora #2. Also love the wee policeman poised to billyclub the @#$# out of the next guy who looks at him funny.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Blah.
  • I thought it said "rocket boys" the first time I read it, and I wondered why the cops and NASA would be fighting over the same guy. "The terrifying story of two agencies bidding to give a man gainful employment!"
  • Do you really aim a bullet at someone's head? You aim the gun. Unless your gun is broken and you are reduced to just hurling bullets at some guy's head. I guess that could happen.

Page 123~

"Where you going? McDermott asked.

Corey stopped. He stood with his back to the desk. He waited a few moments, then said, "Second and Addison. I got a date."

"With who?"

"A double gin," Corey said. "Is that all right with you?"

Great dialogue. That last line actually reads "Is that all right you you?" I hope you enjoy my non-silent emendation.


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Anonymous said...

NY sure has great architecture -- I'd love to see a precinct station that looks like that on the West Coast.

Nutcracket Boy said...

"They blew up the chicken man in Philly last night
They blew up his house, too
Down on the boardwalk they're getting ready for a fight
Gonna see what them racket boys can do"


(But Levon Helm's version is much better.)

Nicole "Gidget" Kalstein said...

Corey? Really? That isn't what I was going to name any of the three men on the cover, but whatever.

I love the dialogue! Awesome.

Dirt Diggler said...

Corey doesn't sound like "the loneliest man on earth" with BOTH the night squad AND the racket boys after him. He sounds more like the best connected man on earth.

Veronika said...

Man, that cover is gorgeous. If I could just replace "throbbing heart" with "pulsing" or some other cardio-related word..."throbbing" always makes me think about stubbed toes.

This blurb reads like a love triangle between criminals and is described as blandly as a piece of toast...yeah, Lucy wanted him but Tracy wanted him too. Lucy gave him a watch but Tracy gave him a sports car...they were both sluts and he had to talk fast to keep his wife from finding out...

Patrick Murtha said...

That cover kicks some serious ass. I'm a huge menswear aficionado -- we all have different emphases, and that's one of mine -- and from that perspective, this is one of the best covers you've ever posted. I'd be happy to be mistaken for either of those guys (and in fact, I've got equivalents of everything they're wearing in my closet).

JamiSings said...

If my gun was broken I wouldn't throw the bullets. I'd invest in a sling shot.

Eunice said...

Corey looks like he's come to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and he's all out of bubblegum.

See, the problem with nice covers is that, gosh, they're too doggone nice. I got nothin'.

But the back cover is a "meh" fest.

Alix said...

I can't reconcile the back-cover copy with Fedora #1 -- it sounds like they're talking about some boy (Corey? Really?) Fedora #1 has been around the block a few times.

Dan said...

Beautifully written, as usual with Goodis, but what he dudn't know about Cops & Guns would fill a convoy of semi's.

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