Sunday, August 2, 2009

Paperback 272: Home Is The Sailor / Day Keene (Gold Medal 225)

Paperback 272: Gold Medal 225 (PBO, 1952)

Title: Home is the Sailor
Author: Day Keene
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $25

Best thing about this cover:

  • Someone needs to tell him that a captain's hat really does not go with pajama bottoms.
  • She is hot in a tawdry bar slut kind of way. The upthrust boobs and hand-on-ass are particularly nice touches.
  • I worry that his aggressive and thorny-looking patch of chest hair is going to chafe her delicate boob skin (I am now giggling aloud at the phrase "boob skin")
  • She looks lusty, while he looks like he's going to vomit his last daiquiri right in her face.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Why aren't guys named "Swede" anymore? Maybe because being named Swede has been shown to cause a remarkable increase in the likelihood that you will die in some miserable, noirish fashion (see Hemingway's "The Killers," for instance).
  • Copy writer here is clearly a graduate of the Crappy Metaphor Institute. He seems to have minored in Redundancy (when you've already called her a "tempest," "hurricane" should not be your next go-to image).

Page 123~
That had been in the bar, in a booth, with Corliss sitting opposite me, looking cool and fresh and virginal in white, eating prime ribs au jus, urging me to eat; me unable to eat, nursing a fresh bottle of Bacardi.

Nothing more virginal than a white-clad lady daintily slurping her blood-red meat.


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Dirt Diggler said...

By the looks of that dirty tapa bar and Dean Martin there, the title should be: "Home Is The Squalor". By the same token his name should be: "Italio".

(When a novel is described as "fast" does that mean it's easy to read?)

Lisa in Oz said...

Wow. That dude is about one shot of tequila away from passing out in a gutter. A fresh bottle of Bacardi for dinner indeed...

Xerxes Iguana said...

"No Ginger! It's me - Gilligan! I've just borrowed the Skipper's hat!"

Thom said...

It looks to me like Swede's knife vanished just as he was on the verge of disembowelling her.

Anonymous said...

It looks like she's laughing because she just farted and he's grossed out by the smell.

I just started reading this blog, which I love because it is very funny. I sometimes read your NYT Crossword Puzzle blog because I am addicted to NYT crossword puzzles but live on the west coast.

I have a question though; why do so many of the paperbacks have the sentence, "An original novel - not a reprint" on them? Is that important? What if they were reprints? Would that cheapen them somehow?

Eunice said...

Well, he has quite the moldy coloring there. Before reading your blog I would've never guessed that zombies used to have solid modeling careers.

Maybe she just got breast implants? Hence his right hand and her stance. "Go ahead, try 'em out!"
"Uh... I guess so."

I like the peek of leg at the bottom of her dress.

Those really are terrible metaphors.

"Swede Nelson, ashore to stay" sounds like the beginning of a poem. In fact, a poem like this:
"Swede Nelson, ashore to stay
Met a hurricane tempest who liked to play
She didn't care he was spiky and green
By the author of To Kiss, or Kill - Day Keane"
*snaps fingers*

Tulse said...

What lousy back cover copy -- it says practically nothing about the novel that the front blurb doesn't already make clear. "This novel is about a guy who gets in trouble when he meets a girl" -- doesn't that cover a good portion of Western literature?

The Vicar of VHS said...

I'm late with the Gilligan's Island reference, but I was thinking this is kind of like THE HOWELLS: The Honeymoon Years. :)

Also, "Swede Nelson, ashore to stay," is an "s-space-w" away from being awesome.

Frank Loose said...

Anonymous ... Regarding your question about Gold Medal books carrying the slogan "An Original Novel, not a Reprint." Before Gold Medal started publishing original books in paperback form, books were first released as hard backs. After the First Edition run in HB, a reprint edition in PB was released, some times by a small publishing house who bought the reprint rights. So, original First Edition PBs were a pretty big deal, and this totally changed the publishing world. There were also some legal issues involved in all this, but i don't recall the details. At least, this is my memory of the history.

Frank Loose said...

P. S. Home is the Sailor is a first class noir read. Perhaps a little over seeped in alcohol, but written with some great scenes. I think it is Day Keene's best book. Hard Case Crime re-published it a few years ago. It has an excellent cover representing a pivotal scene from the book. Nice art, but not near as much "fun" as the original artwork in the GM edition posted above, in that it doesn't lend itself to the funny comments folks have offered up.

beggar1015 said...

When I first saw the cover I recognized "Swede" immediately.

That's Robert Mitchum

's second cousin, Earl, posing for the picture. I'd recognize that patented Mitchum suck-in-gut technique anywhere. It's a family tradtion.

Deb said...

Love the "patented Mitchum suck-in-gut technique" reference. We watched the original "Cape Fear" recently and in the "strip search" scene, Mitchum could hardly get the words out he was sucking in his gut so hard. Another hall-of-fame gut-sucker: William Holden in "Picnic."

BTW, we had a man at our Church for many years who was named "Swede." He came to America from Sweden (wow--who woulda thunk that?) when he was a kid and was always known as "Swede." When he passed away a couple of years ago, I read the obit and couldn't place him at first because the obit used his given name and not "Swede."

P.M. said...

Their chronic pain brought them together. He would almost forget the fact that his arthritis had twisted his hand into a claw when he saw the debilitating effects of her lower back pain.

I love this novel by the way - it's a good one. Hard Case Crime republished it a couple of years back.

C.L. Young said...

The sailor actually looks unsure about whether or not he likes girls. And the tawdry bar slut looks like she doesn't have a clue.

cwogle said...

"She is hot in a tawdry bar slut kind of way."

Oh. I didn't know that there was another way.