Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paperback 281: Dead Pigeon / Robert P. Hansen (Bantam 1188)

Paperback 281: Bantam 1188 (1st ptg, 1953)

Title: Dead Pigeon
Author: Robert P. Hansen
Cover artist: Charles Binger

Yours for: $13

Best things about this cover:
  • Step 1: shred my shirt and stun her with my awesome torso. Step 2: beat her to death with a dead pigeon
  • Am I supposed to believe that that is an ordinary white dress shirt. Because I do not believe that that is an ordinary white dress shirt. On his left side, it all looks normal enough, but on his right ... where's the sleeve? Is it a vest? Some kind of crazy modern Swedish Eurovest?
  • I normally find smoking girls with guns and cleavage and gams to be quite hot. Not so this one. She looks bored. Or spellbound by the torsal grandeur of her captive.
  • Something weird is going on behind her head. There's a lamp ... but it sort of disappears somewhere around the "B" in "Robert," as if its right half is invisible.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Words cannot describe how much I love the iconic "Hand of Guy in Suit Holding Pistol" — I want a T-shirt with that image and that image alone on it.
  • The original cover image of this book pictured here is goofy but clever — a reader's POV depiction of a pigeon-shooting carnival game.
  • The cover copy — front and back — is terrible. Pure cliche, and not even superawesomeshameless cliche. Just yawn. Like it was written by the Hardboiled PatterBot 3000.

Page 123~

"[...] Parker was the cruelest man I've ever known, a sadist in an extremely controlled way. He's done several things to me that are unbelievable. [...]"


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Erik said...

In the little b/w picture of the hardback edition on the back, *what* is the hand holding? It looks like a cat toy.

Deb said...

Liz Taylor: The slutty years.

Dean Martin: The Victor Mature lookalike years.

Frank said...

The lamp doesn't disappear, our view of it just gets interrupted by a wall. They're in an L-shaped room or room/hallway, it looks like. The artist just isn't very good at lighting.

Is there any "shadow world" in this book? That torso just seems aimed at the "tragic" man, if you know what I mean and I think you do. I mean, women can love hardboiled fiction, but this is the 50s, so I can't see a publisher actually admitting/acknowledging that.

Anonymous said...

I love how the fact that she's brunette adds to the danger.

Eunice said...

"That's right... Now put it on."

He glared back at her. At that moment Lanigan had never felt dirtier in his life. Having just been worked over by that sadist Parker's gun* this dame with one boob hanging out was going to make him wear a puffy blouse. How the the hell was he supposed to put it on anyway!

In this most gripping tale of our times, thrill as he finds his way through the raw sensual twilight world.

*if you know what I mean.

Is this another example of the Robert Mitchum suck in technique? I think so!

What is up with his pants? The belt/belt buckle is weird right? And where is that red on the right coming from? It can't be a reflection because of the crazy shirt. Blood mayhaps?

Nicole "Gidget" Kalstein said...

A brunette, a gun, AND murder? That IS trouble, indeed.

Beggar1015 said...

#1 - I was also bothered by the shirt and the missing sleeve. Unless that sadist, Parker, has a thing for ripping off one sleeve from the shirt of his victim to keep as a souvenir.

#2 - I'm also bothered by the pants. Trying to visualize his body in symmetry, that would mean those pants are way, WAY too baggy. We're talkin' MC Hammer baggy.

#3 - Everyone and their grandmother seem to be just waltzing into this guy's hotel room! Does it not have a lock on the door? Could he not have jammed the chair up under the doorknob? Maybe put out the Do Not Disturb sign?

#4 - The woman. Who sits in a chair like that? It doesn't look comfortable at all

Alix said...

Yeah, forget the shirt, what about the pants?! There's enough extra fabric there to make a ballgown.

The cigarette appears to be not so much *in* her mouth as glued to the corner.