Monday, October 12, 2009

Paperback 299: Ward 20 / James Warner Bellah (Popular Library 195)

Paperback 299: Popular Library 195 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: Ward 20
Author: James Warner Bellah
Cover artist: Rudolph Belarski

Yours for: $16

Best things about this cover:
  • "I know my breasts are soft and ripe and possibly delicious but let's just keep your hand right here, mkay?"
  • Most pristine Army Hospital ever. Look at that bandage! Those sheets! Her uniform! His pajamas! Immaculate.
  • Everyone in a Rudolph Belarski painting always has the smoothest, most luscious, buttery skin. These folks are angelic, bordering on cherubic.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Love the way "LOVELY LEGS" springs up tall.
  • "Meneilly" joins the growing roster of "Absurd Names from the world of Vintage Paperbacks" — I don't even know if that's a first or last name. I'm praying last.
  • Awesome line break near the bottom: "... their need for women — so hard / To fill"; you had me at "hard."

Page 123~

"Let me go now," she whispered.
"You don't want me to."
"You've got to, Joe!"
"Who says so? You don't. You want me to hold onto you until you can't breathe — until you can't think or —"

This was later turned into the very unpopular movie, "What Women Don't Want"


Bonus material: opening blurb from one A.Q. Maisel of The Saturday Review of Books suggests that "there are many who will gag" when they read this book. Best come-on since, well, "The Macabre Wife Swapping Escapades Will Make You Vomit!.

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beggar1015 said...

I can't get past all the bling they've got on. Her gold lapel pins, his ring and watch. I'm surprised she doesn't have pearl earrings in her ears. Ward 20 is obviously for the upper class amputees.

BookieMonster said...

Brilliant ambiguity in the cover review quote:
"There's hardly a book in the fiction of World War II that you can mention in the same breath."

It *could* be complimentary...

Vladimir said...

So - uh - they are in the amputee ward - and then it says his arm was too swift. The mind boggles with the possibilities....

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Deb said...

Well, I think Achava speaks for all of us. Who amongst us hasn't looked at a novel about passion in the amputee ward (with men "rotting away") and thought, "What this book needs is something about link building and search engine optimization"?

pious agnostic said...

Deb! Ha! Awesome.

Miss Maggie said...

So I found a used bookstore in Salisbury, NC (pronounced Sozzberry, for those in the know) that had a whole pulp section and I thought of you.

kisses from Maughta!

Nicole "Gidget" Kalstein said...

So true about their skin. That's the first thing I noticed. "Wow, they have PERFECT skin!" The nurse has the Snow White thing going on - creamy white skin, rosy cheeks, red lips, black hair....

but that guy has some serious eyelashes.

justjack said...

They kind of remind me of Rosalind Russell and Dana Andrews.

Awesome skin? Haven't noticed. I'm too busy staring desperately at her rack; I swear I can see her nipples poking through the fabric....