Monday, November 16, 2009

57 Books from the University Book Sale: Book 14

: Down These Mean Streets (Signet 3471, 1968)
Author: Piri Thomas
Cover artist: photo

Yours for: Whatever

  • A stirring tale of laundry!
  • I got this only for the title, which comes from Raymond Chandler's "Simple Art of Murder": "Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean ..."
  • "Attempted Killer!?" As Sideshow Bob once famously said about "attempted murder": "Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?"

Page 123:

I tried to dig myself.


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Brian Busby said...

Oh, they try hard to make it look all tough and streetwise, but really it's all "warmth and humor". Drenched with it, apparently.

Alix said...

A dark-skinned Puerto Rican hung up like LAUNDRY, get it? Such a genius metaphor!

Tulse said...

I like the ambiguity in "attempted killer" -- "well, maybe he was tryin' to murder the guy and maybe it was self-defense...I'll never tell!"

it's all "warmth and humor". Drenched with it, apparently.

But starkly drenched.

justjack said...

"Joey, Joey Doyle!...Hey, I got one of your birds. I recognize him by the band...He flew into my coop. You want him?"

Frank said...

The cover makes it look like "The savage power of MANCHILD IN THE PROMISED LAND DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS" which not only makes no sense, but is super-long. And just what the hell is the "MANCHILD IN THE PROMISED LAND" about? Is it a tagline? Did they leave off the "a" that would have made it make some sort of sense? Is Piri's nickname "Manchild"?

That NYT blurb makes it sound like this book gives you a massive of case of heartburn/indigestion. Get out the Pepto! Also, thanks, Piri, but I don't think I want you to make me live in hell with you; I hear it's awfully crowded and hot this time of year.

Nicole "Gidget" Kalstein said...

That is one of the most dramatic back covers I've ever read.