Thursday, June 17, 2010

Paperback 326: Terror in the Sun / Richard Glendinning (Gold Medal 237)

Paperback 326: Gold Medal 237 (PBO, 1952)

Title: Terror in the Sun
Author: Richard Glendinning
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Yours for: $15

Best things about this cover:
  • Sexy swamp ninja.
  • It's a weird cover—eerily still. Not tarted up. Not violent. Works by suggesting the threat of approaching menace. I admire her locks and curves, but the focal point of this painting is clearly her eyes. The sideways/backwards glance. Like someone's following her. Cool.
  • Realistically, she's about three seconds from being blindsided and devoured by a crocodile.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Leaving aside the nonsensical quality of the simile (original sin just *is*—it doesn't "sweep"), I love that first sentence. And the second. And the last.
  • Having read this back cover, I know almost nothing about this novel, but this kind of skeletal, sparse, overdramatic cover copy is far more likely to hook me than a clear or thorough description of the plot might. I don't wanna know what happens. I wanna know what it's gonna *feel* like to read this thing.

Page 123~

"Oh, I'm tough enough, Johnny boy. I have to be hard because I want things the soft can't have. I know the way I've got to go to get them, and I won't mind squaring a few accounts along the way."

Wow. That is pure hard-boiled poetry. Quintessential tough dame talk. I think I love you, Swamp Girl.


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Lisa in Oz said...

That cover vaguely reminds me of the final scene in Cape Fear where Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum stalk each other through the swamp.

Also, I'd totally read this.

capewood said...

Maybe she just pushed some guy overboard and wants to be sure he stays down.

Rick Lieder said...

Could that really be broomstick and she's really a . . . WITCH?

Anonymous said...

The plot sounds kind of like that of the hilariously overwrought 1952 Jennifer Jones/Charlton Heston movie Ruby Gentry. Lots of heavy-breathing swamp antics.


Anonymous said...

They had joy, they had fun
They had Terror In The Sun...

Michael5000 said...

I was gonna say, "She swept through that swamp town like original sin" doesn't make a lick of sense -- yet is awesome.

Madame Enfer said...

Looks fun. Did you ever read it?

Props to the joy/fun comment, haha