Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Paperback 356: The Cask / Freeman Willis Crofts (Penguin 575)

Paperback 356: Penguin 575 (1st ptg, 1946)

Title: The Cask
Author: Freeman Willis Crofts
Cover artist: Uncredited (jonas?)

Yours for: $7


Best things about this cover:
  • It's a mystery. A mystery about ... a cask, I'm guessing. Hey, they can't all be Strip-Tease Girl.
  • I like how there's a picture of a cask on the cover. In case I'd forgotten the title. I also like the wee mustachioed man.
  • I do like the color scheme. And the soft tones and surreal shapes of the buildings and street.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Freeman Willis [zzzzzzzzzz....]. This is *literally* more than you'd ever want to know about Freeman Willis Crofts.
  • This is from when paperbacks were still trying to be highbrow and were taking themselves way too seriously. In just a few years things would get sexed up and pulped up and generally get interesting.

Page 123~

"It is with the utmost regret I have to tell you, M. Boirac, that your wife was undoubtedly murdered by strangulation. Further, you must know that she had been dead several days when that photograph was taken."

Wow. Blunt.


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Lisa in Oz said...

I kind of love this back - the bio is priceless.

"Amateur musician...organist and conductor...gardening and carpentry," is a mix of hobbies that you apparently should expect from an author of "plot detection" novels. God forbid you get a writer who collects stamps or keeps bees - you can tell without even picking up one of their books that the writing will be sub-par.

When I first skimmed it, I thought it said he *amazed* himself with a pencil and exercise book. That would have been kind of awesome.

Tulse said...

I quite like the cover myself -- the muted tones, the mere hints of texture, and the mysterious figure in the distance. It has a restrained sense of menace.

Deb said...

"Then his health gave way." Is that code for "had a nervous breakdown"?

Graham Powell said...

I tried to read this book last year, and, well, your reaction to the back cover sums up my reaction to what's inside.