Sunday, November 28, 2010

Paperback 373: Bewitched / Al Hine (Dell 0551)

Paperback 373: Dell 0551 (PBO, 1965)

Title: Bewitched
Author: Al Hine
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: [SOLD 11-28-10]


Best things about this cover:
  • Big crush on Elizabeth Montgomery. Big big crush. Love this show, esp. Agnes Moorehead as Endora.
  • Sexy witch. Wish the pic were bigger. Stupid text.
  • "Sexy-hexy" is an adjectival form that I really would like to see more of.
  • I want to tell the cover artist "she's not that kind of witch," but she's kind of hot as "that kind of witch," so I'm torn.
  • AL HINE anagrams to INHALE.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I love how the opening line suggests that they were having out-of-this-world sex.
  • "In book form," HA ha.
  • "Over-hexed"—OK, you've maxed out the pun card.
  • This book sounds much saucier than the TV show.
  • Is the blurb for the TV show or the adaptation? Moreover, wtf is the "Philadelphia Bulletin?" Is that like the "Springfield Shopper?"

Page 123~

"Poor man wants a cigarette," Bertha said. "Give him one, darling."
Samantha chuckled and fixed her nose: "Addis Ababa Enamels, Walk a Mile and Meet Some Camels," she said.


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Paperback 372: Male Virgin / Jack Woodford & John B. Thompson (Uni Books 67)

Paperback 372: Uni Books 67 (1st ptg, 1953)

Title: Male Virgin
Author: Jack Woodford & John B. Thompson
Cover artist: Bernard Safran

Yours for: $14


Best things about this cover:
  • "Frank!"
  • Who the hell is Norman Anthony and does he think Dr. Kinsey was a softcore novelist?
  • I'd like this cover a hell of a lot better without that white strip across the bottom.
  • Nothing but nothing about this cover says "Male Virgin." It doesn't say "Male." and it sure doesn't say "Virgin."
  • Bernard Safran is an accomplished cover artist. Somehow surprised to see his work on a book from a publisher as marginal as this one.


Best things about this back cover:
  • But... "socks" is already plural for "socks."
  • Shouldn't the ellipsis be on the *other* side of "Until"?
  • "With the accent on the sap"—that's actually pretty sweet.
  • "MALE VIRGIN is laid in New Orleans..." — well, thanks for giving away the ending.

Page 123~

"In the conventional marriage, there is a lot of mumbo-jumbo ritual which does not in itself constitute a glue binding the principals together. Instead, it provides them both with ammunition which on innumerable occasions has been hurled back and forth in bitterness and recrimination."

This page is actually painfully sincere garbage about what marriage really ought to be about. It's practically the last page of the book. Also, this book has many passages which have been painstakingly underlined, as if someone was actually *studying* it for a test, or wisdom, or something equally improbable / unfathomable.


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Paperback 371: The Love Clinic / Gil Hara (Softcover Library S95277)

Paperback 371: Softcover Library S95277 (PBO, 1966)

Title: The Love Clinic
Author: Gil Hara
Cover artist: photo cover

Yours for: $8


Best things about this cover:

  • Her eyeshadow. Dang.
  • Why can't I get Neil Sedaka's "Having My Baby" out of my head!?!?
  • "You know ... *those* girls. What's up with them?"
  • One of scads of Kinsey-inspired softcore paperback offerings that populated racks in the '50s and '60s, although this one is more about labs studying the physiology of sex than surveys studying the sexual habits of a population. Whatever, the "how can it be science when it turns me on?" issue still applies.


Best things about this back cover:

  • Ugh. Text.
  • This book goes from mere description ("...girls are observed during climax") to judgmental sensationalism (" bare perverse lusts") without even blinking.
  • And, once again, we lead with rape. Yeesh.
  • "These volunteers must really be perverted, right? Right? Can you believe the shamelessness of these perverts? You better buy this book and furtively peep into their lives while you masturbate ... because that is *not* perverted. Not at all."
  • I love how this book barely ever indicates that it's fiction (I think "novel" is the only word, front or back, that signals fiction). Nothing on the front cover suggests "fiction." Even the photo cover suggests a documentary approach.

Page 123~

She used to think it worthwhile to serve such a brilliant man. But now he was methodically tearing the clothes off her.


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Monday, November 15, 2010

Paperback 370: The Law and the Marriage Bed / Gary Gordon (Monarch 472)

Paperback 370: Monarch 472 (PBO, 1965)

Title: The Law and the Marriage Bed
Author: Gary Gordon
Cover artist: photo

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • "A probing analysis!" — "Probing ... not with *that* thing, you're not! I mean, a little legal fetish is one thing—I'll wear the black robe and shout "All rise"—but the gavel is right out!"
  • Her hair is ridiculous.
  • His is not much better.
  • "Case histories" = (very) softcore porn.
  • It takes a special kind of literalist to come up with the "gavel + bouquet on pillow" motif for this book.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Whoa, whoa. You think you could ease me into the rape talk!? Who leads with that question!? Yeesh.
  • Hey look, it's the same ugly photo as on the cover. The production budget for this book must have been about $12.

Page 123~

The case of Rex v. Rex (39 Ohio App. 295, 177 N.E. 527) sets forth the principle that for coitus between separated husband and wife to be condonation [of previous adultery], it must be voluntary and not induced by fear, intimidation or secured by trickery.

I would read the novelization of this ruling: "Rex v. Rex" — c'mon, that's a great title.


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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paperback 369: Just For Kicks / Donna Powell (Satan Press 111)

Paperback 369: Satan Press 111 (PBO, 1965)

Title: Just For Kicks
Author: Donna Powell
Cover artist: [Gene Bilbrew]

Yours for: $50


Best things about this cover:
  • His eyes! His teeth! His lopsided ribcage!! His ankle!!! Dear lord make it stop!
  • Those women are fantastically grotesque. A disquieting combo of hot & weird & malproportioned
  • I can't tell if they are flirting with him or about to kill him. Veronica seems only seconds from bringing that drink smashing down on the mummy's head...


Best things about this back cover:

  • A drug-fueled, sex-soaked road trip to Mexico sounds fun. The "indignities and perversions they are subjected to" while "prisoners" ... that could go either way.
  • "Ironic"—HA ha. Yes, when I looked at the front cover, my first thought was, "O. Henry!"
  • The condition of this book is &*^%ing unreal.
Page 123~ (pleasebeawesomepleasebeawesomepleasebeawesome)

"This place gives me the willies," she glanced toward the stage where the Shetland was still lunging away at the diminutive red-head. And she still looked bored.

Uh ... oh. Oh my. That's ... something. Yet somehow the comma splice in first sentence is bothering me at least as much as the horse-on-girl action.


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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Paperback 368: Voodoo Planet & Plague Ship / Andrew North (Ace D-345)

Paperback 367: Ace Double D-345 (PBO & 1st ptg, 1959)

Title: Voodoo Planet / Plague Ship
Author: Andrew North / Andrew North
Cover artist: Ed Emshwiller / Uncredited [Ed Valigursky]

Yours for: $13


Best things about this cover:
  • In the future, cell phone earpieces will be silly, cumbersome contraptions that double as coffee makers.
  • "Golly, these black vikings are a lot less primitive than I thought!"
  • Love the squiggle-edged script on the title. You can really feel the voodoo.


Best things about this other cover:

  • "The Galaxy" ordered their destruction!? Wait ... "their?" Him and the bird?!?!
  • Bird: "Run, Steve, Run! They'll never understand our love!"
  • That is the longest, slimmest, most slowly tapering rocket I've ever seen.

Page 123~

And yet the hunting Hoobat was sure that the invading pests were within.

This book clearly had merchandising potential. I want a hunting Hoobat action figure to put between Batwoman and Samurai Jack on my bookshelf.


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Friday, November 5, 2010

Paperback 367: High School Confidential / Morton Cooper (Avon T-257)

Paperback 367: Avon T-257 (PBO, 1958)

Title: High School Confidential
Author: Morton Cooper
Cover artist: My hero (Uncredited!!!)

Yours for: $30


Best things about this cover:
  • I wish I had this cover image in poster-sized form; I would frame it and hang it next to my movie poster of "The Beat Generation" (1959) or "The Big Operator" (1959) — I went through a Mamie Van Doren phase, what can I say?
  • Why aren't books this pretty any more? Beautifully-sketched urban scene, awesomely attitudinal teen-agers, and confident, bold, eye-popping use of color. No idea what's going on with the title font, but I love it.
  • Juvenile delinquency = my favorite '50s paranoia.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Mamie!
  • I can't believe I haven't seen this movie. From the description, I'd say there's nothing not to like about this movie. I mean, "hot-rod hipsters and jive-talking cool cats!?" What more do you want?
  • Hmmm. I knew there was a John Barrymore. And I know Drew Barrymore. I did not, however, know there was a John Drew Barrymore. I wonder how the family reacted to the exciting news that John Drew would be getting third billing behind the likes of Russ Tamblyn and Jan Sterling.

Page 123~

She blinked at him. "Yup," she nodded agreeably. "Yup and double yup. Gonna do my duty," she promised, saluting patriotically only a moment before she caved in and fell to the nearest chair, apparently dead to the world.
"Yup and double yup." There's some jive-talking I insist on bringing back.


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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Paperback 366: Bachelor Girl / Dorine B. Clark (Intimate Novels 54)

Paperback 366: Intimate Novels 54 (PBO, 1954)

Title: Bachelor Girl
Author: Dorine B. Clark
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $40


Best things about this cover:
  • One of my favorite books. It has virtually everything I love: it's a rare imprint, in very good shape, it's about lesbians, it's "frank" ("brutally frank" acc. to back cover), it uses Kinsey as a tease (also back cover), it's got a major misspelling ("ecstacy?!") ... Home Run.
  • Jeanne thinks wistfully of the time when she used to have a real telephone to talk on ...
  • "Are these close mannish enough for you, honey? Honey? Are you dreaming about telephones again?!"
  • Love the hint of a suggestion of a bed in the background. In case you can't put 2 and 2 together from the rest of the cover ... they're doing it.
  • That's one aggressively foregrounded ashtray.
  • Nice cleavage.


Best things about this back cover:
  • The zigzag lines tell you these people are all mixed up, sexually—other things that tell you this are "twisted," "twisted," "torn," "perplexing problems," "mixed up mentally and physically," "strange pastures" ("Mooooo!"), and, of course, last but not least, "brutally frank" (tee hee!).
  • This was published two years after the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1952). I used this book in my talk at Hofstra last week as an example of a. the ways gayness was pathologized in paperbacks, and b. the way that Kinsey was used to legitimize public interest in gay-themed fiction. "It's science!"
"Ouch, that frankness hurt. Stop brutalizing me with your frankness!"
Page 123~
She had been blind for so long. But now she knew. Now she looked into her heart and felt utterly sure of her love for Jimmy. She listened to the hammering of her heart; she had hoped it would beat again to the rhythm of love.
I really, really wish I could tell you "Jimmy" was a woman. Sadly, this book ends as most lesbian fiction ended in the '50s (and earlier)—with the woman realizing ultimate happiness as a straight woman (that, or with the woman dying).

Sorry for the gap in publication. I should be back on schedule for the foreseeable future now.

[Me, speaking at Hofstra, 10/22/10]


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