Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Paperback 397: The Fighting Edge / William MacLeod Raine (Pocket Books 691)

Paperback 397: Pocket Books 391 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: The Fighting Edge
Author: William MacLeod Raine
Cover artist: Frank McCarthy

Yours for: Not for sale (gift to the collection from Doug Peterson)


Best things about this cover:
  • If you stare at that giant furry meaty ginger club of a hand for any length of time, it will start to look obscene. You will have nightmares. There will be blood.
  • Blood here looks fake and lipstickish, though—like the guy's fist was, just minutes earlier, engaged in a Señor Wences routine. "S'alright if I punch you in the face!? ... S'alright!"


Best things about this back cover:
  • "You'll find a new rider in the bunkhouse!" — it unintentional gayness a requirement of all western cover copy? "I like 'em man-size" !? Come on!
  • "I'm no dry nurse to fellows shy of sand" — nice syntax, Tex. I think this is what got that guy on the front cover punched in the face by Señor Gargantufist.

Page 123~

Dillon had taken off his high-heeled boots because they were hurting his feet. He observed that Walker, lying fully dressed on the blankets, was still wearing his.
A rare glimpse backstage at an Old West drag show. Catty banter to follow, I'm sure.


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Friday, March 25, 2011

Paperback 396: A Thousand Beds / John Dexter (Companion Books 521)

Paperback 396: Companion Books 521 (PBO, 1967)

Title: A Thousand Beds
Author: John Dexter
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: Not for Sale (Donation to the collection from Doug Peterson, god bless him)


Best things about this cover:
  • A cover that answers the question: are there *female* Oompa Loompas?
  • I can't even begin to imagine what I'm supposed to be imagining is going on here.
  • Her forearm stand is OK, but she needs to extend up through her feet, tuck her tailbone, and look down between her hands. Also, lose the hipster dork with the baby oil.
  • Few things less sexy than the entire above-the-neck area on the kneeling lady. Her hair appears to be modeled on a toilet paper dispenser.
  • I'm giving this shame-stunt a 7. It's memorable, in its way, but there's a general aura of ennui that hangs over the whole scene. If you're going to do shame-stunts, I think your heart should really be in it. Also, though I can't hear her, I'm gonna say that kneeling lady was a little pitchy.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Love this back cover style: "WEIRD PHRASE... nonsensical sexed-up text ... WEIRDER PHRASE!" You can find it on a Lot of sex paperback back covers in the late '60s.
  • "VICE VOTES!?" I mean ... that's not even suggestive. It's like it was generated by a Mad Libs, came out stupid, but they ran with it anyway. Makes about as much sense as "VICE PENCILS!" or "SHAME STEREOS!"
  • "Mark Vista had left his mark on every woman worth having" — it takes a lot to gross me out, but I think this line did it.
Page 123~ (fingers crossed... uh ... oh boy—gonna have to quote at length here ... and introducing: footnote comments)
Then I almost shot through the ceiling. Sally had slipped her moist tongue into my armpit [1] and was making swift circular motions. Her tongue stiffened as it darted into the bottom of one armpit after the other [2], whipping the hair into a wet lather [3].

I longed to take her head and take it to fuzzy-wuzzy land [4]. She'd probably think it was an ice-cream cone [5]. But in the meantime, what was the rush? I knew before the hour was out I was going to get my ashes hauled by this classy broad [6].
  1. [!]
  2. [how many armpits does this guy have!?]
  3. [Is there an award for "Most Nauseating Sex Writing," because winner winner chicken dinner]
  4. [How is this *less* offensive than "my cock?" Dear lord!]
  5. [Because it's freezing and conical?]
  6. [The absolute funniest word in this whole quotation is "classy"]
Now imagine reading ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-TWO PAGES OF THIS. What was the market for this!? How could this work as one-handed reading? Wouldn't the constant laughing wreck the mood?



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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Paperback 395: Hostess to Murder / Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Mystery Novel Classic 58)

Paperback 395: Mystery Novel Classic No. 58 (1st ptg, 1943)

Title: Hostess to Murder
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $18


Best things about this cover:

  • These early digests are kind of horrible, coverartwise.
  • The hand is sort of unintentionally frightening, in a jointless, put-your-eye-out kind of way.

Back cover fail, once again (just a repeated pattern of the publisher's logo), so ... straight to ...

Page 123~

"Whither away?" called Cartaret, gaily.

No typos were made in the typing of that last sentence. I like how it all hovers between the nonsensical and ... well, the really nonsensical. It's like a lost line from "Jabberwocky."


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Monday, March 21, 2011

Paperback 394: The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. Magazine (Feb. 1967)

Paperback 394: The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (Feb. 1967)

Author: Robert Hart Davis et al.
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $5


Best things about this cover:
  • Pretty sure the teal pen outline of the gun-toting figures is not original.
  • Photo was actually lifted from publicity stills for the failed "That Girl!" spinoff entitled "That Hat!"
  • There is rather remarkable definition / shading on the boobs here. Hard to see because the damned hat is so distracting, but it's there...
  • Zebra skin makes the best shoes.


Best things about this back cover:

  • Yet another publicity still, this one from the short-lived cover band / duo called "The Karpenters"

Page 123~

Finally he said, "Okay, Canard, but this only works once. I got friends in the D.A.'s office, too. When I get that envelope, you're a dead man."

"Sooner or later, Degna, we all are."

Yeesh, that's a line even "CSI: Miami" would've thrown away.


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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Paperback 393: Death Wears a Bridal Veil / Kathleen Moore Knight (Mystery Novel Classic 54)

Paperback 393: Mystery Novel Classic No. 54 (1st ptg, 1943)

Title: Death Wears a Bridal Veil
Author: Kathleen Moore Knight
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:

  • Oh no, they flattened that poor pig! And on her wedding day!
  • Apparently rationing during war time extended to hyphens. Sorry "Full" and "Length," no touching.

Back cover just has "A Detective Novel Classic" stamped all over it, so ... moving on ...

Page 123~

Under the bedclothes Phyllis' hands clinched as she fought for courage.

You can do it, Phyllis! Just lie back and think of England!


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Friday, March 11, 2011

Paperback 392: The Leather Burners / Bliss Lomax (Century Western 54)

Paperback 392: Century Western 54 (1st ptg, 1947)

Title: The Leather Burners
Author: Bliss Lomax
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $13


Best things about this cover:
  • It's like two guys at a Flamboyant Ascot convention are having a chummy discussion about fabric texture: "Go on, feel it with your knuckles ... hey, easy, not so hard, I paid 6Gs for this. Persian silk. Etc."
  • If this is a fight, it appears to have begun with a drink dispute—specifically, with the question of which is the manlier drink: Miller Lite or a whiskey sour? Unsurprisingly, whiskey sour man is kicking ass.


Best things about this back cover:
  • In case you were wondering about the plausibility of my ascot scenario, I give you: Rainbow.

Page 123~

Rainbow saw Lint Granger stumble and go headlong. Grumpy was at the sheriff's side in a flash. Lint was heavy, raw boned, but Grumpy picked him up in a single movement, hurled him forward toward safety.

I wish this book were called "A Man Named Lint." Who *wouldn't* read that?

Not sure what kind of character-naming prowess I expect from a guy named "Bliss."


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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Paperback 391: Confessions of a Part Time Bride / Hall Bennett (Love Novel 4)

Paperback 391: Love Novel 4 (1st ptg, 1945)

Title: Confessions of a Part Time Bride
Author: Hall Bennett
Cover artist: "J.C."

Yours for: $10


Best things about this cover:
  • When they say "hands are hard to draw," they aren't kidding. Yikes.
  • What's most interesting to me are the *tiniest* suggestions of "bed": head is on a pillow, which I can tell is a pillow only by seeing the corner (which merges w/ the end of the word "Bride"); the small bit of ruffle on her shoulder, suggesting a frilly nightgown; the prominent ring emphasizing "it's marital!," raising questions about the suggestive "Part Time" part of the title ...
  • Really like the font on "Part Time Bride." Really wish "Part Time" were properly punctuated.


Best things about this back cover:

Kind of a cool logo, actually. It's all very saucy for the mid-'40s, frankly.

Page 123~

"It's probably just another poor fish—customer to you, sugar. Those birds—the police, I mean—aren't likely to be so reticent."

Well, that's one way to handle slang in your stories.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Paperback 390: Old Hell / Emmett Gowen (Blue Seal 2)

Paperback 390: Red Seal 2 (1st ptg, 1937)

Title: Old Hell
Author: Emmett Gowen
Cover artist: Howard Simon

Yours for: $35


Best things about this cover:

  • The single scariest mustache of all time. Don't believe me? Imagine kissing that guy. Yeah, that's right.
  • Two things you don't want to mess with: Ma's toothpicks and Ma's salt.
  • I have no idea what this book is about—it's a pre-Pocket Books paperback (pre-1939, rare), put out by Modern Age Books on what appears to be a subscription basis. There is a mint condition Business Reply Card (slash bookmark!) tucked inside the cover:



No point scanning the back cover—just a Blue Seal Books logo on a brown background.

Page 123~

It's so hot I can feel the drops of sweat like something I wouldn't name was a-crawling on my belly.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? Part of me really wants to know what the "something" is, and the other (bigger) part is thanking god he wouldn't name it.


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