Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paperback 445: The Dispossessed / Geoffrey Wagner (Beacon B210)

Paperback 445: Beacon B 210 (PBO, 1959)

Title: The Dispossessed
Author: Geoffrey Wagner
Cover artist: Uncredited [Walter Popp]

Yours for: $17


Best things about this cover:
  • Nice variation on the tormented gay man pose. Love his expression: "Uh ... Christ, what am I supposed to do with this?"
  • Actually, I think he's just applying product to his hair, using a mirror we can't see, just off-screen.
  • She's in one of those impossible poses where she appears to be looking at something/someone (namely, Confused Neanderthal there) she could not possibly see, given his position / the laws of physics. Maybe the dude is a ghost and she's really eying some hunky guy who just walked into her hotel room.
  • Two continents!? TWO!? No way ...


Best things about this back cover:
  • I see that it's unblushingly told, but is it frank? That's really all I want to know.
  • Love how the blurbs are a. miniscule, b. in not-terribly-contrastive font color, and c. insanely brief—I imagine they were culled from terrible reviews, i.e. "This novel gave me a POWERFUL headache" or "the author shows a REMARKABLE TALENT for shallow characterization and hackneyed turns of phrase."

Page 123~

"How was Klee?" she asked.

"Okay. The opposing bloke turned out to be my old school fag."

Wow, your school gave you your very own fag? Lucky...

Seriously, does "fag" mean "chum?" I've never seen that usage before ... well, what d'ya know? There's my answer:
1. A student at a British public school who is required to perform menial tasks for a student in a higher class.
2. A drudge.

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capewood said...

So Richard Terrell, not a sexual deviate but worse, was a product of British public schools?

"Catherine Oliphant" said...

". . . he is a bitter craftsman with a remarkable talent for vitriolic satire." From the actual review. No mention of sex, though.

Deb said...

There was a long thread about the word "fag" on the Awful Library Books website a couple of weeks back. "Faggot" originally referred to a bundle of sticks used to start a fire; because younger boys were expected to perform menial tasks for older boys at English public (i.e., "private") schools, including things like starting the fires each morning, the term "fag" was applied to them. "Fag" is also English slang for a cigarette.

I'll leave it to everyone to determine how the current use of the word evolved.

McClaverty said...

Cover art by Walter Popp.

andys said...

I actually like the curve of her hip and her saucy expression.

borky said...

What I love about the cover is it looks like the artist couldn't make up his mind whether to paint the male protagonist as David Janssen as Dr. David Kimble in The Fugitive, the One Armed Man who killed Kimble's wife, or as as Worzle Gummidge the scarecrow try'n'o switch turnip heads!

He actually looks like he's saying, "Ooh, aah, Aunt Sally, you lyin' bitch! It's bad enough you 'ad t'cut off poor ol' Worzel's 'ead, but did you 'ave to go'n'decieve me by tellin' me I could stick it back on with ten day old fish paste?"

borky said...

I also admire his wife's efforts to wean him off homosexuality, but while quite ingenious in its own way, isn't attaching the top half of her body to a male Russian weightlifter's lower half a bit extreme?

Pat said...

The Dispossessed is a great novel by Ursula K. LeQuin. Glad to she you're not snarking her work.