Saturday, December 29, 2012

Paperback 585: A Dram of Evil / D.J. Olson (Award Books A285X)

Paperback 585: Award Books A285X (PBO, 1967)

Title: A Dram of Evil
Author: D.J. Olson
Cover artist: allworkandnoplaymakesJackadullboy

Yours for: $10


Best things about this cover:
  • If I'd had any hand in decorating that room, I'd've hanged myself too. "Living nightmare," indeed.
  • Grandma got run over by a reindeer ... and then she lay down on this bed and bled out.
  • This cover is making me nostalgic for "Harold & Maude."
  • I want to live in a world where more things are done "in the BABY JANE manner." 


Best things about this back cover:

  • Ugh. Text. Come on. Enough with the wordy-words.
  • Wait ... if the girl had been dead ... Jack Wardlaw would *still* have been a murderer. What am I missing?
  • I want to live in a world where more things are "personified by Boyd Hanover."
  • Oooh, a *black* web of evil. Nice. I was expecting mauve.

Page 123~

The room was dark and humid and I caught myself actually sniffing the air like an animal, as if wary of his scent.

"Actually" is the definition of unnecessary in this sentence. I'm sure you'd like some fantastically withering comment here, after my month+-long hiatus, but all I've got is my inner editor going "oh, hell no. Cut!"


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Friday, November 23, 2012

Paperback 584: The Delicate Ape / Dorothy B. Hughes (Pocket Books 422)

Paperback 584: Pocket Books 422 (1st ptg, 1946)

Title: The Delicate Ape
Author: Dorothy B. Hughes
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $17


Best things about this cover:
  • I have not read this book, but I dearly hope that this cover is some kind of surreal metaphor and not an actual scene from the book. 
  • Who would pick this book up based on its cover? "Hmmm, I've always been curious about apes who are also sexual sadists and aesthetes ... I guess I'll give this a try."
  • Love the flag motif against the camouflage background. It's like some horribly ill-conceived army recruitment poster. (Upon closer inspection, it's actually a camo-colored map of the world)


Best things about this back cover:

  • Well, if you want to know what this book is about, that first paragraph really isn't going to help you much.
  • I think the cover is a depiction of "a seductive force in evil hands." 
  • I assume the information he has, the information everyone wants, is data on the disastrous consequences of a flower diet in the ape population.

Page 123~

"He's an old man. Something could happen."
"These opportune events do not often occur." Watkins scooped a spoon of ice cream. 

Spy's gotta eat.


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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Paperback 583: Rape of Honor / Willi Heinrich (Permabook M-4247)

Paperback 583: Permabook M-4247 (1st ptg, 1962)

Title: Rape of Honor
Author: Willi Heinrich
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $10

Best things about this cover:
  • Rape of Honor! It's like regular rape, except not at all like regular rape and made up by some emasculated douchebag.
  • Like I want to read a book about rape by a guy named "Willi."
  • If you killed the color Pink and left it to rot in the woods for a week, it would look like this.
  • Willi Heinrich is also the author of "Crack of Doom." Willi needs a new translator (his current translator, fyi, is Sigrid Rock)


Best things about this back cover:
  • "Yes, I know. I'm even less sexy up close."
  • Sartre *wishes* he wrote dialogue this bewildering / existential.
  • I assume that when she flings her gown open, she reveals that she's wearing her lucky Tweety Bird t-shirt.

Page 123~

Rupert stared aghast at her indifferent face. "You're married to the father of your husband?"

Seriously, Willi, fire Sigrid, 'cause this shit makes no sense.


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Bonus picture—a preview of forthcoming Pop Sensation books (all pulled out of a bookstore in Ithaca yesterday)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paperback 582: Campus Call Girl / Scott O'Neill (Gold Star Books IL7-35)

Paperback 582: Gold Star Books IL7-35 (PBO, 1964)

Title: Campus Call Girl
Author: Scott O'Neill
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $25

Best things about this cover:
  • Get her some non-molded-plastic hair and I'd be In Love.
  • That is one of the best come-hither/fuck-you glances I've seen on a paperback cover.
  • Striped towel and striped bikini = Campus. Fierce heels and cigarette = Call Girl
  • I'm weirdly distracted by "into" sitting there all alone in its own line. Maybe it can call up "The" and they can get together.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "... but all the boys call me 'Double D' [WINK]"
  • "In case you were wondering what I'd look like in mirror symmetry—voila!"
  • Because nothing says "call girl" like faux-wood paneling.

Page 123~

Aniel shrugged. "Depends on how long 'long' is."

Truer words ...


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paperback 581: When You Think of Me / Erskine Caldwell (Signet S1839)

Paperback 581: Signet 1839 (1st ptg, 1960)

Title: When You Think of Me 
Author: Erskine Caldwell
Cover artist: [Signature blurred / Uncredited] — interior illustr. by Louis Macouillard

Yours for: $20

Best things about this cover:
  • I know Caldwell girls are typically very "earthy," but I don't normally think of them as literally growing out of the earth.
  • I love the guy in the background. He's like "That ... looks like ... what the hell?"
  • The hyphen on "Ameri-ca's" hurts. A lot.

Best things about this back cover:
  • "Living, loving, laughing ... suffering!" Ouch. It's really, really hard to land that Quadruple Alliteration in competition.
  • I'm curious about the engineering on this "gun to distribute bread among starving peasants."
  • Whoever typeset "bum's—eye" doesn't know his en dash from his rear end (-ash).

Page 123~
"They'd never understand what you went through at a time like that. All you knew was that your pal, who had gone through hell with you, was dead. That puts a queer feeling into any man."
One of the earliest documented discussions of post-traumatic queer disorder.


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Bonus interior illustrations include stunners like "Josef Stalin Likes To Drink" 


... and "Dementors Adopt Potter As Their Own":


Friday, November 9, 2012

Paperback 580: The Black Angel / Cornell Woolrich (Avon Murder Mystery Monthly 27)

Paperback 580: Avon Murder Mystery Monthly 27 (1st ptg, 1944)

Title: The Black Angel
Author: Cornell Woolrich
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $30

Best things about this cover:
  • She-Bat!
  • I do love Skeleton Warhol.
  • This book's kind of beat up, but it's complete, it's intact, and a 1944 Woolrich is a 1944 Woolrich (this was part of a stash of books I pulled out of a coastal Oregon bookstore this past summer—the rest of the stash to be covered in the books that follow)

Best things about this back cover:
  • That's a pretty rare Chandler right there. I don't really have anything else to say about this back cover. You can see the foxing and tanning near the spine there ("foxing" and "tanning" being fun words I learned in the process of collecting).

Page 123~
"Don't ever call me that name," I said shakily. "Don't even say it over a second time now to remind yourself what ti was. Don't use it again, Ladd, or I'll — you'll never see me again. Call me any other name, anything you want. Anything but that."
Rejected lyrics from Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al."


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Paperback 579: The Score / Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) (Pocket Books 35014)

Paperback 579: Pocket Books 35014 (PBO, 1964)

Title: The Score
Author: Richard Stark (pseud. of Donald Westlake)
Cover artist: Harry Bennett

Yours for: No way (probably worth $50-75 in this (perfect) condition)

Best things about this cover:
  • A fine paperback original by one of my very favorite crime writers. If I had to save just a dozen books from my collection, this would probably be one of them.
  • Startlingly original cover painting by Harry Bennett. Brilliant use of the windshield as a frame-within-the-frame, highlighting Parker and his gang of robbers by stark contrast with the darkness of the imposing, cover-filling truck. Little highlights of color here and there really pop. Red background adds an intense, menacing edge to the whole scene. Just great.
  • I'm reading my way through all the Parker novels right now (well, when I get time in between all the damn reading I have to do for work). Just finished teaching "The Hunter" in my crime fiction class—the opening of that book is one of the greatest opening chapters / pieces of character development I've ever read.

Best things about this back cover:
  • IFFY! "Goddam!"
  • Now the truck is (literally, visually) riding on "IF..." Nice. 
  • "It was so stupid it might even work."—the creative team behind "Crystal Pepsi"

Page 123~

Just at four a.m. they entered the Command Room and found the three bodies; all three were now dead.

That post-semicolon part is brutal, particularly the "now."


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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Paperback 578: False Witness / Helen Nielsen (Ballantine U2150)

Paperback 578: Ballantine Books U2150 (2nd ptg, 1966)

Title: False Witness
Author: Helen Nielsen
Cover artist: [illegible]

Yours for: $10

Best things about this cover:
  • When Drapery Attacks!
  • I give up; what the hell am I looking at? Looks like a Cirque de Soleil act gone very, very wrong.
  • That dude's like, "Uh ... Can you help me? I think I'm supposed to be on a different cover?"


Best things about this back cover:
  • Why would you emphasize words that mean nothing to a potential reader? "'RANDOM NAME!'!? Ooh, this looks good..."
  • This description is very, very confusing. I really lost track of things at "foreigners."
  • Looks like strange photographs of roses were a big thing in late '60s cover design.

Page 123~

I didn't comment. The silence was ominous enough without confusing it with words I couldn't prove. 

Sometimes you just gotta shut up and enjoy the ominousness.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, November 2, 2012

Paperback 577: Club Tycoon Sends Man to Moon / Felix Mendelsohn Jr. (Book Co. of America 13)

Paperback 577: Book Co. of America 13 (PBO, 1965)

Title: Club Tycoon Sends Man to Moon
Author: Felix Mendelsohn Jr.
Cover artist: [signature illegible] [Brennan? Boorman? Boron?]

Yours for: $20

Best things about this cover:
  • That! That is what I want to look like when I'm 75. Like an old Greek rap star supervillain. If I don't end up with a Money Throne, a Soviet missile, and a real-life Modigliani model in my house by the time I die, I will consider my life wasted.
  • I assume that throne is also some kind of hovercraft. I mean, why would you go through the trouble of building something that awesome if it couldn't fly?
  • I bought this book because it is insane-looking. A silly-sounding title from a very minor press, written by a guy with a ludicrous pseudonym. If I had a "Kabinet of Kooky Kuriosities," I'd put this book there.


Best things about this back cover:
  • You have no idea how much I *don't* want to know what "built-in stump" means.
  • You can get your "World's Greatest Lecher" mug at
  • I love how "wonderfully gay" is echoed further down the page by "a bachelor by choice" (and, possibly, "Cryptanalyst").
  • According to that final sentence, the author and I are 80% alike. This worries me.
  • Publishers were correct in their prediction that this would not be Felix Mendelsohn Jr's last novel. He seems to have written one other, "Superbaby," which I Must Acquire:

Page 23~ (the book is exactly 122 pages long)
Wayne: "What's your line, Mr. Dormin?"
Dormin: "Laxatives."
Sure. Why not?


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

P.S. Hope my east coast readers weathered Sandy successfully. We had a state of emergency up here, but nothing happened. Still, I was prepared:


P.P.S. I've been meaning to post this pic of a sign for a local deli — in Endwell (!) NY — just 'cause. I haven't been in yet, but I am ... curious:


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Paperback 576: The Day the Sea Rolled Back / Mickey Spillane (Bantam 14597-5)

Paperback 576: Bantam 14597-5 (1st ptg, 1981)

Title: The Day the Sea Rolled Back
Author: Mickey Spillane
Cover artist: Maroto (?) — book is illustrated (!?) by "Maroto"

Yours for: $16
Best things about this cover:
  • In honor of Hurricane Sandy (and just because it's next in line), I give you: the opposite of a storm surge!
  • I assume that chest is full of Cheerios 'cause no way that kid lifts it otherwise.
  • I'm weirdly in the middle of the latest Lemony Snicket book (gorgeously illustrated by Seth), which features a strange ex-sea landscape like the one suggested here.
  • Unless Hammer is about to emerge from behind that boat skeleton and put some .45-sized holes in those kids, I don't think I want to read this book.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Mickey Spillane: Stud.
  • If you ever wondered what it would be like if Mickey Spillane wrote a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book ... well, first of all, you are alone, and second of all, here you go!
  • Bar code! Well there's an unwelcome stylistic development ...

Page 23~ (it's only 119 pages long)
They scrabbled for footholds in the irregular crevasses of the ballast rock, then got past them and hauled themselves to the top by grabbing hold of the thumb-thick sea grasses.
Nothing good was ever "thumb-thick." Nothing.


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Paperback 575: Murderers' Row / Donald Hamilton (Gold Medal k1391)

Paperback 575: Gold Medal k1391 (2nd ptg, 1964)

Title: Murderers' Row
Author: Donald Hamilton
Cover artist: McD... (not sure, Emmett McDowell? John McDermott?)

Yours for: $15
Best things about this cover:
  • This is pretty emblematic of what generally happens to paperback covers over the course of the '60s—the truly great cover art cedes ground to branding devices (detective name, detective icon, author's name). Here, the poor lady is literally being squeezed out of frame by the floating orange crate stamp of a title. How is a girl supposed to enjoy her braless marsh-wading under such conditions!?
  • Is she washing the dog poop off her other shoe?
  • I like her purse. It's sparkly.
  • This book is in perfect condition. Totally unread.

Best things about this back cover:
  • I love the idea of U.S. intelligence being stored on 3x5 cards like it's some 5th-grader's book report.
  • Donald Hamilton is ... my 11th-grade chemistry teacher!
  • "Code Name: Eric" = least sexy movie title ever.

Page 123~

"Straight ahead. Not in there, that's the head—bathroom to you."

Business idea—start prefab shipboard bathroom business. Call it "Bathroom 2 U."


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Paperback 574: The Innocent Mrs. Duff and The Virgin Huntress / Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Ace Double G-509)

Paperback 574: Ace Double G-509 (1st thus / 1st thus, 1963)

Title: The Innocent Mrs. Duff / The Virgin Huntress
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: Uncredited / Uncredited

Yours for: $11


Best things about this cover:
  • Singularly ugly. The only thing I can really get behind here is her hair, cutting its epic, destructive path across the lower Great Lakes.
  • Cat: "Meow, why am I in this picture. Meow."
  • Why has the lady incompletely painted her face like the Italian flag?
  • That insane Puritan-looking doll is one of the creepiest things I've ever seen on a cover. At least I  hope that's a doll. . .
  • Somewhere, a magician mourns his exclusion from this painting.


Best things about this other cover:
  • More phenomenal, outsized hair. Also, she appears to be mowing the lawn with her chin.
  • She reminds me of Kim Novak in "Vertigo," only with a disembodied head and scary psychokinetic powers.
  • Seriously, the cover painting C-team must've got this book assignment. Blocky, ugly, head-y. Junk.

Page 123~
He was choking; he could not draw any air into his lungs. His neck swelled; there was a frightful pressure in the back of his head. O God ... This is it ...
Holding bravely tackles the issue of auto-erotic asphyxiation. Way ahead of her time.


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Friday, October 19, 2012

Paperback 573: Net of Cobwebs / Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Bantam 26) (w / dust jacket)

Paperback 573: Bantam 26 (1st ptg, 1946) (dust jacket, undated)

Title: Net of Cobwebs
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: Uncredited (original) / [signature appears to read "Gillen" ?!] (dust jacket)

Yours for: $75

Best things about this cover:
  • I vote "Sucker!"
  • This is what happens when you park your car in the living room.
  • Peeping Toms get off on the strangest things...
  • This is the cover of the dust jacket. As I have said before, dust-jacketed paperbacks are quite rare in any condition. This one is remarkably tight. Dust jacket and all its permagloss are completely intact and uncreased.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I do like a "floating lady heads" cover.
  • Wow, that red ink really bleeds. 
  • One of those rare instances where it looks like the cover to the original hardback edition was better.

Here are the front and back covers of the original, un-dustjacketed edition:



Page 123~
He got out of bed, naked as a worm, and went to the window; there was a gray mist outside, but it was day. He could see the garage. And that made him remember all of it. Murder, blackmail, grief. Who wouldn't sell a farm and go to sea?

This was taken from her earlier short story, "The Worm Who Sold His Farm and Went to Sea."


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Monday, October 15, 2012

Paperback 572: The Innocent Mrs. Duff / Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Dell 194)

Paperback 572: Dell 194 (1st ptg, 1947)

Title: The Innocent Mrs. Duff
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: Gerald Gregg

Yours for: $20
Best things about this cover:
  • Love this cover, mainly because I had No idea what I was looking at at first (and still get vaguely confused every time I look at it now). At first I thought the shape inside the bottle was some kind of high-heeled shoe. Then I thought the shot glass was the barrel of some gun that the man had laid on the table. Now I understand that it's really just a depressed drunk guy slouching forward on some kid of bar, but the strange arrangements of shapes is still really intriguing. The twinkle of light on the rim of the glass is my favorite part..
  • Also love the extended flourish on the capital "T" in "The"—makes the word seem as if it has emanated from the bottle.
  • Ooh, "crime map on the back cover"—let's check it out.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Love the excessively detailed Floor Plan. No toilet in the place, but ... minor detail.
  • That is a very, very odd place for a carousel. 
  • The text boxes marking locations are comically unnecessary. Surprised there aren't "Tree" and "Grass" boxes. Of *all* the things in this painting, the *one* thing I'd expect to get a text box explanation (the carousel) is the one that doesn't have one.

Page 123~

Locked in his room, he lay down on the bed and fell asleep at once. He waked with a start, in a flame of anger against Reggie. She wants to leave me here, does she? All right. Let her go. Let her go to hell.

When I read this, all I hear is the voice of Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes."


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, October 12, 2012

Paperback 571: Speak of the Devil and Kill Joy / Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Ace Double G-534)

Paperback 571: Ace Double G-534 (1st ptg / 1st ptg, 1963ish)

Title: Speak of the Devil / Kill Joy
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: Rudolph Nappi / Uncredited

Yours for: $11

Best things about this cover:
  • The Devil Wore Burberry!
  • You'd look that way too if you'd just watched Fozzie Bear explode.
  • Woodsfolk have the strangest mating rituals. Here we see the stiff-legged mirroring dance...
  • Fear-hands aplenty!
  • That pitchforky, two-pronged "I" is fantastic.

Best things about this other cover:
  • Sure, Joy's a total bitch, but there's no need to get violent.
  • This highly fragmented cover is indeed killing my joy.
  • This cover tells me nothing about the book and there's no boobs so fail.

Page 123~
"For the love of God—" Miss Peterson began in Swedish.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paperback 570: The Big Bite / Charles Williams (Dell First Edition A114)

Paperback 570: Dell First Edition A114 (PBO, 1956)

Title: The Big Bite
Author: Charles Williams
Cover artist: Arthur Sussman

Yours for: $30


Best things about this cover:
  • If, god forbid, I ever get taken hostage, please let it look like this.
  • I love this so much. Sexy, menacing, and depraved. Manages to combine realism, abstraction, and surrealism into one hot, delicious tableau. The orange background is inspired. That bed frame is like something out of a Tim Burton film.
  • The small details make this painting exquisite—her: the haughty eyebrows, the cocky hand-on-hip, the neglected negligee strap, the ambiguously hovering cigarette hand (Will she offer him a drag? Burn his thigh? Who knows!?). Him: the resigned backward tilt of his head, the perfectly framed limp hand, the perfect-electric-white shirt. This is hall-of-fame cover art, for sure. 


Best things about this back cover:
  • MWAH!
  • That "life's a jungle" paragraph is about as good an expression of noir philosophy as I've read since the Flitcraft story in "The Maltese Falcon."
  • Charles Williams was a paperback hero. Well admired by crime fiction aficionados, long forgotten by most others.

Page 123~
She said nothing. I went on out and got in the car. On the way out of town I stopped at a small grocery and bought a dozen cans of beer and some more supplies for the kitchen. I picked up a roll of the plastic film they use to wrap things in a refrigerator with, and two rolls of scotch tape. I bought fifty pounds of ice, wrapped it in an old blanket, and shoved off for the lake. 
I love the "How-the-fuck-am I-supposed-to-know-what-Saran-wrap-is-called!?" attitude of this paragraph.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Paperback 569: The Blank Wall / Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Pocket Books 662)

Paperback 569: Pocket Books 662 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: The Blank Wall
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: Harvey Kidder

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • Lucia was horrified to find her husband was cheating on her with ... a boat.
  • "Hey, Lucia, this glass-bottomed boat is awesome. I can see, like, fishes and stuff." "Screw the fishes, Harold! My necklace! Do you see my necklace!?"
  • The "jail bait" is off-screen. This here is the MILFy heroine, Lucia. I love this book. You can probably tell by now that I went through a bit of a Holding phase at one point. She's deeply underrated, and this book in particular is a fascinating, domestic twist on the hard-boiled novel. One of my ten favorite crime novels, easy.


Best things about this back cover:

Page 123~
She stood silent, her lashes lowered. She knew that he was looking at her; she knew that she was dark, slender and lovely; she knew that he was waiting for her to look up, and presently she raised her eyes.
Seriously, this is one of the hottest scenes in the book, when you can see (though the novel never has anyone say it outright) that she (respectable wartime housewife) and this hoodlum-turned-savior are kind of in love, in this super-romantic and criminal and impossible way. Things can't, and don't, end well, but their relationship is amazing—unique, compelling, believable. Also, this is a great WWII-era book. Lots of details about ordinary, domestic life during war. Oh, and it deals with race in ways that most crime novels of the period totally avoid. The black housekeeper, Sibyl, is a crucial, well-developed character. Did I mention I love this book? I wish Holding's stuff were more widely available.


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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Paperback 568: Net of Cobwebs and The Unfinished Crime / Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Ace Double G-530)

Paperback 568: Ace Double G-530 (1st ptg, 1963)

Titles: Net of Cobwebs / The Unfinished Crime
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: [Bob Schuller ??? see signature, running vertically on right, 1/2 in. from chair] / Uncredited

Yours for: $9

Best things about this cover:
  • Evil genius tests early prototype of the chairs seen on "The Voice."
  • Evil genius savors his successful attempt to make fire burn green.
  • Evil genius remembers when he used to play Eddie Munster.


Best things about this other cover:
  • A frank tale about one girl's life-threatening addiction to cat-huffing.
  • "The Girl Who Mistook Her Cat For Her Mouth"
  • Mary found that they key to really realistic finger puppets was fresh animal corpses.

Page 123~
He went into the library and closed the door behind him, stood looking at Blanche, while she looked back at him, with her great, hollow dark eyes.
"I'm so dam' sick of her...." he thought. 
You can tell he's a tough guy by the way he drops the "n" when he says "damn" ...


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Friday, September 28, 2012

Paperback 567: The Whipping Boy / S.E. Pfoutz (Popular Library 821)

Paperback 567: Popular Library 821 (1st ptg, 1957)

Title: The Whipping Boy
Author: S.E. Pfoutz
Cover artist: that guy that did a lot of Popular Library covers in the '50s ... always wore a shirt ...

Yours for: $9

Best things about this cover:

  • The tragic stair-falling scene from Mickey Spillane's final novel: "Mike Hammer: The Big Knee Replacement"
  • Meanwhile, in the background: "I'd like to cross your color line, baby." "I ... don't know what that means. Please leave." "Oh, alright. Hey, do you think I'm OK to drive? Here, smell my breath, haaaaaaaaaaaah..."
  • I feel like the author's name is some kind of code I'm supposed to break.
  • This is the most unracial racial cover ever. "Did we say 'color line'? We meant big, bold primary colors—the blue THE, the red WHIPPING ... it's about a boy who likes to make whipped cream. Why do you have to make everything about race?"

Best things about this back cover:

  • "I ... I can't decide. Do I stay with midget Vulcan or run off with black Jerry Seinfeld?"
  • "A talented young Negro," HA ha. "Wow, you are really good at being Negro."
  • Why would you go with "piercingly honest" when "frank" is so much more concise? "Frank" novels should just call themselves "frank" and quit hiding behind these flowery euphemisms. This message brought to you by Proud Frank Americans for Frankness. Thank you.

Page 123~

"Don't get funny with me, lover boy," said the creature, leering. "I know your kind from way back."


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paperback 566: Sin's Child / Tony Calvano (Sundown Reader 619)

Paperback 566: Sundown Reader 619 (PBO, 1966)

Title: Sin's Child
Author: Tony Calvano
Cover artist: No idea

Yours for: $20

Best things about this cover:
  • I love boobs as much as the next guy (or gal), but those things are horrifying. Massively dimorphic and nipple-less and two-toned. Actually, I could probably acclimate to the boobs if I could get past the face, which is an interesting combination of ashen, drunk and judgey: "Chyaaaa ... you guys call that 'shirtless fighting'? I'll show ya shirtless fighting ... just lemme pull my underwears out of my crack and I'll shows you guys ... [burp] ..."
  • "Your Warrior 3 pose sucks, maggot! Hiiiiya!"
  • "Yeah, yeah, you can fly, Bill, I get it. Could you just, I dunno, fly *that* way ... away from me. I gotta go rescue Suzy."


Best things about this back cover:
  • Answering the question: what causes shamelessness?
  • "OK, I can care for you, but ... well, I gotta take you somewhere, and you're not gonna like it."
  • Face of Evil. Yes. That is an apt description of what I witnessed on the front cover.

Page 123~
"When two people are in love, when they've committed themselves to each other ... Nothing they do in the name of that love is wrong ... there is no such thing as perversion. If it strengthens that love, if it enhances the final ecstasy of that love ... Can you understand that, angel?"
"I think so. Only ..."
"No qualifications, kitten. Either you accept the whole package [!] or you don't. What do you say?"
I'm somehow imagining this happening on a game show stage, with the audience shouting variations on "Take the package!" or "Noooooooooooooooooo!"


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P.S. many thanks to Doug Peterson for continuing to send me nutso stuff like this...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Paperback 565: The Third Sex / Artemis Smith (Beacon 649)

Paperback 565: Beacon Books B649F (2nd ptg, 1963)

Title: The Third Sex
Author: Artemis Smith
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $25
Best things about this cover:
  • Joan was excited about embarking on her new life as a Lesbian superhero, but disappointed at the costume prototype.
  • Seriously, in what context, outside magician's assistant, would one wear that?
  • You can tell Joan is gay because she's named after the famous lesbian heroine Joan of Arc. You can tell Marc is gay because no straight Mark would be caught dead with that spelling outside of France. This is all to say that I don't think they were "fooling" anybody. 
  • "Artemis Smith" screams 'pseudonym.' Artemis hangs out (often naked) only with the ladies, and Smith ... is the pseudonymoustiest name in the book.
  • "Society's greatest curse?" Tell that to the legions of masturbators who bought this thing.
  • Speaking of "The Third Sex," I'm still hunting for a pre-1980s usage of the phrase "lipstick lesbian." I'll admit, I'm using "hunting" here rather loosely. What I mean is, "occasionally flipping through some books I have." Anyway, I know the phrase was in use decades before the '80s, and I want proof!

Best things about this back cover:
  • "Surcease" made me LOL hard.
  • "Strange Annals of Love" = the Judas Priest cover band Marc plays in on weekends
  • On the front cover, the naked girl in the bed looks fantastic. Here, she looks like a mermaid who's been in a bad accident.

Page 123~
They finished their coffee and left the luncheonette.
I know it's not the sexiest or most outrageous sentence in the world. I just like the word "luncheonette."


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