Sunday, February 5, 2012

Paperback 497: Sleep with the Devil / Day Keene (Lion 204)

Paperback 497: Lion Books 204 (PBO, 1954)

Title: Sleep with the Devil
Author: Day Keene
Cover artist: sadly, uncredited

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:
  • One of my favorites for a number of reasons, most notably the unusually cartoony style of drawing. It's like I'm looking at a still from a modern animated noir series (which should exist— "Archer" is great, but I'd love something more noirish and serious).
  • Hate to break this to you lady, but in a number of different ways, that dude is Not Interested. 
  • Her robe is awesomely foldy. This cover owes half its lineage to Japanese artists like Hokusai and the other half to Saturday morning cartoons.
  • I went through a big Day Keene phase in the '90s. Didn't everyone?
  • Perhaps my favorite part of this book is the bookshop stamp—in case you can't read it, this book was once the property of the "JUNQUE SHOPPE" (of Hoquiam, WA). All "-unk" words should be spelled that way. Junque in the trunque! 
  • The name "Hoquiam" comes from a Native-American word meaning "hungry for wood" (wikipedia), as in "The lady on this cover looks very Hoquiam."


Best things about this back cover:
  • Again with the cartoony greatness.
  • Her hair looks like a topographic map.
  • I thought maybe the designer was trying to get an acrostic going, but I don't think LWAJ means anything.
  • Ferron! "... he began to erase himself from existence." Look, he's almost done! Just the head to go!

Page 123~
He wished now he hadn't been so greedy. He wished he had listened to Lydia. If they had gone away together, as she had wanted to, they could be nearing the Newark airport. By noon, late afternoon at the latest, they could be in Miami, lolling in the sun, with nothing to do but get drunk and spend Whit's money and make love.
The Miami tourism bureau needs to hire this writer. I've never had the slightest desire to go to Miami, but now it's all I can think of.


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Graham Powell said...

So cartoonish... I expect Droopy to burst in and carry her off on a horse.

Random White Guy said...

Lucille Ball and Aquaman, no!

Anonymous said...

The back copy of the book sum up the problem with the fairer sex. Those that are sinful are sullen, those that are sensuous are virginal. Why can't they switch things around a little, have sullen virgins and sensual sinners? I know I'd get stuck with a sullen virgin, but at least there would be the option of a sensual sinner. Just the existance of such a thing would give a man hope.

Buckley Adamson said...

Just dropping you a line because I just found your site and I'm enjoying reading it very much. And the reason it caught my eye is that I recently started my own blog based on my own book collection -- limited though it is. I look forward to reading more of your posts. FYI, I call mine -- Cheers. AB/BA

capewood said...

Whit was ruthless and...slimy? I'm not sure I want to contemplate slimy. What a minute, is Whit a man?

Larry said...

Day Keene also wrote "Too Hot to Handle" with a terrific Robert McGinnis cover of a redhead getting out of a 50s automobile.