Sunday, February 19, 2012

Paperback 502: Onionhead / Weldon Hill (Popular Library SP13)

Paperback 502: Popular Library SP13 (1st ptg, 1958)

Title: Onionhead
Author: Weldon Hill
Cover artist: Mitchell Hooks

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:
  • This book is all about this guy's insatiable appetite. He likes to eat. Hence "onion." And "head."
  • "Oh, Onionhead, you're so ... ribald."
  • When the S.F. paper calls your book about a girl-crazy sailor the "gayest novel in years," you might have a marketing problem on your hands.
  • Mitchell Hooks is a highly underrated coverartist. His stuff is generally sketchier and more whimsical than the work of the more famous Great Girl Artists, but I always find it very engaging. Love the rough black line work. Also, LOVE the redhead's outfit.


Best things about this back cover:
  • On the cover, the girls thought Onionhead was in the Navy. Here, they learn he was in the Coast Guard.
  • FOOD OR SEX? They're really pushing this appetite parallel a lot. Unless this book culminates in Onionhead eating large plates of pasta and various desserts off the naked bodies of gorgeous young ladies, I'm going to be very disappointed.
  • Again: Ribald! For her pleasure.

Page 123~
Al began browsing among the supplies, getting oriented. He noticed a recipe for muffins on a bag of cornmeal, and got a brilliant idea. He had to learn how to cook, so he ought to practice, learn by experience, trial and error. He would make some goddam muffins.

I want an apron depicting the front cover art and the caption: "He would make some goddam muffins." I would wear it every day.


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That Hank said...

I actually read this one years ago, and it was a lot of fun. Yes, most of the action hinges on the fact that he's pretty much driven by his appetite. I remember a lot more about what he ate than any action with the ladies.

D.A. Trappert said...

This was made into a movie with Andy Griffith, right after he starred in the classic No Time for Sergeants. Of course, it was toned down a lot. I would certainly love to hear Andy say, "I'm gonna make some goddam muffins."

DemetriosX said...

That is an absolutely awesome line. I think I'd shift it to the first person on an apron, but still.

Fun fact: the ancient Athenian statesman was mockingly called Onionhead, because his head was shaped like an onion. That's why he has a helmet tilted rakishly back in the best-known sculpture of him. I wonder if Weldon Hill knew that.

Anonymous said...

I did not at first read the second paragraph of the back cover as "...the best COOK in the Coast Guard."

My way was funnier.

Pat said...