Saturday, March 31, 2012

Paperback 513: Flying High / Eve Linkletter (Nite-Time Books 3001)

Paperback 513: Nite-Time Books (???) 3001 (PBO, 1964)

Title: Flying High  
Author: Eve Linkletter
Cover artist: Uncredited

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


Best things about this cover:
  • About the unsexiest naked lady I've ever seen on one of these covers. It's like she rolled around in charcoal. The GIGANTIC smirking floating head isn't making things any sexier.
  • She's got a vaguely Bettie Page look, but nothing of Page's charm or allure. First you're gonna have to clean her off. Then give her context. then maybe a slightly less art-school-modely position. Then take a bat to that bloated piñata hovering over her left shoulder.
  • That dude's hat is jiffy popping past captain's hat toward chef's toque.
  • This is the lowest-rent paperback publisher I've ever seen. I actually don't know what the publisher's name is. GSN??? NT (Nite-Time)??? The publication page says "Fitz Publications." I think it's homemade / Canadian.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Yeah, that's how you usually spell "Bob."
  • "... a doll who turned out to be one of the boys..." OK, now I'm intrigued.
  • Semicolon? Really? Come on. That just hurts.
  • Eve Linkletter wrote some queer (in both senses of the word) stuff for Fabian or Saber or one of those cheap Fresno outfits run by Sanford Aday in the late '50s / early '60s. I've never seen her name elsewhere. 

Page 123~

The bar was almost deserted except for about nine people.

So ... not deserted at all. Gotcha.


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Paperback 512: The Restless Romeo / J.X. Williams (Ember Library 346)

Paperback 512: Ember Library 346 (PBO, 1966)

Title: The Restless Romeo
Author: J.X. Williams
Cover artist: someone having too much fun

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

Best things about this cover:

  • Romeo got restless, so he did what any restless young man might do: he used his car to hunt women for sport. Really calms the nerves. I hear.
  • "These eyes ... fry every night ... for you."
  • Who runs with their arms like that? Or is she doing crazed, doped-up calisthenics in the desert? I see: her boyfriend isn't trying to run her down—he's slowly backing away. Yes, her body is pretty amazing, but you do *not* want her attention when she's like this. "Please don't around please don't turn around please..."
  • I believe this is the picture for which the phrase "hopped up on goofballs" was invented.

Best things about this back cover:

  • "Romeo," eh? I must have missed the part in Shakespeare's play where Romeo snatches Juliet and takes her to the basement of his villa.

Page 123~

Waves of heat invaded his body. Thoroughly stimulated by her weight, he dug his fingers into the blooming bottom and squirmed until she had difficulty holding him. Her cheeks, feeling damp and massive, began a tortured and rhythmic writhing.

Since when are "damp and massive" butt cheeks sexy? Not sure what I should expect from a guy who (on the previous page) describes breasts as "lurching mounds," but ... I mean, there's unsexy, and then there's The Opposite Of Sexy. Yikes.


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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Paperback 511: Sinful Wife / Ray Damon (Chariot Books 172)

Paperback 510: Chariot Books 172 (PBO, 1961)

Title: Sinful Wife
Author: Ray Damon
Cover artist: Uncredited (back cover = photo cover)

Yours for: Not For Sale (donation from Doug Peterson)

Best things about this cover:
  • "Look, Steve, I like you, but briskly rubbing my nipple with the butt of your gun is just not doing it for me."
  • I wish she were standing up so I could see her underwear better (without all the messed up perspective). It's kind of cute.
  • Is she a doctor? It looks like she just flopped back on the bed and threw open her lab coat in a fit of passion. Or dyspepsia. Her facial expression is kind of enigmatic.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Here's Stella showing off the lamp that earned her a 2nd place ribbon in the "Most Ridiculous Novelty Lamp" competition at the county fair. She also received an Honorable Mention for "Biggest Damn Lampshade Anyone's Ever Seen."
  • I'm sure she's very sexy under that Grandma's-MuuMuu of a nightgown.
  • Is there anything that lamp can't do. I'm pretty sure it tells time, and possibly provides shelter for a small family. 
  • And the award for "Most Uses of the Verb 'Come' on the Back Cover of a Paperback" goes to ...

Page 123~

The gear shift was a big lever jutting up beside me with a button on top.

"I'll thank you not to talk about my penis that way," exclaimed Steve.


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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Paperback 510: Strange Thirsts / Michael Norday (Beacon Books B662X)

Paperback 510: Beacon Books B662X (2nd ptg, 1963)

Title: Strange Thirsts
Author: Michael Norday
Cover artist: Uncredited

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

Best things about this cover:

  • This book, and the next few I'll feature on this blog, are all gifts from my friend Doug Peterson. He brings me new books almost every time I see him, and my recent trip to Brooklyn was no exception. My wife had to accept this particular round of gifts, as I was out of commission with vicious food poisoning, but I'm sure he (and everyone) knows how grateful I am.
  • I guess I've seen one too many of these semi-suggestive lesbian covers, because the only thing I can see are the blonde's crazy leprechaun shoes. I hope those are for "the annual college play," because if she's wearing those on the street, people are going to chase her and demand to know where she keeps her gold.
  • I hope "Strange Thirsts" refers to the blonde's irresistible compulsion to drink the brunette's bath water.
  • I like my lesbian paperbacks to be somewhat more provocative than this. Hardly any flesh, even. A couple of tiny slivers of cleavage. Come on. A lesbian paperback cover's lasting impression should not be bathroom tile, house plants, and seriously flamboyant footwear.

Best things about this back cover:

  • Yeah, yeah, "warped." You said that on the front cover.
  • "Imported," HA ha. "Hey, did the new shipment of Zane Hunter come in yet?"
  • "Dale, for relief, turned to pretty Julie Hilton." For relief? Relief from What? The sexual attention of a glamorous actress?
  • I like that Julie enjoyed "questionable ecstasies." "You call those ecstasies? Hmm. I'm dubious."
  • "Baby-skinned"is a horrifying adjective.
  • "Dale, get in here. You *gotta* see this degradation..."
  • "Probes deeply, boldly, into forbidden areas." That's what I call obvuendo!

Page 123~
There were times when her flesh seemed unable to wait for the completion that he would give it with his own.
So he's going to give her flesh completion? With his own flesh? His own completion? But the whole paragraph is about how they're *not* having sex because they're waiting for marriage ... only the very next chapter is entitled "Menage à Trois"! Crazy college kids.


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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Paperback 509: So Wicked My Love / Bruno Fischer (Gold Medal s1110)

Paperback 509: Gold Medal s1110 (3rd ptg, 1961)

Title: So Wicked My Love
Author: Bruno Fischer
Cover artist: photo cover

Yours for: $10

Best things about this cover:

  • I know there's a naked lady on the cover, and I do love naked ladies, but oh my god all I can think about is that awesome chair and how I want to have it right now.
  • I don't normally like photo covers all that much—I started collecting these things for the *art*, after all—but I do like the design on this one. It's like an updated "keyhole" cover—so I can feel like a modern peeping tom, with my telescope / binoculars / James Bond spying device.
  • She has double coy-hand. It's very weird. I hope those are throw pillows she's holding against her, because it kinda looks like she's clutching a dirty, gaudy bathmat.

Best things about this back cover:

  • Ugh, nothing. Come on, Gold Medal!
  • Ah ... Cherry. Now I get the red background thingie on the cover.
  • She's pert, like a deadly cobra. You know, the rare Pert Cobra of Pensacola.
  • This isn't even good bad prose. It's just bad. Bruno Fischer deserves better!

Page 123~

She turned her head to her husband, who was pulling a crumpled pack of cigarettes out of his pants. "Frankie, honey, would you mind leaving us alone?"  
He looked at her in that blue cotton robe clinging to her flesh. "Yeah," he said, "I mind."


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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Paperback 508: Dracula / Bram Stoker (Pocket Books 452)

Paperback 508: Pocket Books 452 (1st ptg, 1947)

Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $20


Best things about this cover:
  • Here we see Dracula's famous aversion to Victorian table lamps. "Aargh ... so ornate ... so ... floral!"
  • I love how he's enhaloed by some magical unseen light source. Unless he's just standing in front of the TV.
  • His hand! Just stare at that thing for a while. It's grotesque and intoxicating.
  • This is a famous cover. An iconic horror cover. From the font to the deep, regal purple to the brilliant use of light, it really is a winner.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Well, we're off to a good start. Nice tagline!
    I forgot about the hypnotists.
    This is a good back cover, in that it's *really* making want to read the book (again).

Page 123~
He has the sugar of his tea spread out on the window-sill, and is reaping quite a harvest of flies. 

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Paperback 507: Guilty Bystander / Wade Miller (Penguin Signet 677)

Paperback 507: Penguin Signet 677 (1st ptg, 1948)

Title: Guilty Bystander
Author: Wade Miller
Cover artist: jonas

Yours for: $10


Best things about this cover:
  • It's like someone threw a vase painted with a decorative seascape right into this dude's eye. That, or his right eye is a kind of dream projector. And he dreams of ... a boat.
  • Was Jesus crucified on that boat? There are three crosses. And blood.
  • I love jonas's work. More surreal and abstract than the representational style that would come to predominate in the '50s (James Avati covers would come to define the Signet aesthetic once Signet was no longer in this weird hybrid phase with Penguin)


Best things about this back cover:
  • Wacky photo!
  • Ugh, early pb designers really did flounder—picture should be at least three times its current size and the absurdly long bio + extensive summary of critical history should be cut to ... virtually nothing. This was back when publishers imagined that paperback consumers cared about things like "critics." I mean, can you imagine someone using the word "encomiums" on a crime fiction (or romance or thriller or western) cover today?
  • When did people start using the phrase "Hammett-Chandler school" and can we go back in time and unstart using it?
  • Boucher was essentially the only critic taking all this crime stuff seriously, so you see him quoted A Lot. He was a big fan of "unexaggerated hardness." But who isn't!?

Page 123~
Ham and eggs and two cups of coffee cost sixty-two cents. Max Thursday put them away at an all-night joint on Market Street and strode in to the Bridgway, jingling three pennies in his pocket. Despite the beating, he felt fairly good. 

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