Monday, June 18, 2012

Paperback 540: Meet Morocco Jones / Jack Baynes (Crest 1957)

Paperback 540: Crest 195 (PBO, 1957)

Title: Meet Morocco Jones (in the Case of the Syndicate Hoods)
Author: Jack Baynes
Cover artist: maaaaaybe Barye Phillips (uncredited)

Yours for: $15

Best things about this cover:
  • Who's the private dick who takes advice from the half-naked lady on his shoulder? "Morocco Jones!" Ya damn right.
  • "Morocco, I'm hungry" "Shut up, Shoulder Girl. Can't you see I'm stalking syndicate hoods?"
  • There is so much Fail happening here. Title fail (the putative title is actually just a lead-in/tagline, whereas the actual title is represented as a weak little subtitle). Art fail (where's the rest of my painting, Captain Stingy McWatercolor?!). Hyperbole fail ("The best book that's ever been written or will ever be written!").


Best things about this back cover:
  • "Helluva" is simply a great "word."
  • Morocco Jones "takes his place among the heroes of tough-guy fiction." Notice they don't say which place. Kind of backing off from that front-cover braggadocio, aren't you, copywriters?
  • Is there such a thing as "the edge of lightning?" If so, can it be said to be "sharp?" If the answer to either of these is 'no,' can Morocco Jones' mind be said to really 'exist' at all? (philosophers will come to know this as the "Morocco Jones Dilemma")
  • "And whose morals ... well, he liked to masturbate in public so ... yeah, the less said the better."

Page 123~
"Who are they, Carson?" Thurm asked gently.
"Skull Kronsky, Duke White, and Solly Cogen."
"Bad, bad boys," Thurm said softly. As bad as some of the Syndicate killers. Lije is not going to like this, Carson."
Jack Baynes, fresh off a correspondence course in "Naming Your Fictional Characters," goes berserk. P.S. I call dibs on the pseudonym 'Skull Kronsky.'


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Tulse said...

Is Morocco Jones supposed to be a zombie? If not, the cover painter really needs a class in doing lifelike skin tones.

Sol Cogen said...

Me, I'm going with Sol Cogen, a Irish Catholic/Jew who by day is a mild mannered counterman at The Carnegie Deli in charge of the corned beef. However, at night his true identity appears as super-hero, capable of imparting both Jewish and Catholic guilt upon evil doers.

D.A. Trappert said...

I have another book in the series, and poor Morocco's color is just as bad on that one.

DemetriosX said...

I just don't understand why Robert Mitchum has been turned into a smurf. It just makes no sense! The focus really should have been on the woman. It looks like there's a really good, sexy cover there.

I might let them slide on the title fail. If I'm reading the back cover copy correctly, this is the first Morocco Jones book and the apparent subtitle might really be one, but meant to tie into a naming pattern for later books.

Michael5000 said...

"Two hoods lay crumpled in a heap on the floor." I'm picturing: sweatshirts.

"Did you bring me around just to look at this garbage?" I'm picturing: dirty sweatshirts with old food scraps, discarded paper cups, and a bad smell.

"Why didn't you just kill them and toss them out the window?" I am confused. And even once I've parsed "hoods," the sentence doesn't read right. I mean, anybody who's ever disposed of a body knows you can't just "toss" a dead hood out the window. Way too bulky and cumbersome.