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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Bart King said...

Rats—was hoping that was a VW van on the cover. (Nothing could be more forbidding!)

But the back confirms it's a truck. *teeth gnashing*

Sybil said...

I still say Westlake's a better writer than Stark.