Monday, December 30, 2013

Paperback 732: A Taste for Cognac / Brett Halliday (Dell 10c 15)

Paperback 732: Dell 10c 15 (1st ptg, 1951)

Title: A Taste for Cognac
Author: Brett Halliday
Cover artist: Bob Stanley

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:

  • Red hair. Bow tie. Side glance.
  • That ugly booth bench puts her in a rather weird, hunchy, decidedly unsexy position.
  • His hand is almost too expertly rendered. Seems like a living thing, operating wholly independently from Cap'n Bow Tie.


Best things about this back cover:

  • Psst, Blackie. He's gonna need his face for, you know, talking.
  • Love trigger-happy gunmen. So much cooler than gun-happy triggermen. Or gun-shy gunmen—those guys are the worst.
  • I am intrigued by the concept of "Night Bus."

Page 23~

"So you think I did it?" Shayne fumed.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Paperback 731: The Terrible Night / Peter Cheyney (Avon T-365)

Paperback 731: Avon T-365 (1st ptg, 1959)

Title: The Terrible Night
Author: Peter Cheyney
Cover artist: Darcy

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • The cigarette. Definitely the ominous, abandoned cigarette.
  • "Gore galore!"
  • Title font = awesome.
  • Interesting variation on the Keyhole Cover. Sadly, in this case, I get none of the titillation of voyeurism. The view is sordid. I'm all for bondage (!), but whatever's going on here seems too grim to be exciting.


Best things about this back cover:
  • … sorry, I was just contemplating what a great addition THEOMARA would make to my Crossword Compiler dictionary.
  • Lion + snake + woman. So he's like a griffin … kind of.
  • All the best trappers use tanga.
Page 123~

O'Mara said brusquely: "No. Go to bed." He went out into the corridor; down the stairs. As she went into her room he heard her murmur: "Such a pig …"

I don't have much to go on, but my gut tells me she's right.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Paperback 730: Doctor with a Gun / Richard Ferber (Dell First Edition A198)

Paperback 730: Dell FE A198 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Doctor with a Gun
Author: Richard Ferber
Cover artist: John Leone

Yours for: $6


Best things about this cover:
  • I guess I can kind of make out a gun, there, in a holster near his knee. Still, with a title like that, you'd think you'd make the "gun" a little more prominent. "Doctor with a Horse!"
  • What do you call those kinds of neck ties? Not bolos … 
  • Few doctors had the guts to ride alone through the Land of Mustard.


Best things about this back cover:
  • That's a damned stupid layout of KILL OR BE KILLED. It makes no sense. What are all the "Kills"? why would you wrote "Be" after "Kill" — "Kill Kill Kill OR Kill BE Killed ellipsis Kill Kill" WTF?
  • Nothing more sheeplike then "the whole town" in a Western. 
  • If Luke Short's word is so important, maybe give it slightly more prominence? Just a thought.

Page 123~
Nothing was as simple as it seemed. Nothing could stand isolated, without sooner or later infecting something else. There was no good in running away. 
Damn. Matt Kirby has gone full Greek Tragedy. Pray to Athena, Matt! I hear that works sometimes.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Paperback 729: Something's Got to Give / Marion Hargrove (Popular Library 222)

Paperback 729: Popular Library 222 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: Something's Got To Give
Author: Marion Hargrove
Cover artist: familiar but Uncredited [Earle Bergey]

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:

  • Boobs. FUN. Boobs are FUN. I get it now.
  • Damn, that's pretty sexy for radio.
  • A Lady Lay Abed Too Long … and so she conceived twins? With captain Pipey McChinless there?
  • Those Children-of-the-Corn twins will haunt your dreams.
  • Question smoke! Nice.
  • She is flipping you off.


Best things about this back cover:

  • OK, that opening line is Great: "It happened in bed…"
  • More Popular Library Nothingness. Ugh.
  • Audiences *love* "babies screaming in neglect." Don't you miss the days when paternal incompetence was charming?

Page 123~

"He couldn't have been too hungry," I pointed out, "if he left one of the peas on his plate."

Enjoy your future eating disorder, kid.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Paperback 728: Duel in the Sun / Niven Busch (Popular Library 102)

Paperback 728: Popular Library 102 (1st ptg, 1946)

Title: Duel in the Sun
Author: Niven Busch
Cover artist: photo cover (mostly)

Yours for: $12

Best things about this cover:
  • Jennifer Jones manages to make armpit-sniffing look pretty sexy.
  • Joseph Cotten does not look "lusty." He looks "lank" and "weird." (Upon further review, that looks more like Peck than Cotten)
  • This hybrid photo/graphic cover is strange, though it does convey "sun-drenched" pretty well.
  • I believe this was a controversial film in terms of its tawdriness. Ah, here we go—per wikipedia: "The film received poor reviews, however, and was highly controversial due to its sexual content and to Selznick's real-life relationship with Jones, which broke up both of their marriages."

Best things about this back cover:
  • Just … nothing. 
  • Wait, I take that back. "Lewt McCanles" is a pretty great/awful name.
  • Also, that's pretty high praise from Cain. 
Page 123~
They rode for a couple of hours after dark and when they camped Coz wouldn't let Lewt light a fire. They were uncomfortable that night—thirsty and sore, and Lewt felt sick and couldn't eat the jerky Coz had brought along. 

I'm sure there is some very thick sexual tension here — if only I could understand all this coded language.


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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Paperback 727: Lie Down, Killer / Richard S. Prather (Crest 255)

Paperback 727: Crest Books 255 (3rd ptg, 1958)

Title: Lie Down, Killer
Author: Richard S. Prather
Cover artist: Darcy

Yours for: Not for sale (donation to the collection from S. Jacob)

Best things about this cover:

  • "I said 'Lie *Down*'!"
  • Despite the deplorable violence, like this cover. There's an interesting dynamic quality. I like motion. This is why James Avati leaves me Cold.
  • I thought he was beating a woman, but then I looked at the neck region and realized he's merely defending the world against some horrible alien with pincer-claw-face. Seriously, no way those are earrings. They're claws. It's like a skeleton baby is trying to escape from her neck.

Best things about this back cover:

  • I assume that last line of dialogue is supposed to be accompanied by ominous music, 'cause on its own it's pretty anti-climactic.
  • "That woman gag," also the name of the BDSM supply store down the street.
  • Love hate and murder—Prather's got you covered.

Page 123~
Steve straightened and looked around at them. Margo was looking at Gross, but Gross kept his eyes—and the .45—steadily on Steve. Steve pulled himself to the divan and sat on it ,his mind beginning to function.
Steve was always happiest when his mind began to function. A rare, fleeting pleasure for Steve.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Paperback 726: New Orleans Lady / Viña Delmar (Avon 209)

Paperback 726: Avon 209 (PBO, 1949)

Title: New Orleans Lady
Author: Viña Delmar
Cover artist: [Bernie] Barton

Yours for: $6


Best things about this cover:

  • The cover of Latex Fetish Monthly, June 1949
  • I love a title written in Whorehouse font.
  • Her breasts are like some kind of fancy little cupcake.
  • Cover's pretty boring, but if you stare at it long enough, it gets a little creepy. Dude looks like something Charles Burns would draw.

And now the back cover…


Best things about this back cover:
  • Shakespeare's like "Hey … 'sup?"
  • If you sing "Eulalie" to the tune of "Layla," it kind of works.

Page 123~

She passed her hand tiredly over her forehead. "Please, Lorenz, go away. I must rest. One of my headaches—"

"Go away indeed! I'll cure your headache." He threw a glance toward Septembre. "I have news."

"I'll cure your headache." HA ha. Oh, Lorenz, you're the date-rapiest!

P.S. Septembre


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Friday, December 6, 2013

Paperback 725: The Case of the Lazy Lover / Erle Stanley Gardner (Pocket Books 909)

Paperback 725: Pocket Books 909 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: TCOT the Lazy Lover
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner
Cover artist: Clyde Ross

Yours for: $7


Best things about this cover:
  • That dude has my ultimate respect. That is some top-notch lazy. Superfly PJs. Highball. Slippers. Smart green couch. He knows what he's doing.
  • That look in her eye is not lust. It's not annoyance. It's jealousy. Jealousy of his Red Hot Lazy.
  • I can't stop looking at her boobs, and yet I don't find them very interesting. What the hell?


Best things about this back cover:
  • That "Gossip … / and Murder!" heading would look great on a t-shirt.
  • Hmmm. I'm not sure we have the same definition of "crazy punchline."
  • What does it mean to be "lazy about making love"? I'm quite sure the images in my head do not match whatever happens in this book.

Page 123~

Mason took the pass Lieutenant Tragg scribbled, and went over to the detention ward. After a ten minute wait, he was taken in to see Mrs. Allred, who had quite evidently been aroused from a sound sleep and had had no opportunity to put on her make-up.

Wow. That must've been really hard on Mason.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Monday, December 2, 2013

Paperback 724: Live With Me / Jerry M. Goff, Jr. (Merit 612)

Paperback 724: Merit Books 612 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Live With Me
Author: Jerry M. Goff, Jr.
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $27


Best things about this cover:
  • I honestly don't know what I'm looking at. Unless her bra straps clasp behind her head like some kind of necklace, I can't see why her elbows are up that high. Is she making her boobs do a little dance performance? Her companion seems intrigued.
  • Those are some straight-up terrible hands. Or hand, I guess. Hands are always the giveaway. Only the best artists can do hands right. The reason for the giant boobs and Krazy Eyes is to distract you from the terrible, terrible hands. 
  • That left boob has a mind of its own. It seems to be experiencing the gravitational pull of the artist-lady's gaze.
  • What is up with that lady's gown? Here is the dialogue I like to imagine they are having: "I like your gown." "Thank you." "Are you headed to a ball?" "Balls don't interest me much … if you know what I mean …" 


Best things about this back cover:
  • Hey look, it's the artist lady, back from Barbados and possessed by twelve demons!
  • "… lovely, normal and stunning …" ??? Can't wait for all the red hot normality.
  • So basically Suzanne Pleshette goes on a telekinetic lesbian rampage. Got it.

Page 123~

"Tell us. Does she wash your back when you bathe? She did the other girls. That was always her first approach."

"Her second approach involved ball gowns, sketch pads, and mind control. I'm a little fuzzier on the details there…"


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Paperback 723: Death Spins the Platter / Ellery Queen (Pocket Books 6126)

Paperback 723: Pocket Books 6126 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Death Spins the Platter
Author: Ellery Queen (ghost-written by Richard Deming)
Cover artist: Al Brulé

Yours for: $11


Best things about this cover:
  • And the award for worst mixed metaphor goes to …
  • I'm the DJ, he's the Piper?
  • Quit getting your grubby thumbprints all over the vinyl, lady. Unless it's one of them there braille records and you are deaf, in which case, carry on.
  • Looming background head is the best.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I now want to name everything "Tutter King." 
  • Because King Tut was taken?
  • No one tutted better than he! Nary a one!

Page 123~

"Did you find fingerprints on the ice pick?"

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Paperback 722: Strange Longing / Orrie Hitt (Chariot Books CB-1626)

Paperback 722: Chariot Books CB-1626 (PBO, 1963)

Title: Strange Longing
Author: Orrie Hitt
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $25


Best things about this cover:
  • This was also the cover for Axilla Fetishist Monthly (April 1963)
  • One thing about saran wrap lingerie is: the itch.
  • Man I wish the girl in the dark in the back ground were more in the light in the foreground.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "Oh, don't mind me, I just wandered over to this side of the room and got tangled in the drapery somehow."
  • Seriously, what is happening there?
  • "Bunny soft"— I'm laughing quite hard right now.
  • Ladies, if you really wanna sex up your bedroom patter, call it "the portals of the 'forbidden world'!"

Page 123~
"I don't do the kind of dances they'd want."
"Who cares about dancing? The men don't come inside the tent for that."
They got into another bottle of rye and Emily paraded around the room.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Paperback 721: Operation: SEX / Kimberly Kemp (Midwood F181)

Paperback 721: Midwood F181 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Operation: SEX 
Author: Kimberly Kemp
Cover artist: Paul Rader

Yours for: $30


Best things about this cover:
  • I have an alternative title for this book: Naughty Pine.
  • This cover manages to be both deeply disturbing and super hot. Indirect evidence of nudity = very effective.
  • You have to love the absurdity of the pull-down window shade in the foreground—it's architecturally impossible, of course, but does a cool job of implicating us in the voyeurism.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Whoa. Ruby? Tell me more about Ruby. The cover said nothing about Ruby.
  • "Anything!"
  • Talk about burying the lede—how is the front cover not more lesbianified? I mean, I love the cover, but if lesbian pulp has taught me anything (and it Has), it's that when your book has lesbian sex in it, some visual/textual indication of that goes on the cover. No beating around the bush. As it were.

Page 123~

She visualized the tiny droplets striking the shoulders and then draining down in liquid rivulets, down over those peaked breasts. Down. Across that smooth belly and down into—

End of paragraph. I assume the next words were going to be the aforementioned bush, but who knows?


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Paperback 720: That Kind of Girl / Stanley Curson (Brandon House 741)

Paperback 720: Brandon House 741 (PBO, 1965)

Title: That Kind of Girl
Author: Stanley Curson
Cover artist: [Fred Fixler]

Yours for: $35


Best things about this cover:
  • Which kind of girl? Prematurely gray? Exceedingly tanned? Vinyl-loving? Shoe-collecting?
  • Seriously, those shoes, in all their green-ness and out-of-context-ness, totally make this cover.
  • V is for Vortex Of Forbidden Love 
  • I like that Ms. Gray is making a big "V" with her arms. Why she's covering her crotch with jazz hands, I don't know.


Best things about this back cover:

  • The pic itself is kind of adorable.  Hey! Lurid text! Leave those kids alone!

Page 123~

Anne gripped his organ experimentally …

OK, I cheated. This is page 122. But what was I supposed to do? Ignore this sentence? I throw myself on the mercy of the court.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Monday, November 4, 2013

Paperback 719: The Fiery Furnace / Lawrence Williams (Avon T-497)

Paperback 719: Avon T-497 (1st ptg, 1961)

Title: The Fiery Furnace
Author: Lawrence Williams
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:

Alan Cumming *is* … The Fiery Furnace!
Anyone know what his "strange compulsion" is. I want it to be Barbie™collecting.
Though that is a pretty decent Floating Head, I'm gonna say this cover could use more her, less him.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Oh my god how much do I love the photo of Smirky McAscot? (a lot)
  • Do they not have obsessions in Europe? What kind of logic is that?
  • Had to look up "Sicilian knife" to see how it differed from, say, a bread knife. Seems there is a traditional Italian art of knife-fighting called "Paranza Corta," but, acc. to Wikipedia, "It is still taught by individual masters but is not organized in a format suitable for divulgation to the masses." Yes, I've always found divulgation very tricky business indeed.

Page 123~

Carla was watching him, her chin set lightly in her hand, listening proudly to her businesslike lover in his professional capacity.

I guess that's better than listening to your professional lover in his businesslike capacity. Close call.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Paperback 718: The Assistant / Bernard Malamud (Signet 1514)

Paperback 718: Signet S1514 (1st, 1958)

Title: The Assistant
Author: Bernard Malamud
Cover artist: "Hofmann"

Yours for: $14


Best things about this cover:
  • "Baby, you put the 'ass' is 'assistant.'"
  • Are they giants? If that is a street sign he's gripping/pulling out of the ground, the answer must be 'yes.'
  • I love her outfit, particularly her shoes, though they seem to have been painted in as an afterthought.
  • Art here is really unusual—far more impressionistic/smeary than you usually see on '50s covers. Another thing you rarely see—that color of sky. Inland Empire Brown.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Gah! Buncha text. Don't care.

Page 123~

Morris, with clouded eyes, died slowly.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, November 1, 2013

Paperback 717: Death and Letters / Elizabeth Daly (Berkley Medallion F779)

Paperback 717: Berkley Medallion F779 (1st ptg, 1963)

Title: Death and Letters
Author: Elizabeth Daly
Cover artist: photo cover

Yours for: [not for sale] [weeeeirdly high prices ($40, $99.99) on this one at abebooks; no idea what that's about]


Best things about this cover:

  • Yes. That expression. That is exactly the expression I make when confronted with a terrible crossword puzzle. SIDEGLANCE!
  • How much product is in that hair? You '60s ladies were Dedicated.
  • Is that a crocheted top? Or a bib? So weird. And yet I love her.
  • Gamadge Does Damage!™


Best things about this back cover:

  • Is one puzzle talking to another ... or ... ?
  • "Jailors" looks all kinds of wrong. Like "jailer" and "gaoler" had an ugly baby.
  • I bought "The Book of the Lion" at the same book sale where I picked up this book. As with nearly all the books I bought that day, this one is in cut-your-fingers perfect condition. Unread. New. Ridiculous.

Page 123~

"I'm terribly worried about your wanting to go and eat peanuts in the park."


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Paperback 716: Dark Intruder / Vin Packer (Gold Medal 250)

Paperback 716: Gold Medal 250 (PBO, 1952)

Title: Dark Intruder
Author: Vin Packer
Cover artist: Amos Sewell

Yours for: [not for sale]


Best things about this cover:
  • Hide-and-seek fail.
  • He doesn't look that dark.
  • The only way that pose of hers makes any sense is if she's plunging her left arm down into the hay in hopes of recovering a lost earring.
  • OMG his right hand WTF? For Halloween, I'm gonna dress as this guy's middle finger. Frightening.
  • Vin Packer is a pseudonym for Marijane Meaker, a fine writer of PBO thrillers. Also, a woman. Also, the lesbian paperback writer Ann Aldrich. Also, the children's lit writer M.E. Kerr. And other things.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "Father and daughter rode roughshod..." is not my favorite phrase.
  • "Then Luke Came" would be a great gay porn paperback title.
  • It's interesting to me how much the front and back covers play up "Spring Fire"—I think I underappreciated what a sensation that book was. See it here (Paperback 466).
Page 123~

She could not help thinking of what Raol had said about his mother, feeling a slow, teasing jealousy mount inside her.

First, yes, Raol, not Raul or Raoul. Second, the end of this passage makes me giggle.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Paperback 715: TCOT Perjured Parrot / Erle Stanley Gardner (Cardinal C-379)

Paperback 715: Cardinal C-379 (1st ptg, 1959)

Title: The Case of the Perjured Parrot
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner
Cover artist: Ric Grasso

Yours for: $8


Best things about this back cover:
  • Woman distraught over loss of parrot attempts suicide by costume jewelry, gets tired, quits.
  • "Maybe if I just lean here sultrily, my parrot will just fly back in the window."
  • I unironically love her dress.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Wait, I can't see Perry, WHERE'S PERRY!? Oh, there he is. Phew. Thanks, Giant Red Arrow.
  • Not often you see the phrase "collection of guns at the public library." At least not where I'm from.
  • Remember when people watched scripted television on Saturdays!? Good times.

Page 123~

"You're putting me in a very difficult position, Mason," Bolding said irritably.
Mason's voice showed surprise. "I am? Why, I thought you'd put yourself in it."

Perry Mason, Smug Dickhead-at-Law


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

P.S. This is one of 97 paperbacks I bought yesterday at the University Book Sale. "Bingeing" doesn't really get at it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Paperback 714: The Violent Hours / Frank Castle (Gold Medal 554)

Paperback 714: Gold Medal 554 (PBO, 1956)

Title: The Violent Hours
Author: Frank Castle
Cover artist: Lu Kimmel

Yours for: $14


Best things about this cover:
  • "Hi, Murder? Hi! I was wondering, if you weren't too busy, maybe you'd like to come over for some love? .... You would!? Great! I'll put on something red and light a candle. See you soon!"
  • There is a whole subgenre of cover art that involves Girls Spilling Over The Edges Of Beds. Here's one. I know I've seen Many, many more.
  • This position offers Optimal Breast Viewing but does pretty terrible things to every other part of the body. Her hair looks like a wasp's nest.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "Ooh, it's half past murder. Time to look in my pants again!"
  • "Sheeted."
  • "Webb Grayburn" is not a name that inspires confidence. Sounds like a guy who owns an above-ground pool dealership.
  • OK, it's mostly text, but I still love the asymmetrical, crayon-like design with the whimsical, face-free clock hands. 
  • The book comes pre-distressed, so the actual wear and tear around the edges of the book fits right in with the book's original aesthetic.

Page 123~

It became so quiet in the room that the distant clatter of a teletype became loud.

It's not the most elegant sentence, by a longshot, but I do like the aural experience it provides.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Paperback 713: Flight / Edgar Jean Bracco (Berkley G291)

Paperback 713: Berkley Medallion G291 (PBO, 1959)

Title: Flight
Author: Edgar Jean Bracco
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $10


Best things about this cover:

  • Lasers!
  • Simple, clean lines. Shitty-looking sky, but still, oddly elegant in its simplicity.
  • Love the "Flight" font and its positioning on the horizon.
  • Surely the copywriter could've gotten another "A" word into that tagline.


Best things about this back cover:

  • "Authentic!" See, that's an "A"-word.
  • ETO is a common crossword answer. PTO, not so much (i.e. never).
  • "Annals" always makes me do a double-take. Also, another solid "A"-word.

Page 123~

"You gone nuts? How we going to—"


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, October 18, 2013

Paperback 712: The Fair and the Bold / Donn O'Hara (Graphic Giant G-222)

Paperback 712: Graphic Giant G-222 (PBO, 1957)

Title: The Fair and the Bold
Author: Donn O'Hara
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Yours for: $8


Best things about this cover:
  • I  buy her as The Fair, but aside from his choice to wear burning ships as footwear, I don't really see him as The Bold. 
  • "The Fair and the Dude We Saw at RenFest '12 Last Summer"
  • I am 99% certain that dancing lady is a near-perfect reproduction of some Rita Hayworth picture I've seen ... somewhere.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Here, the sword takes on its full phallic implications.
  • "... his blazing cannon, his murderous sword—and his penis, for which the first two things were pretty obvious metaphors."
  • I love how happy she is. It's very sweet, if not terribly sexy.
  • I also like guard dude who is going to get to hear it all. 
  • You know what's fun to say? "La Cacafuego!"

Page 123~

The movement dislodged the blanket, which slithered off Bakkerzeel's knees to the floor. Fletcher saw that the man had no feet—only blobs of bandage at the ends of his ankles.

Well that took an unexpected and horrific turn. Poor Baker's Eel.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Paperback 711: The Velvet Doublet / James Street (Perma Books M-4005)

Paperback 711: Perma Books M-4005 (1st ptg, 1954)

Title: The Velvet Doublet
Author: James Street
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:

  • "Hey! Can you grab that velvet doublet!? ... There! ... No, there! It's right ... [sigh] Damn, I'm gonna have to jump in..."
  • Just what you've been waiting for: an accidental belated Columbus Day tribute!
  • I do love a cover with animated hands—they really do add emotional dimension to a painting.


Best things about this back cover:

  • My second-favorite word on this cover is "Lepe" and my first-favorite is "wenched"!
  • I'll take "MARAELA" for all her potential power as a crossword answer.
  • Screw the doublet, kid. You want the doubloon. DOUBLOON! Ask Columbus. He'll know.

Page 123~

Acros beamed the lordliness of his trade as he showed me the tiller and let me feel it and pointed up to a small opening in the quarter-deck and through this I saw a speck of sky and a bit of sail, and nothing more.

The first half of this sentence *really* reads like sea-porn.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Monday, October 14, 2013

Paperback 710: The Deluge / Leonardo da Vinci (Lion Books 233)

Paperback 710: Lion Books 233 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: The Deluge
Author: Leonardo da Vinci
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:
  • If Leonardo had lived the 1950s and written B-movies: this.
  • She's a maniac, MAAANiac ... 
  • Steve tried valiantly to rescue all the damsels on Mount Severe Shaving Injury.
  • This is exactly how I imagined the 16th century.
  • "I get it, Lydia—your boobs are magnificent. Can't we please get off this rock now!?"
  • Please check out his left hand. Now good luck purging it from your nightmares.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I give this a C- for vagueness.

Page 123~ [This is from L's notebook, and it's quoted in a lengthy editor's note.]

And the surface of the earth having become at last a burnt cinder, all earthly nature shall cease.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Paperback 709: The Galactic Invaders / James R. Berry (Laser Books 31)

Paperback 709: Laser Books 31 (PBO, 1976)

Title: The Galactic Invaders
Author: James R. Berry
Cover artist: Kelly Freas

Not For Sale — that would be like selling my (pretend) face


Best things about this cover:
  • The Original Floating Head (also, my long-standing blogging avatar)
  • Love the Orange. Love the Font. Love the man who makes spaceships explode with his Mind.
  • The two holes on the helmet are for the retractable horns. Or ventilation. One of those.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "Can we do the painting again from my good side? Thanks."
  • Finally we can see what the title on the front cover had obscured—the giant laser-equipped hairball that's orbiting Planet Orange.
  • "Bryan Cranston is ... Keith Cranston in ... The Galactic Invaders!"

Page 123~
Cranston blinked at the apparent double talk. Ohm was being oblique to the point of obscurity. So far neither of them had mentioned the room with ... those people. If Ohm didn't, Cranston sure as hell wasn't going to either. 
Leave it to Ohm to be resistant. [PHYSICS PUN!]


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Friday, October 11, 2013

Paperback 708: Nightmare in Pink / John D. MacDonald (Gold Medal d1682)

Paperback 708: Gold Medal d1682 (3rd ptg, 1966)

Title: Nightmare in Pink
Author: John D. MacDonald
Cover artist: [Ron Lesser]

Yours for: $7 (yeah, I paid only $3, but ... inflation/postage — his books are being rereleased in $14 trade paperbacks ... why, WHY would you buy those when you can get beat-up '60s-era stuff, which is much cooler *and* much cheaper?)


Best things about this cover:
  • Really hate the turn cover art took in the '60s—toward text/branding, away from full-page cover art—and I associate MacDonald's books most closely with that trend, to the extent that I almost blame MacDonald personally. Over the years, the girls get smaller, while the whole MacDonald/McGee Brand swells up and dominates. Probably smart marketing. But sucky from a purely aesthetic perspective. 
  • I do like the way Pink suffuses every corner of this thing.
  • Her hair is, frankly, terrible. 


Best things about this back cover:
  • It's bad enough you've shrunk her and made her all modest on the front—this bland-and-white corner punishment is just degrading. Even John D's like "C'mon guys. Too far."
  • OK, I haven't read a sexier phrase than "sweetly wanton career girl, living alone in a Manhattan walk-up" in a Long time.
  • Not sure what is meant in this context by "Cafe Society," but I would like to join.
  • "And introducing ... LSD!"

Page 123~

Terry Drummond rapped at my door and I let her in. She wore fifteen thousand dollars worth of glossy fur coat. Her brown simian face wrinkled with distaste as she looked around. "God, what a scrimey hole!" The coat swung open.

This is the kind of passage that makes me wonder why I have not read more MacDonald than I have. Love it.


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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Paperback 707: Portrait of a Sadist / Paull Hill (Avon T-514)

Paperback 707: Avon T-514 (1st US ed., 1960)

Title: Portrait of a Sadist
Author: Paull Hill
Cover artist: Uncredited

Gift to the collection from reader "Stacy" (Thanks!)


Best things about this cover:
  • This cover won the "Least Sexy Bondage Painting" contest of 1959.
  • Seriously, stare at that foot for a few moments. It just gets creepier.
  • You have to admire a sadist whose bondage technique involves colorful ascots.
  • Curlicues on the "R"s make the "T" look like it has a fancy mustache.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I like the jagged black-and-white electricity that engirds this cover copy. High voltage!
  • I like books that express the dark confusion between horror and titillation. "This man sex was sex a hot dirty sex monster sex whose sex story should serve as a sex cautionary sex tale and definitely not masturbation material sex."
  • You say "perverted psychopathic lusts," I say "sexual irregularities," let's call the whole thing off.

Page 123~

His whip was at that moment reposing in his suitcase at Bournemouth West railway station, but once again he had his supply of handkerchiefs.

OMG I love that sentence so much. Not sure which is my favorite part: "whip," "reposing" (so genteel), "handkerchiefs" (!!!), or "once again" (!!!!?).


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