Friday, January 4, 2013

Paperback 587: The Nothing Man / Jim Thompson (Dell First Edition 22)

Paperback 587: Dell First Edition 22 (PBO, 1954)

Title: The Nothing Man
Author: Jim Thompson
Cover artist: Stanley Borack

Yours for: nuh uh


Best things about this cover:
  • I wish I had a foreground me and background me.
  • It's like a PSA against alcohol-induced psychosis: "Hi folks. You ever wake up with that 'not-so-fresh' feeling?"
  • By "lost the power to love" they mean he has no penis (if I'm remembering this one right, which I think I am, but I could be confusing it with another Thompson title, as castration / genital mutilation is kind of a recurring theme)
  • That guy looks like an actor, but I can't place him. Robert Stack?


Best things about this back cover:
  • Yep, this is definitely the (or a) penis-loss story.
  • Drink is a poor substitute for a penis, I find.
  • Awesome psycho-face.

Page 123~

"That's awfully pretty, Brownie. Did you write that?"
"Yes," I said. "I did it under my pen name, Elizabeth Khayyam. I wrote it one eventide on a wind-swept hill while watching a father bird wing home to his wee ones. There was a long caterpillar in his beak and he had it swung over his shoulders, muffler fashion, as a shield against the wintery cold. I ... listen to me, Deborah! For God's sake, listen!"

"Heckuva job, Brownie," she sneered, right before he bludgeoned her to death with whatever blunt object was handy.


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Anonymous said...

Is he really penis-less, or is he just making that up to account for his inability to get laid by telling stories like that?

P.S Brownie:
a) There are no caterpillars around during winter.
b) There are no wee ones around to be fed during winter.

Otherwise, heckuva job.

Anonymous said...

William Windom

DemetriosX said...

I know what you mean about the actor, but I can't quite put my finger on it. The best I can come up with is a cross between Robert Redford and Robert Blake.

Also both versions are wearing some seriously high-waisted pants.

Rick said...

He looks something like TV star Robert Conrad did as he aged and his face got puffier. Not so much "Wild Wild West" Conrad; more like "Black Sheep Squadron" Robert Conrad...

-> Ray said...

Looks like Robert Culp to me.

capewood said...

I was thinking Bob Culp as well.

Michael5000 said...

Nothing Man, please listen: you don't know what you're missing! Nothing Man! The universe is at your command!

NomadUK said...

Definitely Robert Culp.

Stoutcat said...

Sort of a cross between Robert Culp and Robert Vaughan.

JRSM said...

That extract is amazing. I've read this book, and remember loving it, but that rings no bells at all.

Anonymous said...

Cross between Robert Culp and Peter O'Toole. Sounds like outrageous pulp entertainment.