Sunday, February 10, 2013

Paperback 606: Street of Brass / Fielden Farrington (Hillman Books 203)

Paperback 606: Hillman Books 203 (PBO, 1961)

Title: Street of Brass
Author: Fielden Farrington
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • False modesty hand!
  • "Oh doctor, can you take a look at this? I've been having problems with my axilla ..."
  • Sweet font.
  • "Fielden Farrington" is fake. For sure. Seems to have written at least two other novels, both of which were used as the basis for TV movies of the week in the early '70s. But I still say "pen name."


Best things about this back cover:
  • Simplicity of the diagram is kind of great.
  • This was written either by someone with poetic aspirations or by someone who learned English late in life. I am strangely mesmerized by the strangeness of the diction.
  • I want to sit at a bar and shout "this liquor does not ease me!" and then the bartender will say "what? It doesn't please you?" and then I'll stare her dead in the eye and say "our pointless intimacies are *over*!" and then I'll chuck the highball glass at the mirror behind the bar. Then  run.

Pag 123~

"Yes." He couldn't remember in any detail what he had already said. "She rang the bell, and she was drunk as a goat. She screamed at me when I told her she couldn't come in. I mean literally screamed, like a banshee. I had to let her in to shut her up.
Lila nodded.

Unsurprisingly, Lila is not quite buying it.


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DemetriosX said...

The title font is just about the only thing right on this whole cover. Fortunately, it's right enough to save the whole thing. Just killer.

I'm not sure that's a "false modesty" hand. The look on her face says she just threw up in her mouth a little or, at the very least, suppressed an enormous belch. I suggest "acid reflux" hand.

And what the heck is that wrought iron (?) contraption over Don Draper/Darrin Stevens' head? It seems to have a couple of candle sconces coming off of it, but then there's the whole cylindrical structure coming out of the wall and something hanging below that. Light fixture? Junk sculpture?

Anonymous said...

Good luck running after you trash the bar. Didn't you finish the paragraph? All the exits are closed, with the way you came in the most closed. It's not just closed, nor closed shut, it's most closed. I think most closed transcends even closed shut. It's like closed shut, nailed, with a chair under the knob on the other side and a bucket of tarantulas hannging over the door should you manage, even with all the precautions, to get it open. I think that's what most closed means. Ok, I made up the tarantulas

infoqueen said...

"drunk as a goat"? Are they more prone to drunkenness than other livestock? So is she drunker than a chicken, but not quite as drunk as a pig? Just how drunk is "drunk as a goat"?

DemetriosX: Combination candelabra/coat-rack/medieval torture device.

capewood said...

On Wikipedia "drunk as a skunk" redirects you to Alcohol intoxication. "Drunk as a goat" gets you nothing.

Scott said...

"Fielden Farrington" is not a pen name. He was my great uncle. He wrote four books: The Big Noise, Street Of Brass, A Little Game, and The Strangers in 7A. The last two were made into TV movies. "A Little Game" was the best book. He was a well-known old-time radio announcer of shows like the Romance of Helen Trent and the Green Hornet. Also he wrote many scripts for the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre in the '70s. Just so you know...

Ephraimlad said...

I also can confirm that Fielden Farrington was not a pen name, but a very real person - also my great Uncle (Hi Scott!) I last saw him in 1975 and have boxes of pictures (and even an unpublished manuscript entitled "The Back House"). He began his career at WBOW in Terre Haute, and was a good friend of Burl Ives, and introduced Author Godfrey to radio.

ScottP said...

In my 40 years listening to OTR I do remember him saying his name at a show close. But lately when I thought I heard him, it turned out to be Ford Bond instead.

Anonymous said...

Fielden Farrington also produced the Sandy Becker (early TV) Show on WNEW-TV. I think that was the station.

I also knew one of his, Fielden's, relatives in the 60s.

Moo R. Squiddles said...

I can DEFINITELY confirm he is real as well, He was my grandfather, and He did a bit more than write a few books. He also wrote for The Romances of Helen Trent, CBS Radio Mystery Theater Hour, and some of the original General Hospital episodes. He had spent some of his few last days with us before he departed. I remember reading many of his original manuscripts for short stories the were published under a different name. One thing that intrigued me about this thread was 'Ephraimlad' saying Fielden was his Great Uncle. That would be a side of my family I never knew. His wife, Dorothy, was my Grandmother, and they had 2 sons, Reed, and Mark. Reed was given as my middle name. So little is known about the Grandfather I hardly knew.

Unknown said...

Moo R. Squiddles - Would you happen to have any photos of your grandfather that you would be willing to share? I am researching authors of the CBS radio series and have been unable to find any public photos of Mr. Farrington. (It would be used on a bio page on a site about the show.) Please contact me at jdscomms [at]

I have a handful of newspaper clippings about him that I'd be happy to share, if you like.


ARS NB9M said...

I have put together an article of Fielden's history, with some pictures and clippings dating back to the early WBOW days here:

Remembering Fielden Farrington

I would like to hook up with Fielden's side of the family; I never met Dorothy or their sons Mark and Reed. Information on how to reach me can be found in the link above. -Brad Stone