Friday, February 15, 2013

Paperback 608: Sleep in Thunder / Ed Lacy (Tempo T48)

Paperback 608: Tempo Books T48 (PBO, 1964)

Title: Sleep in Thunder
Author: Ed Lacy
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:
  • Are Tempo books for children? Why does this shout "young adult" at me? The rainbow logo, maybe. I know, rainbow should shout "gay," but it doesn't. I don't know what's going on here. Some kind of visual tone problem.
  • "Psst, kid. You dropped your left arm back here."
  • Nothing about this cover says "Sleep" or "Thunder." It does, however, say "Grime." "Hide in Grime," I'd call it. 
  • Why would you make the figure in the foreground *by far* the least interesting thing about your cover?
  • I'll give this cover one thing: it captures the essence of Alley (now that's a fragrance I might wear: Essence of Alley).
  • I love how "EDGAR" is in quotes, like it's not quite a real thing. "So-called..."
  • Kid has "Fear Hand."™


Best things about this back cover:
  • "José"? "Juan"? Makes me realize how invisible Hispanics are on mid-century paperbacks. 600+ entries, and only one is tagged "Hispanic" (!?!?!). Oh, wait, two westerns are tagged "Mexicans." That's ... more than one. But none of them are what you'd call mainstream paperbacks from major publishers. Just an observation.
  • I'm not sure this Big Fuchsia Text Jutting Into Regular Black Text thing is working.
  • "One of death's many grotesque angles"—I really want a chart depicting these angles. I mean, *really* want a chart ...

Page 123~

José licked the leaves, which didn't help his thirst much. When he returned to the room downstairs he took the pot with him, for the plant seemed as lonely and forgotten as himself.

I'm ... a little worried for what José's gonna do to that poor plant.


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Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or is there a giant face in the sky on the cover?

suburbanbeatnik said...

I just read this as an antidote to Irving Shulman's terrible (TERRIBLE) West Side Story novelization. Even though they're both set in the same place and time, in contrast to Shulman's work, Sleep in Thunder features characters with relationships in believable settings and who act in realistic ways. It's a cool little book, but it's in a weird niche, since it's basically a urban crime YA featuring a Latino hero. It's pretty exciting and I love seeing a more realistic take on the West Side Story setting. It's too bad it's not better known...