Sunday, April 14, 2013

Paperback 630: Had I But Groaned / Carter Brown (Signet D3380)

Paperback 630: Signet D3380 (PBO, 1968)

Title: Had I But Groaned
Author: Carter Brown
Cover artist: Uncredited (Robert McGinnis)

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:
  • We have a winner in the Stupidest Title Of All Time contest.
  • Seriously, what is this contrafactive pseudo-poetic nonsense? Is it a famous quotation? Who says this? In what context would groaning make things better??? "Had I but groaned ... I'd've gotten the role in that zombie movie for sure"? 
  • Back to groaning—it's not even sexual? Moaning would be sexual? I am just befuddled by whatever it is this title is trying to do.
  • I keep imagining this as "Had I Butt-Groaned..."
  • To this cover's credit—she is amazing. McGinnis-gorgeous. I don't know if that's a lab coat or a towel or what that she holding, or why she's in a haunted house, but I don't much care.
  • The stripes on her underwear nicely complement those on the settee. I am 100% serious with that last comment.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Copy in red is not half-bad. Copy in black is empty confusing blather.
  • "Naturally."
  • You know a story's going to be exciting when the main character is named "Larry Baker." 

Page 123~

We reached the banquette a couple of minutes later, mainly because Boris zigzagged all the way across the floor of the restaurant. "Ladies!" He bowed deeply and bashed his forehead on a passing trolley of hors d'oeuvres.



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Tulse said...

That is some truly spectacular butt cleavage.

Spectergirl said...

While she appears to be disrobing alone, with her head tilted down like that, I can't help but image that she is actually stripping for a very tiny person standing on the couch.

DemetriosX said...

Terrible title, but the cover is absolutely fantastic. Really, the only flaw is the bow in her hair.

Carter Brown seems to have been huge in the 50s and 60s. According to rumor he was one of JFK's favorites. If that last sentence in the excerpt is indicative, his popularity was earned.

Most of the black text on the back cover may be blather, but the last sentence in bold is worth taking a closer look at. Sure the "which witch" thing is trite, but "as she goes bump in the night" is pretty suggestive for a respectable publisher like Signet. It really sounds like something from one of the racier lines.

infoqueen said...

I think the title might be a play on "Had I But Known."
Not that it makes it any better...