Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Paperback 658: Père Goriot / Honoré de Balzac (Jacket Library nn)

Paperback 658: Jacket Library [not numbered] (1st ptg, 1932)

Title: Père Goriot ("An Exciting Story of Amorous Intrigue and Venial Sin")
Author: Honoré de Balzac
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $6


Best things about this cover:

  • One of the most ridiculous attempts to sex up the classics I've ever seen. First: completely bury the actual title of the book in a microscopic font, and then, in the marquee position normally reserved for the title, put a misleadingly lurid description of the book ("An Exciting Story of Amorous Intrigue and Venial Sin"). Then—cue the Naked Lizard Lady!
  • The damage you see to the title area of the cover is due entirely to sticker pull—some jackass bookstore completely blocked out the sexy "title" with a sticker advertising their establishment. I worked very, very hard to get that damned thing off with minimal damage (yes, that's my version of "minimal").
  • This is the oldest paperback I own. Mass market paperbacks don't come into existence until the foundation of Pocket Books in 1939, but there were some earlier experimental paperback ventures, and this, apparently, was one of them. Jacket Library. 1932!

Instead of showing you the back cover (which has Nothing on it), I'll give you Jacket Library's mission statement and the book's title page:


Page 123~

Strong passions never miscalculate.


P.S. TCM is showcasing film noir all month long, every Friday night in June. Each week focuses on a different writer—last week featured a Hammett marathon, and this week we get movies based on work by David Goodis. So this Friday, at 10pm EST, I'll be watching this (Paperback 544):


I'll be live-tweeting commentary on the movie along with crime writer Christa Faust and anyone who wants to join in (#Nightfall).

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

with Christa.. that is great, I'll be watching