Saturday, September 28, 2013

Paperbacks 701 and 702: Raison Funebre / Georges Vidal // Quand Passe Calone... / Alain Page (Editions Fleuve Noir 313 / 363)

Paperback 701: Editions Fleuve Noir 313 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Raison Funèbre
Author: Georges Vidal
Cover artist: "M. Fournay" (I think)

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • "I vill prove zat zay are inflatable!"
  • Dagger wielded by killer, or laser pointer wielded by Anatomy professor?
  • She has one hell of a tan.
  • You'd think they'd make the whole torn dress/bondage thing less subtle.

Paperback 702: Editions Fleuve Noir 363 (PBO, 1963)

Title: Quand Passe Calone ...
Author: Alain Page
Cover artist: "M. Fournay" (I think)

Yours for: $16


Best things about this cover:
  • Teenager really must borrow the car. She insists.
  • Being and Nothingness and Murder.
  • Seriously, this is like a Sartre play. "Shoot. Don't shoot. What does it matter?"


Best things about this back cover (same for both books):
  • This manages to be both generic and dynamic.
  • I want to be a "Gentleman Justicier." Sounds elegant.
  • Is "Anticipation" what the French called "scifi?" "La Réalité de Demain" ("The Reality of Tomorrow") suggests yes, but I'd be surprised if they hadn't co-opted the term "sci-fi" by now (see "pin-up," above)

Page 123~ (from Quand Passe Calone...)

"Jolie fille, hein? Il ne faudrait pas grand-chose pour en faire une pin-up occidentale."
"Je n'aime pas les pin-up, je la préfère telle quelle est..."
["Pretty girl, eh? It wouldn't take much to turn this photo into a western-style pin-up"
"I don't like pin-ups. I prefer her just as she is..."]

I'm trying to imagine anyone, anywhere, uttering the phrase "I don't like pin-ups." Nope, doesn't compute.


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Friday, September 27, 2013

Paperback 700: The Traveler in Black / John Brunner (Ace 82210)

Paperback 700: Ace Books 82210 (PBO, 1971)

Title: The Traveler in Black 
Author: John Brunner
Cover artist: Leo & Diane Dillon

Yours for: $8


Best things about this cover:
  • Original title: Death Gives Two Hand Jobs
  • Johnny Cash IS ... Death IN ... The Traveler in Black!
  • Those hands are spectacular, and scary as hell.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Only the highest of people could a. make sense of this and b. think "oh man, we gotta buy this."

Page 123~

The borderland between rationality and chaos seemed to be shrinking apace as the harsh constraint of logic settled on this corner of the All.

George Washington was in a cult, and the cult was into aliens, man.


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Monday, September 23, 2013

Paperback 699: Journey to a Woman / Ann Bannon (Gold Medal s977)

Paperback 699: Gold Medal s977 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Journey to a Woman
Author: Ann Bannon
Cover artist: photo cover, I think

Yours for: No. I keep. (probably worth about $60)


Best things about this cover:
  • It's cruddy. But this is a novel by one of the biggest names in lesbian pulp, so I'm fond of it nonetheless.
  • She's been ambered! (that reference was for "Fringe" fans only ... so, like, five of you)
  • Is that text supposed to be a poem? Whose / Bright idea was it to break the / Lines that / way?


Best things about this back cover:
  • Here's some important "gay" paperback code language: "half-" anything. Also, "shadows."
  • Hey, I wanna go "tearing through the night on a fool's errand at the whim of a beautiful spoiled woman who had beckoned." That sounds awesome!
  • "The strangely alluring woman called Vega!" — well, I've got at least one friend who will find this book interesting. A friend named 'Vega." You probably guessed that.

Page 123~

"Charlie has some idea for a new toy," Cleve went on. "He wants to call it 'The Scooth.' It's sort of a spring, a great big thing you can crawl inside or sit on top of and bounce."

Toys are important on your journey to a woman.


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Friday, September 20, 2013

Paperback 698: Vulcan's Hammer / Philip K. Dick // The Skynappers / John Brunner (Ace Double D-457)

Paperback 698: Ace Double D-457 (PBO/PBO, 1960) 

Title: Vulcan's Hammer / The Skynappers
Authors: Philip K. Dick / John Brunner
Cover artists: Ed Emshwiller / Ed Valigursky

Yours for: Not for sale


Best things about this cover:
  • Bang bang Vulcan's space-age hammer came down upon his head
  • Prototypes for the robot in "Short Circuit."
  • I think a double-flashlight pincer hammer would actually be a pretty cool tool. 
  • I like to think they're little styling hammers, making our hero look fabulous.


Best things about this other cover:
  • A nice visual representation of what happens Every Time I try to peel a hard-boiled egg.
  • That's some pretty sweet quintessential '60s sic-fi goodness. Best rockets always look like they came out of a kit and have a maximum of 8 parts, total.
  • They kidnapped the sky! Or else they nap on planes, not sure.

Page 123~ (from "Vulcan's Hammer")

Halfway across the Atlantic they passed an immense swarm of hammers streaking toward helpless, undefended North America.

Other continents had presciently installed anti-Vulcan's Hammer technology decades earlier. Silly North Americans.


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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Paperback 697: Out From Eden / Victoria Lincoln (Pocket Books 935)

Paperback 697: Pocket Books 935 (1st ptg, 1953)

Title: Out From Eden
Author: Victoria Lincoln
Cover artist: Tom Dunn

Yours for: $7


Best things about this cover:
  • FRANK!
  • An interesting variation on the typical Great Girl Art cover—this is more like one of those annoying modern covers where the women are always facing away or their heads are out of frame and possibly there is mist or water. If you think I'm kidding, just want into what they call a "book" "store" and look around.
  • Any sexiness she brings to this cover, the schlubby painter dude totally takes out of it.
  • I am having a Hate/Love relationship with that mug in the foreground.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Are there different varieties of Edens? An Eden of Pancakes, maybe?
  • "Raffish"—wow, that's not a word you see .... ever. Cool.
  • So that must be Jessica on the cover. She seems nice.
  • I don't want to know the "special and painful way" Todd learned about love because I am quite sure the version in my head is much better.

Page 123~

"You mean a is to b as c is to d?" again the intelligence faded. "How could you? They're letters and arithmetic is numbers."

"A frank and moving story of a naked girl who learned algebra."


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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Paperback 696: Assignment—Lili Lamaris / Edward S. Aarons (Gold Medal s911)

Paperback 696: Gold Medal s911 (PBO, 1959)

Title: Assignment—Lili Lamaris
Author: Edward S. Aarons
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Yours for: $7


Best things about this cover:
  • Cover would be So Hot if it were less smudgy and closer-up. PAN IN!
  • This is somewhere between super-sexy and "help me, I've fallen."
  • She appears to be wearing ... mist. How convenient.
  • I like how she just jams her right leg into the text, like "Don't look at those stupid words! Why are you looking down there when I'm up here!?"


Best things about this back cover:
  • I like the attitude suggested by his face, i.e. "whatever, sketch me or don't sketch me, I don't give a fuck."
  • Since "the enemy" is unnamed, I'm gonna go ahead and assume it's "lizard people."
  • "Tenth book"?! He wrote 42 novels in this series! (This has been your "holy crap" literary moment of the day.)

Page 123~

He paused, listening to the silence here that was not quite a silence, but like the deep, patient breathing of a waiting animal. 

That's just Lili. She breathes funny when she's naked-crawling.


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Friday, September 13, 2013

Paperback 695: Passage to Samoa / Day Keene (Gold Medal 823)

Paperback 695: Gold Medal 823 (PBO, 1958)

Title: Passage to Samoa
Author: Day Keene
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $14


Best things about this cover:
  • Roger was inconsolable when he found out they weren't going to Disney World
  • Roger was fastidious about thread-count.
  • Jerry Orbach IS ... Roger IN ... "Passage To Samoa"!
  • "They followed the random pink arrows ... to Death (or Murder or Love ... one of those)!"


Best things about this back cover:
  • An inside look at Roger's circulatory system reveals that he is all fucked up.
  • If that phony count doesn't have a sweet pencil mustache, I will be gravely disappointed.
  • Roger liked his sex the old-fashioned way: bundled.

Page 123~
Janice protested. "But you can't kill us for nothing. What on earth is back of this, anyway?"

"Well, I'll tell you now, Miss Hart," Hines grinned. "It's this way. Me and Sven and a certain other gent got tired of being poor. So—"

Hanson bellowed, "Shut up, you fool. It's none of their business."
I like how honest and ingenuous Hines is. "Uh, we wanted money, 'cause we didn't have none, so ..."


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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Paperback 694: Stop This Man! / Peter Rabe (Gold Medal 763)

Paperback 694: Gold Medal 763 (2nd ptg, 1958)

Title: Stop This Man!
Author: Peter Rabe
Cover artist: Darcy

Yours for: $14


Best things about this cover:
  • A great, brutal cover marred only by the stupid slab of yellow Erskine at the top.
  • Love the unfinished quality of painting toward the bottom, the obvious dilapidation on the ceiling, the dynamic use of perspective, the framing of his left hand in the dead middle of the page, the believable fear on her face, the simple, understated, off-center title ... all fantastic.
  • Not sure what that shirt's made of though? Taffy?


Best things about this back cover:
  • OK, is it "could not put this book down," or, as the cover clearly states, "couldn't put this book down." I call bullshit.
  • I love (sarcastically) how this book basically belongs to Erskine Caldwell now. Sorry, Peter Rabe. I know it must be tough to get shown up on your own cover(s) by a 3-to-1 margin, but that's show business. Gotta move product.
  • The NYT review clearly has no appreciation for how much I like "the lurid modern crime thriller."

Page 123~

They put handcuffs on the Turtle and put him in a police car. Then they drove him downtown, to the office of the FBI. The Turtle didn't say anything during the long ride. He didn't think that funny talk would make any difference any more.

Aw, c'mon, The Turtle, you're not trying hard enough. Do your Nixon impression!


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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Paperback 693: The Big Guy / Wade Miller (Gold Medal 279)

Paperback 693: Gold Medal 279 (PBO, 1953)

Title: The Big Guy
Author: Wade Miller
Cover artist: Jack Floherty

Yours for: $11


Best things about this cover:
  • When a gorilla of a man meets a tigress of a woman ... Tigrilla!
  • Big guy. Short tie. Wide suit. Dumb stare. "Is my tie clip straight ... Well, IS IT!?"
  • Did he tear her clothes off her or was she attacked by an ermine that's still semi-attached to her right shoulder?


Best things about this back cover:
  • This is either the worst or the best back cover concept ever. It's so ... random. "How 'bout a dictionary entry?" "But that ... makes no sense." "Yes, but if we did it on a little floating piece of torn out paper then ... oh man I'm so high right now."
  • "Bloodstained but usable" = lovely.
  • Who is this "pa' shens" woman? A woman who teaches you how to drink, carouse and chase women!? She sounds amazing.
  • Wade Miller was actually two guys, but you probably knew that.

Page 123~
He took his wife's arm and squared the odd-feeling yachting cap on his head. "Come on down to the barbecue. I got to carve up a pig."
After the first five words, this passage is like "Fuck it, I'm'a do whatever I want."


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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Paperback 692: Give a Man a Gun / Leslie Ernenwein (Gold Medal 220)

Paperback 692: Gold Medal 220 (PBO, 1952)

Title: Give a Man a Gun
Author: Leslie Ernenwein
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • You know what they say: "Give a man a gun, he'll ... shoot some fish ... something something."
  • Fear hand—man style!
  • "Trigger tramp" = "closeted cowboy," I think. "Don't judge me just 'cause I got this ascot and your girlfriend and these dance moves and you didn't!"
  • "His gun made him a man—the story of a Very Western Prosthesis."


Best things about this back cover:
  • OK, stop right there: CLEE? Give a man a name, why don't you?
  • Everybody from Texas—we get it, you're from Texas. You can take off the hat now.
  • I wonder what's next from the very Westernly named Leslie Ernenwein—maybe "Give a Gun a Gun" or "Gun Night in Guntown" or "The Joy Luck Gun Club."

Page 123~

He went out to his horse then and stowed the two bottles in his saddlebags. Seeing Doc Stonecypher come down the Empire Hotel steps, Dude called, "How's Johnny Frayne?"

Doc Stonecypher replied, "Hmmm, I'd say fair-to-middlin'. Gotta go now. Gotta fight Spider-Man."


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Monday, September 2, 2013

Paperback 691: Tutor From Lesbos / A.P. Williams (Beacon B731X)

Paperback 691: Beacon B731X (PBO, 1964)

Title: Tutor From Lesbos
Author: A.P. Williams
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $55


Best thing about this cover:
  • OK, Lesson One: how to sit in a chair.
  • In order of awesome: sunglasses, butterfly chair, wig, sweater set.
  • I'm imagining the frugal parents who are excited about this ad. "'No charge'! What a deal!"


Best things about this back cover:
  • The question we've all been asking all our lives.
  • "Love" quote unquote hahaha. Oh, Ginny, Ginny, who can I turn to ...?
  • "Consider the emotions of..." Well, that's a new angle.
  • "Feel the despair of..." Ditto.
  • So the dad *watches*? Gross/hot.
  • LOL uncontrollably at the last four sentences on this back cover.

Page 123~

[Hamilton] [...] worked at his desk until lunchtime, when he walked into several downtown shops and finally purchased an ugly gray fedora and a pair of sunglasses. These would render him inconspicuous, he figured, and enable him to blend in with the other drinkers at the lesbian bar. He had heard that dark glasses were worn as a badge by the city's questionable element.

Finally I understand why lesbians are constantly hitting on me every time I put on a fedora and sunglasses. Thank you, "Tutor From Lesbos"—aptly, you have taught me so much. Also, I would join a gang / club / sleaze appreciation society called "The Questionable Element."


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