Thursday, November 28, 2013

Paperback 723: Death Spins the Platter / Ellery Queen (Pocket Books 6126)

Paperback 723: Pocket Books 6126 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Death Spins the Platter
Author: Ellery Queen (ghost-written by Richard Deming)
Cover artist: Al Brulé

Yours for: $11


Best things about this cover:
  • And the award for worst mixed metaphor goes to …
  • I'm the DJ, he's the Piper?
  • Quit getting your grubby thumbprints all over the vinyl, lady. Unless it's one of them there braille records and you are deaf, in which case, carry on.
  • Looming background head is the best.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I now want to name everything "Tutter King." 
  • Because King Tut was taken?
  • No one tutted better than he! Nary a one!

Page 123~

"Did you find fingerprints on the ice pick?"

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Paperback 722: Strange Longing / Orrie Hitt (Chariot Books CB-1626)

Paperback 722: Chariot Books CB-1626 (PBO, 1963)

Title: Strange Longing
Author: Orrie Hitt
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $25


Best things about this cover:
  • This was also the cover for Axilla Fetishist Monthly (April 1963)
  • One thing about saran wrap lingerie is: the itch.
  • Man I wish the girl in the dark in the back ground were more in the light in the foreground.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "Oh, don't mind me, I just wandered over to this side of the room and got tangled in the drapery somehow."
  • Seriously, what is happening there?
  • "Bunny soft"— I'm laughing quite hard right now.
  • Ladies, if you really wanna sex up your bedroom patter, call it "the portals of the 'forbidden world'!"

Page 123~
"I don't do the kind of dances they'd want."
"Who cares about dancing? The men don't come inside the tent for that."
They got into another bottle of rye and Emily paraded around the room.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Paperback 721: Operation: SEX / Kimberly Kemp (Midwood F181)

Paperback 721: Midwood F181 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Operation: SEX 
Author: Kimberly Kemp
Cover artist: Paul Rader

Yours for: $30


Best things about this cover:
  • I have an alternative title for this book: Naughty Pine.
  • This cover manages to be both deeply disturbing and super hot. Indirect evidence of nudity = very effective.
  • You have to love the absurdity of the pull-down window shade in the foreground—it's architecturally impossible, of course, but does a cool job of implicating us in the voyeurism.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Whoa. Ruby? Tell me more about Ruby. The cover said nothing about Ruby.
  • "Anything!"
  • Talk about burying the lede—how is the front cover not more lesbianified? I mean, I love the cover, but if lesbian pulp has taught me anything (and it Has), it's that when your book has lesbian sex in it, some visual/textual indication of that goes on the cover. No beating around the bush. As it were.

Page 123~

She visualized the tiny droplets striking the shoulders and then draining down in liquid rivulets, down over those peaked breasts. Down. Across that smooth belly and down into—

End of paragraph. I assume the next words were going to be the aforementioned bush, but who knows?


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Paperback 720: That Kind of Girl / Stanley Curson (Brandon House 741)

Paperback 720: Brandon House 741 (PBO, 1965)

Title: That Kind of Girl
Author: Stanley Curson
Cover artist: [Fred Fixler]

Yours for: $35


Best things about this cover:
  • Which kind of girl? Prematurely gray? Exceedingly tanned? Vinyl-loving? Shoe-collecting?
  • Seriously, those shoes, in all their green-ness and out-of-context-ness, totally make this cover.
  • V is for Vortex Of Forbidden Love 
  • I like that Ms. Gray is making a big "V" with her arms. Why she's covering her crotch with jazz hands, I don't know.


Best things about this back cover:

  • The pic itself is kind of adorable.  Hey! Lurid text! Leave those kids alone!

Page 123~

Anne gripped his organ experimentally …

OK, I cheated. This is page 122. But what was I supposed to do? Ignore this sentence? I throw myself on the mercy of the court.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Monday, November 4, 2013

Paperback 719: The Fiery Furnace / Lawrence Williams (Avon T-497)

Paperback 719: Avon T-497 (1st ptg, 1961)

Title: The Fiery Furnace
Author: Lawrence Williams
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:

Alan Cumming *is* … The Fiery Furnace!
Anyone know what his "strange compulsion" is. I want it to be Barbie™collecting.
Though that is a pretty decent Floating Head, I'm gonna say this cover could use more her, less him.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Oh my god how much do I love the photo of Smirky McAscot? (a lot)
  • Do they not have obsessions in Europe? What kind of logic is that?
  • Had to look up "Sicilian knife" to see how it differed from, say, a bread knife. Seems there is a traditional Italian art of knife-fighting called "Paranza Corta," but, acc. to Wikipedia, "It is still taught by individual masters but is not organized in a format suitable for divulgation to the masses." Yes, I've always found divulgation very tricky business indeed.

Page 123~

Carla was watching him, her chin set lightly in her hand, listening proudly to her businesslike lover in his professional capacity.

I guess that's better than listening to your professional lover in his businesslike capacity. Close call.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Paperback 718: The Assistant / Bernard Malamud (Signet 1514)

Paperback 718: Signet S1514 (1st, 1958)

Title: The Assistant
Author: Bernard Malamud
Cover artist: "Hofmann"

Yours for: $14


Best things about this cover:
  • "Baby, you put the 'ass' is 'assistant.'"
  • Are they giants? If that is a street sign he's gripping/pulling out of the ground, the answer must be 'yes.'
  • I love her outfit, particularly her shoes, though they seem to have been painted in as an afterthought.
  • Art here is really unusual—far more impressionistic/smeary than you usually see on '50s covers. Another thing you rarely see—that color of sky. Inland Empire Brown.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Gah! Buncha text. Don't care.

Page 123~

Morris, with clouded eyes, died slowly.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, November 1, 2013

Paperback 717: Death and Letters / Elizabeth Daly (Berkley Medallion F779)

Paperback 717: Berkley Medallion F779 (1st ptg, 1963)

Title: Death and Letters
Author: Elizabeth Daly
Cover artist: photo cover

Yours for: [not for sale] [weeeeirdly high prices ($40, $99.99) on this one at abebooks; no idea what that's about]


Best things about this cover:

  • Yes. That expression. That is exactly the expression I make when confronted with a terrible crossword puzzle. SIDEGLANCE!
  • How much product is in that hair? You '60s ladies were Dedicated.
  • Is that a crocheted top? Or a bib? So weird. And yet I love her.
  • Gamadge Does Damage!™


Best things about this back cover:

  • Is one puzzle talking to another ... or ... ?
  • "Jailors" looks all kinds of wrong. Like "jailer" and "gaoler" had an ugly baby.
  • I bought "The Book of the Lion" at the same book sale where I picked up this book. As with nearly all the books I bought that day, this one is in cut-your-fingers perfect condition. Unread. New. Ridiculous.

Page 123~

"I'm terribly worried about your wanting to go and eat peanuts in the park."


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]