Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Paperback 737: Duke / Hal Ellson (Popular Library 219)

Paperback 737: Popular Library 219 (5th ptg, 1950)

Title: Duke
Author: Hal Ellson
Cover artist: Rudolph Belarski

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • Her "whatever" face is the best.
  • Black Joan Crawford could take you or leave you.
  • Shoes! Why does everyone on old paperbacks look so damn cool. Even goofy people look cool. Even Flat-butt No Face here has a certain simple, shabby style I admire. 
  • Juvenile delinquency! Dope! Smoking (literally) hot girls who could give a damn! This book has it all.
  • The one word I think of when I see Belarski's artwork: creamy. 


Best things about this back cover:
  • Love the advisory at the end there! "If you barf easy, or don't, like, care about important stuff, then fuck off already." This book has the same attitude as the lady on the cover.
  • Marijuana. I like when books name their drugs. Even though this is a 5th printing, the great condition, the JD (juvenile delinquency) theme, and the drug references make it super-sweet / collectible. 
  • "Cash before pleasure"? Come on, you gotta up your slang game if you're gonna run the streets. "Money before honeys"? "Dough before ho"? "Cheddar before girls in tight sweaters"? Something.

Page 123~

"You got any sticks on you?" Chink said.
"Yeah, I got some. You want one."
"I could use it."
I gave Chink one. I passed some around to the others. I lit one for myself. I needed that. We all got to be feeling gay then. 

Aw, yeah … [cue sexy music] …


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1 comment:

Karl said...

Some (including me) have wondered if "Hal Ellson" is a pseudonym of Harlan Ellison, who also wrote a couple of books about teenage gangs in roughly this time period. In fact they're two people. Hal Ellson was a well-known crime writer of the 50s and 60s, and Ellison has stated that he became interested juvenile delinquency (as it used to be called) through the novels of Ellson.

At least, that's what it says on the intertubes, so it must be true.