Sunday, March 2, 2014

Paperback 748: Fair Prey / Will Duke (Graphic 142)

Paperback 748: Graphic 142 (PBO, 1956)

Title: Fair Prey
Author: Will Duke [pen name of William Campbell Gault]
Cover artist: Oliver Brabbins

Yours for: $22


Best things about this cover:
  • Will duke for food.
  • She is sporting some pretty serious shoulder muscle definition. 
  • It's like fair play. Only it's prey. Get it?
  • It's all kind of chaotic. Too crowded, too many things happening. Like some reality show where people compete to see who gets to be the actual cover subject. Dead man is very convincing, but the lady is going full axilla … that's going to be hard to beat. But wait, here comes a cop … with a drifter in his wake, trying to impede him … this is tough to call, Jim.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Golf. Huh. Didn't see that coming.
  • "Out of my way, baby. That breakfast buffet's calling my name."
  • This is some pretty low-grade cover copy. I'm at least vaguely familiar with golf terminology, but … can you be "in" par? Is that a recognizable play on words, or just faux-sensational nonsense?

Page 123~

I remember the gulp and the moisture in my eyes, but I don't remember what I said. 

"The Gulp and the Moisture" was, of course, Norman Mailer's far, far less successful follow-up to "The Naked and the Dead."


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]


Unknown said...

Will Duke was a pen name for William Campbell Gault. Not a bad little book.

Plume Bohemiana said...

I really love the cranberry/greenish-gold color combo. The copy guy sort of missed an opportunity with "kilt" (killed), I guess. Why not go all the way?

Rex Parker said...

Thanks, Bill!


Ray Garraty said...

One of a few Gault's PBOs.

DemetriosX said...

The guy and the cop on the front make a weird tableau. It looks like he's grabbing the cop with one hand and a pole or something with the other, all while dancing. It's like a bit of choreography from West Side Story.

I think the worst offender on the back cover has to the be the "son of a rich..." line. It has to have the ellipsis since "son of a rich" doesn't mean anything, but a rich what? Man? Cultural heritage?