Friday, April 10, 2015

Paperback 869: N Or M? / Agatha Christie (Dell 187)

Paperback 869: Dell 187 (1st ptg, 1947)

Title: N Or M?
Author: Agatha Christie
Cover artist: Gerald Gregg

Estimated value: $10-15

Best things about this cover:

  • Norm!
  • The cigarette is puzzled. "What the hell does 'NORM' mean?" it wonders.
  • Design on this is so bizarre. Everything's laid out at odd angles, the cigarette ashes have an eerie, vermiform look to them, and the whole thing kinda looks like a white whale with "NorM" tattooed to the side of its face is trying to fight the scourge of smoking by devouring all related paraphernalia in its sight.
  • Gerald Gregg is a cover artist god. As early, non-sexy paperback covers go, his weird abstractions are my favorite.

Best things about this back cover:

  • Mappington! Backington! These never get old.
  • If you call your place "Smuggler's Rest," the cops *are* going to find you.
  • "Road." LOL. Thanks, map!
  • If the devil doesn't live at Sans Souci, he will soon.

Page 123~

"Friends of friends of yours, I think you said?" Tommy suggested mendaciously.

Tommy always was a mendacious little bastard. I've always said that about him.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]


Karl said...

I can NOT figure out what that thing that has NorM on it is supposed to be. A piece of paper with a corner burned away? But why does the paper look to be an inch thick? My other guess was a sandwich with a bite taken out of it. I don't think that's right, but if it were, "NoM" would be more appropriate than "NorM."

Anonymous said...

@Karl: Pretty sure it's just a folded over piece of paper. There's just a weird drop shadow on everything so everything is floating an inch above the surface. The "bite" is just where the paper turned to ash.

My favorite part of the cover is the hint of lipstick on the cigarette. Subtle clue?

Michael5000 said...

Best use of "vermiform" in a context not directly related to worms.