Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Paperback 894: Death Has Many Doors / Fredric Brown (Bantam 1567)

Paperback 894: Bantam 1567 (3rd ptg, 1st thus, 1957)

Title: Death Has Many Doors
Author: Fredric Brown
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Estimated Value: $20-25

Best things about this cover:

  • Gah, stupid late-'50s covers with their newfangled love of "text," crowding out the good stuff. Painting is great, but more of a smudge-sketch than a fully realized painting. I like covers that give the art Real Estate.
  • She's like a suggestion of a sexy backlit lingerie lady. Like, I get it, but I don't feel it. His pasty enigmatic leering face is wonderful, but that tower of Fuchsia Letters is crowding him.
  • Fredric Brown could Wrrrite. He has bouts of hackneyed sucking, but when he's on, he's sharp and dark and hilarious.

Best things about this back cover:
  • HA ha. Arrows! That gave me a genuine laugh. When in doubt--->arrows.
  • So … it's warm then?
  • I read "The Screaming Mimi" this past winter. Recommended.

Page 123~
I said, "This is John Smith. I want Charlie's address." "You mean my brother-in-law? I don't know where he is, Mr. Smith." I said, "Fine. I'll send a couple of the boys out some evening to see you. I won't mention which evening. We wouldn't want coppers around." He said, "Huh?" and sounded properly scared and excited.
See. Good.


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DemetriosX said...

I always forget that Brown wrote mysteries. To me he's the guy who wrote tight little short-short SF stories.

Graham Powell said...

Brown's sci-fi is more original than his mysteries, but I think his mysteries are better, because a lot of times in his sci-fi he doesn't go far beyond the initial premise, and his are good enough to carry a whole story. His mysteries have to be worked out a bit more.

Rex, I love how when you put up a book by an author you like you make sure to mention it. "FYI, sure I'm making fun of the cover, but this guy is NOT a hack!"

Masked and Anonymous said...

Read a lot of Fredric Brown sci-fi short stories, when I was a teenager.
My fave was a one-page story, about a scientist who invented a machine that would make time run backwards, and turned it on, mid-story. Last half of the story was the letters from the first half, in reverse.