Thursday, March 31, 2016

Paperback 930: Beyond the Night / Cornell Woolrich (Avon T354)

Paperback 930: Avon T-354 (PBO, 1959)

Title: Beyond the Night
Author: Cornell Woolrich
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $35 (slightly scuffed but essentially unread; beautiful)

Best things about this cover:
  • Double Fear Hand!
  • It's like a flood light is 8 inches from her head. No wonder her left eye exploded out of its socket.
  • The Ghost Was An Undertaker Who Wore a Virtual Reality Headset!

Best things about this back cover:
  • Your lips are sealed, eh? Well MY LIPS DESTROY!
  • "When she beckoned, dick had to follow." Wow. That is one powerful seductress.
  • SOMEBODY'S CLOTHES!—the tale of a woman who has seriously had it with doing your fucking laundry.

Page 123~ (from "The Number's Up")

She was a blonde, good-looking and mean-looking, both at the same time.
"C'mon," she said huskily. "Let's go while the going's good."

As opposed to the blonde who alternates dizzyingly back and forth between good- and mean-looking. *That* girl's hard to be with.


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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Paperback 929: You Can Die Laughing / A. A. Fair (Pocket Books 45004)

Paperback 929: Pocket Books 45004 (2nd ptg, 1964)

Title: You Can Die Laughing
Author: A.A. Fair (Erle Stanley Gardner)
Cover artist: photo cover

Estimated value: $5-10

Best things about this cover:
  • Yeah, well you can go *$&%^ yourself with this terrible cover, Pocket Books.
  • Fully painted covers cost money. This ... doesn't.
  • What the hell kind of mask is that? It doesn't even make sense as a decorative mask, as it's ugly as hell. Honestly, I think this "concept" came together in like 30 seconds. Nothing about it makes sense. It is not funny, or creepy, or anything. It is a non-cover. I'm mad at myself for buying this, for any amount of money.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Hey there, exclamation point. How you doin'...? You've, uh .... filled out since last I saw you.
  • "A figure like one of the babes in the comic strips!" That is a new frame of reference. "Mmm, I really dig her comical proportions and two-dimensionality." 
  • Gender-coded font colors! This has been: Great Moments in Reactionary Design ...

Page 123~

Bertha's temper visibly began to rise. "There are times when I could take this paper knife and cut your throat from ear to ear, Donald Lam! What the hell do you mean you rented her?"

Not sure a knife made of paper is going to do much, Bertha. Just punch him in the face. No one will mind.


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Friday, March 18, 2016

Paperback 928: Murder Up My Sleeve / Erle Stanley Gardner (Pocket Books 4503)

Paperback 928: Pocket Books 4503 (1st ptg, 1962)

Title: Murder Up My Sleeve
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $10-12 (condition = perfect)

Best things about this cover:
  • The best-selling follow-up to "Larceny Down My Pants"
  • Wow, that dude's magic carpet ride appears to have gone terribly, horribly wrong
  • "Hi, I'm here for the 'Yoga for Mourners' class ... my, that's quite a convincing Corpse Pose you've got there."
  • This cover is terrible. It has two good things about it: orange, and title font. The rest is a sketchbook, at best.

Best things about this back cover:
  • "Hey, what if, instead of an orange rectangle, we go with, like, a jagged ... orange rectangle?" "Brilliant!"
  • More great font action.
  • Sleeve gun? Ohhhhhhh, now I get it. Murder up my SLEEVE. Good one. Much better than "Dartgun up My Sleeve." Wordplay!

Page 123~

"Mix the highballs, stupid."


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Monday, March 7, 2016

Paperback 927: Ashenden / W. Somerset Maugham (Avon PN240)

Paperback 927: Avon PN240 (13th ptg, 1969)

Title: Ashenden
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Cover artist: Uncredited (who does these awesome psychedelic late '60s Avon covers!?)

Estimated value: $15 (bit scuffed, but very tight, square, barely if ever read)

Best things about this cover:
  • This is like "Being There" meets "Laugh-In" meets "Planes Trains and Automobiles" meets "Monty Python" meets "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor MURDER Coat"!
  • This cover is Milton Glaser-esque.
  • Purple? The spy wore ... purple? Really?

Best things about this back cover:
  • It's like a dream catcher ... for breaths.
  • There's a lot of "Cold" here. Nothing about the color scheme says "Cold." Earth tones never say "Cold."
  • I prefer my dens ruddy.

Page 123~

R. was a soldier and regarded introspection as unhealthy, unEnglish and unpatriotic.

Great sentence, but one that cries out especially hard for an Oxford comma.


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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Paperback 926: The Doom Stone / Cornell Woolrich (Avon T-408)

Paperback 926: Avon T-408 (PBO, 1960) (serialized in Argosy in late '30s)

Title: The Doom Stone
Author: Cornell Woolrich
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $15 (tight and complete but super-water-damaged)

Best things about this cover:
  • Vampires shower too.
  •  "I said MOOD RING, mom. What am I supposed to do with a DOOM STONE?" "I thought you and your little friends could summon the dead, dear."
  • No pupils, no nipples, no problem!

Best things about this back cover:
  • Skeletor Eastwood and his international gang of the undead want their goddman doom stone back.
  • Aw jeez, why are the men always selling their souls and the women giving their bodies. Can't we, just once, reverse that?
  • "Insult to Southern womanhood"!? How? I hope the Doom Stone insults some lady's cornbread.

Page 123~

The Chinese girl in the ricksha said, in an astonishingly genuine Cockney accent that must have rubbed off on her from long association with merchant-mariners and limey tars, "Don't tyke too long, byeby. We imes to get there before the plyce closes down, doncher knaow." 

I think I will add Dr. Doncher Knaow to my list of aliases.


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