Monday, July 30, 2018

Paperback 1031: The Great Mail Robbery / Clarence Budington Kelland (Popular Library 432)

Paperback 1031: Popular Library 432 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: The Great Mail Robbery
Author: Clarence Budington Kelland
Cover artist: [Earle Bergey]

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $15-20

Best things about this cover:
  • "Cheese it, fellas! It's Miss Smokestack 1952!"
  • Mr. Freaked Out Impossible-Over-the-Shoulder-Glance in the extreme foreground there is pretty special.
  • There is a lot happening in this manframe (n: a framelike structure composed primarily of man parts). There's shocked bighead, Li'l Cap'n Fearhand, and then Gunhand (he handles the guns). The lady does have a manic look—and she's radiating some kind of toxic emissions—but her body language says Bored Tween. Weird.
  • They Made A Living Out Of Death = C-minus pun irony

Best things about this back cover:
  • HIS!
  • Inca! 
  • "This side of Hell," LOL. What's on the other side of Hell? A Wendy's?
  • "Suddenly there wasn't any robe." So she's some kind of ecdysiast-magician? Must be confusing for poor Will Scarlet.
  • This book should be called "Will Scarlet and the Starlet." Or "The Great Female Disrobery."
Page 123~
He had been immersed but a few minutes when his telephone rang irritatingly. He forced himself to get up and, dripping and shivering, walked to the table beside his bed where the telephone stood.
"Hello," he said impatiently.
"This," said a voice, "is Jahala Vidmar."
"... said a voice" is about as pure an example of needless wordery as you're ever gonna see. Made me laugh out loud and completely forget the horrific adverb abuse that preceded it.


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DemetriosX said...

She's got some hardcore crazy eyes. You see "bored tween", I see a woman wondering which butcher knife she wants to use. And to me she looks a little like Gates McFadden, which is weird.

The quote is horrible. It's no wonder Kelland described himself as the best second-rate author in America. And yet his stuff apparently spawned a bunch of movies, including Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.

DemetriosX said...

Good heavens, he was also John O'Hara's literary idol.

Rex Parker said...