Friday, September 14, 2018

Paperback 1036: Circle of Sin / Leslie Behan (Domino 84-700)

Paperback 1036: Domino Books 84-700 (PBO, 1965)

Title: Circle of Sin
Author: Leslie Behan
Cover artist: Photo cover

Condition: 7/10 (tight and square, but w/ water stains on edges)
Estimated value: $25-30

[Newest addition to the Doug Peterson Collection]

Best things about this cover:
  • No single word is going to derail your Sexy Train faster or more efficiently than "groping."
  • Jeez, male gaze much?
  • "Now why don't you sit up here on my desk?" "Wh-?" "Shhh. It's standard practice." "Uh, OK, I guess. But who's that?" "Him? Oh, that's just Steve. Ignore him." "Uh..." "Good, now whatever you do, do Not look at the lamp." "Bu-" "AVERT YOUR EYES!"
  • The psychologist's suit is legit hot.
Best things about this back cover:
  • Groups gone WILD {CRACK!}
  • "Revolved achingly" = me trying to dine at one of them revolving restaurants, no sir, I'll take my food
  • stationary, as god intended, thank you very much
  • I love how this goes from dumb-ass sex fiction to super dumb-ass Agatha Christie mystery on a dime! Wait, we got a body!? I'm in.
Page 123~
"You met a girl?" Durango looked at him closely. Somehow he found himself believing the answer. "Where? What girl?"
"I picked her up on Broadway. She was standing in a doorway. A hooker. I went up to her place with her."
This novel has to be sexier than this dude Forrest Gumping his way through Sex Town. Hang on ... OK here we go:
Her hands moved downward, over the tiny waist to the flat belly. She massaged the belly for a long time, moving farther downward slowly to the trembling mound beneath it. And then her fingers were nearing their target, the tips becoming slippery with the dew of passion they found there. They caught the tiny polyp of flesh awaiting them and stroking it.
I can't stop laughing at that last "sentence." As with the cover copy, this writer really, really knows how to ruin whatever meager sex vibe he's able to get going. I mean, "polyp"? That's something you discover during a colonoscopy, why would you use it to describe the clitoris, dear lord? Am I really supposed to believe a woman wrote this? "Leslie" ... OK, Leslie, aside from possibly a fake name, could also be a dude's name. All I know is a guy wrote this. A guy whose grasp of grammar, like his grasp of sexiness, is not very, uh firm. ("... and stroking it"?)


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Friday, September 7, 2018

Paperback 1035: The Man With the Getaway Face / Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) (Pocket Books 6180)

Paperback 1035: Pocket Books 6180 (PBO, 1963)

Title: The Man With the Getaway Face
Author: Richard Stark (Donald Westlake)
Cover artist: Harry Bennett

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: I just paid $20 for it, which felt low

Best things about this cover:
  • It's got Richard Stark's name on it
  • Those. Hands.
  • Harry Bennett has no time for GGA (Great Girl Art). Just put the freaked-out lady in the far back corner and give us more of the Mummy With Giant Hands!
  • The hair on Those Hands is gonna haunt me
  • My wife was with me when I bought this at Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis, so she can attest that the following minor anecdote is true: we walked down the stairs to their basement-level store, I opened the door, saw this book directly in front of me, walked straight to it (looking at nothing and no one else), picked it up, checked the price, and knew it was mine. Then a nice woman appeared next to me and asked, in the hushed voice of someone suggesting something at least vaguely illegal, "Would you like to see our annex?" She explained that there was a room in the back where they kept their large supply of vintage paperbacks. Would I like to see it? Uh. Yes. Yes I would.
Best things about this back cover:
  • Price tag ... is an interesting direction to go in, design-wise. By "interesting," I think I mean "bizarre." There is no consumer culture to speak of in this novel, which is about an armored-car heist.
  • Also "interesting" that there's nothing on this tag about the details of the novel. The fact that he had plastic surgery is relevant, but it's not the main event. Why hide the action and describe the novel so vaguely that it sounds dull? It's like the copywriter couldn't be bothered to know anything about the plot and got all his info from the (admittedly longish) title.
  • A cover that dramatic should not have a back cover this anemic.
Page 123~
Eleven thousand went into the box, which he then wrapped up and addressed: Charles Willis, c/o Pacifica Beach Hotel, Sausalito, California, Please Hold. Unless the Pacifica Beach had changed hands in the three years since he'd last been there, they would know enough to stick the carton into the hotel safe and forget about it till Parker showed up again.
This is making me remember this novel and how good it is. I really should plow through all the Parker novels, in order, once and for bleeping all. I've only made it through the first three, I think, before other things grabbed my attention. I think I have my next reading project now.


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