Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Paperback 1039: The Bridge Over the River Kwai / Pierre Boulle (Bantam HP4391)

Paperback 1039: Bantam HP4391 (35th ptg, 1970)

Title: The Bridge Over the River Kwai
Author: Pierre Boulle
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $5

Best things about this cover:
  • My wife actually spotted this one on the $1 cart outside the bookstore. My initial immediate response was "meh" but then I held it and noticed a. the condition (excellent) and b. the quality of the art, which really is exquisite. 
  • I love how Bantam has let the cover breathe. You can see how they might've used the painting differently, maybe cropping it differently and putting text (title / author) in or on top of the red sky. But this way, the painting really feels like a painting, and that sky is allowed to take up space and create its mood. The composition is also arresting.
  • Me: "I know this artist ... Kalin? ... Hooks? ... [looks very closely at painting] oh, man, it's Barye Phillips!" Phillips signs simply "Barye," which you can see just to the left (your left) of the Japanese soldier's hand. I'm used to seeing girl art / crime fiction scenes from him, so this was cool and unexpected. 
Best things about this back cover:
  • Again: rooooom for my eyes to breeeeeathe. I like.
  • No need to waste time (i.e. words) when dealing with a book this well known (from the 1957 movie). Both front and back covers really do go in for more of a museum treatment than a typical book promo treatment.
Page 123~
Never before had he been conscious of that feeling of power and conquest which absolute isolation affords, whether on a mountaintop or in the bowels of the earth.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, May 17, 2019

Paperback 1038: The Fugitive Eye / Charlotte Jay (Avon 670)

Paperback 1038: Avon 670 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: The Fugitive Eye
Author: Charlotte Jay
Cover artist: [George Ziel]

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $5-7

Best things about this cover:
  • "Uh, hey ... I was just ... she was ... I ... just clearing some brush, you know ... at night, in my suit ... it's totally normal, everything's normal"
  • Is that her dress, or did she die inside a giant salmon?
  • Talk about a fugitive eye. I'm over here, buddy!
  • Fear Hand (male edition)
Best things about this back cover:
  • "How do we convey the sheer terror!?" "Maybe write it on a slant?" "OMG THAT IS TERRIFYING!"
  • "Don't start this..." LOL, OK!
  • I'm mad at "Invariably"; yeah, you heard me, Cincinnati Times-Star
  • "MISS"—we got ourselves an unmarried Aussie authoress, boys!
  • "Beat Not the Bones" never doesn't make me laugh
Page 123~
But as he looked around his gaze met no human face.
There was this one raccoon face, but raccoons probably couldn't testify in court, thought Steve


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]