Friday, March 3, 2017

Paperback 987: New York: Confidential / Jack Lait & Lee Mortimer (Dell 1534)

Paperback 987: Dell 1534 (2nd ptg, 1951)

Title: New York: Confidential
Author: Jack Lait & Lee Mortimer
Cover artist: Robert Stanley

Estimated value: $12-15
Condition: 8/10

Best things about this cover:
  • Guys! Dolls! Together!
  • Robert Stanley's people are always ridiculously rich and creamy.
  • Seriously, the art is gorgeous. That dark aquamarine NYC night sky somehow works perfectly.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Map! Back! Mapback!
  • It's a pretty dang dull map, from a design point of view, but the "Key" on p. 240 is amazing. All those little numbers on the map represent "Hotels," "Night Clubs & Restaurants," "Theaters," and "Shopping":

Also, there are appendices of cool info like "Headwaiters' Names" (!?) and a "Glossary of Harlemisms":


Page 123~

Do not use cheap perfume when night-clubbing (or at any time).


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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Paperback 986: Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts / Donald Barthelme (Pocket 80771)

Paperback 986: Pocket Books 80771 (1st ptg, 1976)

Title: Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts
Author: Donald Barthelme
Cover artist: Harry Bennett

Estimated value: $12-15
Condition: 9/10

Best things about this cover:
  • Holy crap.
  • "Uh ... Martha ... Junior's up."
  • Seriously, though, holy crap. That ain't right.
  • I don't normally go past the '60s with my collection, but I discovered some time ago that '70s paperback covers are their own kind of bonkers. Not always fully painted, but often loopy enough design-wise to be really interesting. I suspect that if I ever start *adding* to my collection again (I've still got ~2000 books I *haven't* written about), I'll be hunting a lot of pristine '70s/'80s-era stuff. I mean, if the 60s were my outer limit 22 years ago (when I started collecting) ... no reason that limit can't shift with the times.
  • Nice to see Harry Bennett's name in the artist credit. Hell, nice to see an artist credit at all. Bennett was a prolific '60s cover artist. No idea how long his cover career lasted. . . whoa. He lived until 2012, age 93.
Best things about this back cover:
  • No, this "text" crap will not do, you stupid '70s blurb-driven back cover.
  • It does make me want to read Barthelme, though, which I haven't done in decades.

Page 123~ (from "Alice")

I want to fornicate with Alice but it is a doomed project fornicating with Alice there are obstacles impediments preclusions estoppels I will exhaust them for you what a gas see cruel deprivements SECTION SEVEN moral ambiguities SECTION NINETEEN Alice's thighs are like SECTION TWENTY-ONE

I need to know all the SECTIONs so I can use them as shorthand I am somewhat interested in SECTION TWENTY-ONE PS there is no punctuation in this story


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