Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Paperback 993: The Farm / Louis Bromfield (Signet D1260)

Paperback 993: Signet D1260 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: The Farm
Author: Louis Bromfield
Cover artist: James Avati

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $15-20

Best things about this cover:
  • Hay rides have always sounded like hell to me, but this doesn't look so bad.
  • This is probably the single hottest Avati cover of all time. Note that 99% of all Avati covers involve people standing motionless and looking sad.
  • It really is exquisite as a piece of figurative art—those heads, arms, calves, feet!—and all the peripheral details are rendered with keen-eyed precision as well.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Jeez, Omaha World-Herald. Dial it back a notch.
  • I'm here for the hot rural action, not "Indian massacres." Come on, Bromfield!
  • He looks like Mickey Spillane's yokel cousin.

Page 123~

And for days Johnny was haunted by a vision of Greataunt (sic) Jane clad in a pink union suit with a corset cover of passementerie.

When you don't have internet porn, you make do.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Monday, May 29, 2017

Paperback 992: The Tents of Wickedness / Peter De Vries (Signet D1827)

Paperback 992: Signet D1827 (1st ptg, 1960)

Title: The Tents of Wickedness
Author: Peter De Vries
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Condition: 7/10 (crisp and bright, but binding's a bit wonky)
Estimated value: $8-10

Best things about this cover:
  • I think she's supposed to be sitting on that branch (?), but I like to think she's working the door at the Tents of Wickedness: "Look, you wanna get in, you're gonna have to lose the clothes. Get naked or scram, I ain't got all day!"
  • Seriously, I love her, her defiant attitude, and all her convenient foliage.
  • "... a fancy-free girl who believes in free expression, free verse and free love"—I'm 2/3 with you, sweetheart!

Best things about this back cover:
  • Bah, rehash!
  • "... and wild for to hold, though I seem tame."—Wyatt
  • Cover copy makes author sound irreverent and saucy, whereas author photo makes him look like someone who would burn Sears catalogues to save the world from masturbatory thoughts.

Page 123~

She sat on her side of the bed, with a book of her own in which she was underlining passages heavily with a pencil. I drew her skirt up and pressed a cheek to her thighs, murmuring a declaration in her favor.

"A declaration in her favor" is beautiful and merciful in its openness. Let us imagine (or refuse to imagine). It's better than whatever specific utterance could possibly go there.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Paperback 991: The Silencers / Donald Hamilton (Gold Medal k1392)

Paperback 991: Gold Medal k1392 (2nd ptg, 1964)

Title: The Silencers
Author: Donald Hamilton
Cover art: Uncredited

Condition: 9/10 (unread)
Estimated value: $13-15

Best things about this cover:
  • Is that a belt? It looks like Satan's own spatula. Either way, that's *gotta* hurt.
  • What kind of space-age roller-coaster are these people fighting over?
  • I love the effusion of motion lines. Makes a mockery of the very idea of motion lines. Way more lines than there could be motions. Bonkers.
  • I'm guessing the lady is supposed to be bound, but it looks like she was just napping.

Best things about this back cover:
  • "... a long day's journey into ..." The next word in that sentence should be MURDER, not the painfully anticlimactic "the New Mexico mountains."
  • "God help us all"—man, I didn't realize official file cards got that emotive.
  • "Jimmy Bond!" "Fop!" Take that ... Britain!

Page 123~

"Then somebody heaved a knife and everything went to hell."

Thanksgiving's a rough holiday for everyone.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Friday, May 5, 2017

Paperback 990: Sugar Shannon / Adam Knight (Belmont Books 217)

Paperback 990: Belmont 217 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Sugar Shannon
Author: Adam Knight
Cover artist: Uncredited

Condition: 9/10
Estimated value: $20

Best things about this cover:
  • I love this cover. Mostly I love that it's so ****ing purple, and then that the title is yellow and oddly placed. I also love her big, calmly intense eyes, and the way she cradles that gun lovingly between her breasts. Either this is a next-level sexy role-playing scenario, or someone is gonna get very murdered.
  • I know when I go to rendezvous (-vouses?), my preferred method of travel is drifting.
  • Series!? Here's the other Adam Knight book in the Pop Sensation archives—throwback! (2007).

Best things about this back cover:
  • Scorching yellow!
  • Tiny Shannon. That is a weird use of the front cover image.
  • Wow, this passage and synopsis tell us ... nothing. It's boiler-plate, bot-written cover copy.

Page 123~

Serena's flat was a paradox. It screamed mediocrity, it stank of the buckeye in art and upholstery.

Don't know what it means, don't care what it means—but "it stank of the buckeye" is my new go-to judgment phrase.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]