Rex Parker

Paperback 871: Dictators Die Hard / Robert A. Levey // Evil is the Night / John Creighton (Ace D-393)

 1959, Ace Double, Boobs, Central America, John Creighton, Military, Neckwear, Riding Crop, Robert A. Levey, Statues, Uncredited  Comments Off on Paperback 871: Dictators Die Hard / Robert A. Levey // Evil is the Night / John Creighton (Ace D-393)
Apr 192015
 

Paperback 871: Ace Double D-393 (1st ptg / PBO)

Titles: Dictators Die Hard / Evil is the Night
Authors: Robert A. Levey / John Creighton
Cover artists: Uncredited / Uncredited

Estimated value: $25-30

AceD393A
Best things about this cover:

  • Dictators Die Hard—Stenographers Spank Harder!
  • Dictators Die Hard—You’re Looking At My Chest, Aren’t You?
  • I love the composition of this cover. Logically, this must depict two different scenes, but I like the idea of her staring down the gunman. “Oh, am I distracting you?” “I hope you’re man enough to make the shot.” “You *better* not be pointing that thing at me.” “Hurry up so we can go riding, you tiresome lout!”
  • She borrowed her ascot from a foppish squirrel.

AceD393B
Best things about this other cover:

  • Jenga!
  • I hate to think where that thing’s been.
  • “I’m thinking of calling my book ‘Tender is the Night'” “That title’s taken.” “Hmmm….”

Page 123~

I stared at McMahon, and Hibbs scowled at me. Nobody said anything. It was an uncomfortable moment. 

This took 9th place in Yakima County’s “Write Like Raymond Carver Day” competition.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Apr 172015
 

Paperback 870: Award Books A122F (PBO, 1964)

Title: Saigon
Author: Nick Carter [Michael Avallone & Valerie Moolman]
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $7

AwardA122F
Best things about this cover:

  • Nothing says “Saigon” like a white lady in lacy lingerie on a candy-striped couch. I always say.
  • Nick Carter is the Ellery Queen of spy “chillers.” Is he the author? The character? Both? Neither? The Smug Floating Head of Nick Carter says “Don’t overthink it, baby. Just chill on my couch and I’ll bring you a drink. [looks at her hand] OK, five drinks.”

AwardA122Fbc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Spy vs. Spy > this.
  • If you’re a big fan of torture / rape, then … “Saigon,” I guess. Jeez.
  • Nick Carter went on to make millions in the exercise equipment market, though sales didn’t really take off until he changed “Killmaster” to “Thighmaster.”

Page 123~

The blade flicked from the narrow haft without a whisper. Nick crouched. Sighted. And threw. The head turned slightly. Beautiful!

Nick Carter: Eroticizing Ice-Pick Death Scenes Since 1964

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 869: N Or M? / Agatha Christie (Dell 187)

 1947, Agatha Christie, Crime Fiction, Dell, Gerald Gregg, Mapback, matches, Nautical, Smoking  Comments Off on Paperback 869: N Or M? / Agatha Christie (Dell 187)
Apr 102015
 

Paperback 869: Dell 187 (1st ptg, 1947)

Title: N Or M?
Author: Agatha Christie
Cover artist: Gerald Gregg

Estimated value: $10-15

Dell187
Best things about this cover:

  • Norm!
  • The cigarette is puzzled. “What the hell does ‘NORM’ mean?” it wonders.
  • Design on this is so bizarre. Everything’s laid out at odd angles, the cigarette ashes have an eerie, vermiform look to them, and the whole thing kinda looks like a white whale with “NorM” tattooed to the side of its face is trying to fight the scourge of smoking by devouring all related paraphernalia in its sight.
  • Gerald Gregg is a cover artist god. As early, non-sexy paperback covers go, his weird abstractions are my favorite.

Dell187bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Mappington! Backington! These never get old.
  • If you call your place “Smuggler’s Rest,” the cops *are* going to find you.
  • “Road.” LOL. Thanks, map!
  • If the devil doesn’t live at Sans Souci, he will soon.

Page 123~

“Friends of friends of yours, I think you said?” Tommy suggested mendaciously.

Tommy always was a mendacious little bastard. I’ve always said that about him.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 868: Framed In Blood / Brett Halliday (Dell 578)

 1952, blackmail, Brett Halliday, Dell, Lingerie, Mapback, Miami, Mike Shayne, Nudes, Redheads, Sideboob, voyeur  Comments Off on Paperback 868: Framed In Blood / Brett Halliday (Dell 578)
Apr 092015
 

Paperback 868: Dell 578 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Framed in Blood
Author: Brett Halliday
Cover artist: Robert Stanley

Estimated value: $10

Dell578
Best things about this cover:

  • “Mmm hmm, I’d like to frame *that* in blood … wait, that came out creepy.”
  • Sideboob. Someone call HuffPo.
  • “Was it an accident she left the door open? … I mean, it’s like she *wants* me to furtively masturbate in her living room or something.”
  • And when the fairy princess finished her Tai Chi, Mike knew he’d wasted his time.

Dell578bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Mmmmapback!
  • Mmmmmiami!
  • Mmmmike Shayne!
  • Mmmmmasturbation! (see cover)
  • Oooh, Ned Brooks’ apartment. That *is* interesting.

Page 123~

Shayne’s sore face muscles rebelled at an attempt at a wry grimace.

In fact, most of Mike’s muscles rebelled at the shit Mike tried to do. You see, Mike was an idiot, and…

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 867: The Dutch Shoe Mystery / Ellery Queen (Pocket Books 2202)

 1958, cops, Crime Fiction, Doctors, ellery queen, Jerry Allison, Medical, MWG, Needle, Pocket Books, Redheads  Comments Off on Paperback 867: The Dutch Shoe Mystery / Ellery Queen (Pocket Books 2202)
Mar 222015
 

Paperback 867: Pocket Books 2202 (11th ptg, 1958)

Title: The Dutch Shoe Mystery
Author: Ellery Queen
Cover artist: Jerry Allison

Estimated value: $10-15

PB2202
Best things about this cover:

  • This cover says a lot of things, but one of the things it does *not* say is “Dutch Shoe.”
  • “But she could be number! NUMBER!”
  • Pretty sure that’s not a regulation police hold—at least not with gun drawn. Does look cool, though.

PB2202bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Ooh, signed by quote-unquote Ellery Queen. How elegant.
  • “The patient was rich Abigail Doorn, whose money ran the hospital.” Yeah, see, you would never introduce anyone “rich so-and-so,” and also “whose money ran the hospital” kind of covers that.
  • Also maybe don’t put “more than life-size portrait of a heroic doctor” next to a super-tiny portrait of a doctor.

Page 123~

Djuna leaped out of his kitchen at the shrill br-r-ring of the telephone bell. “For you, Dad Queen.”

I really, really want to believe that a Dad Queen is some kind of sex thing. Something men named “Djuna” would be in to. Please don’t shatter my illusions, thanks.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 866: African Poison Murders / Elspeth Huxley (Popular Library 100)

 1946, Africa, Crime Fiction, Elspeth Huxley, Jungle, Mask, Popular Library, Uncredited  Comments Off on Paperback 866: African Poison Murders / Elspeth Huxley (Popular Library 100)
Mar 202015
 

Paperback 866: Popular Library 100 (1st ptg, 1946)

Title: African Poison Murders
Author: Elspeth Huxley
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $12-17

Pop100
Best things about this cover:
  • “Here, African. Put this on. That’s better.” Hashtag racist.
  • Actually, maybe the green guy is a sick European. He looks like a 17th-century actor who has eaten some bad mutton.
  • If you stare too long at that foreshortened thumb, you will begin to get queasy. It’s… not right. Kind of like the relationship between green head and blue body. Not right at all.

Pop100bc
Best things about this back cover:
  • Read that second sentence as “Feces were smashed.” Was briefly intrigued.
  • A “native boy” wrapped in “baling wire.” Hmm. That’s a bit on the nose, as Slave-Trade metaphors go.
  • This book should’ve been called “Leopard Trap!” That, or “All’s Veld That Ends Veld.”

Page 123~

“It is the way of Europeans,” the house-boy said philosophically.

“You gotta read a lot of Kant to deal with these motherfuckers,” he added.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 865: Appointment for Sin / Paul V. Russo (Midwood F217)

 1962, Bad Hair, Bare feet, Boobs, Lesbian, Lesbians, massage, Midwood, Molded Plastic Hair, Uncredited, warped  Comments Off on Paperback 865: Appointment for Sin / Paul V. Russo (Midwood F217)
Mar 082015
 

Paperback 865: Midwood F217 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Appointment for Sin
Author: Paul V. Russo
Cover artist: Uncredited

Est. value: $22-25

MW217
Best things about this cover:

  • Suzie Masseuse’s gaze is burning a hole in that washcloth.
  • “Now that you’re naked, just cross your feet like … like so, and now … I strum your ankles. Isn’t that nice?”
  • I love how Blondewig Amplebosom’s like “Well is this a sin appointment or isn’t it? Jeez, what’s a girl gotta do to get some sin? I made an appointment and everything, and still no sin. Put my ankles down!”
  • I love orange, but no. This room color is a no.

MW217bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Terrible tagline—stupid within
  • “Editor’s note” LOL. It’s in typewriter font, so you know it’s real.
  • Winnie and April will be plenty, thanks.

Page 123~

“Some of the clients are particularly fond of the vibrating mechanism in it.”
“Vib—”
Her hand closed his mouth.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 864: A Man Called Spade / Dashiell Hammett (Dell 411)

 1950, Bed, Crime Fiction, Dashiell Hammett, Dell, Fear Hand, Fedora, Mapback, Neckwear, Sam Spade., Staircase  Comments Off on Paperback 864: A Man Called Spade / Dashiell Hammett (Dell 411)
Mar 062015
 

Paperback 864: Dell 411 (2nd ptg, 1st thus, 1950)

Title: A Man Called Spade
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Cover artist: Robert Stanley

Estimated value: $30

Dell411
Best things about this cover:

  • Spade’s tie is super-excited for battle.
  • If you looked in a 1950 encyclopedia under “Private Dick”: this picture. Chiseled. Determined. Behatted. Textbook.
  • Fear Hand Photobomb!
  • The scale / perspective is All wrong on this, but given that awesome green shirt, I’m gonna allow it.
  • “She screamed as Spade dashed up the stairs”—get it? “Dashed”? Yeah, you get it.
  • I have a friend whose kid is named Dashiell. Art Spiegelman’s son is named Dashiell. This concludes the Dashiell-shout-out portion of my the program.

Dell411bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Mapback!
  • Whoa. You know, sometimes we forget that 1940s apartments were all long couches and putting greens.
  • Max Bliss is the best unintentional porn name I’ve come across in a Long time.
  • I love a pitcher of Bloody Marys as much as anyone, but maybe ease up on the celery there.
  • Wow, Max Bliss’s daughter is taking that “50 Shades of Grey” thing a bit literally.


Page 123~ (from “Too Many Have Lived”)

She was short, square, as if carved economically from a cube. 

Talk about economical. That is some haiku-esque objectification right there. Classic.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 863: Father and Son / James T. Farrell (Signet D1066)

 1953, Dance, Embrace, James Avati, James T. Farrell, Signet, snakes, Unflinching  Comments Off on Paperback 863: Father and Son / James T. Farrell (Signet D1066)
Mar 042015
 

Paperback 863: Signet D1066 (1st ptg, 1953)

Title: Father and Son
Author: James T. Farrell
Cover artist: James Avati

Estimated value: $8-10

Sig1066
Best things about this cover:

  • This is as dynamic as Avati gets. This is Avati tripping balls. This is Avati’s dark twisted fantasy. This is porno-vati. I mean, that one guy’s hand is adjacent to that woman’s ass. Ass-adjacent! Call the censors.
  • Why would you name your kid “A. Stormy Adolescence?” That’s just cruel.
  • “Hey, lady. Lady! I come bearing snakes … it’s a metaphor.”
  • All main people in Avati paintings are lit like religious figures. Beatific. Haloed in light.
  • I do (sort of!) like the way this pictures is posted and pillared into three parts, a triptych, with the salacious stuff happening on the ends, but our primaries still framed in a place of relative innocence in the center.

Sig1066bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • We get it. One’s old, one’s young. It’s called Father and Son, for god’s sake. Move along.
  • I really want this to be a 500pp. novel (!) about a guy who stops trying to understand his son and just takes him to a whorehouse.
  • Unflinching! This novel will not flinch. Tickle it. Pretend you’re going to punch it. You’ll see.

Page 123~

Father Michael took a cowbell off the window ledge and marched downstairs to ring it.

Sorry, this is all I can think of right now:


~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Feb 272015
 

Paperback 862: Dell First Edition B126 (PBO, 1959)

Title: The Valiant Strain
Author: Kenneth E. Shiflet
Cover artist: [Robert McGinnis]

Estimated value: $8-10

DellFEB126
Best things about this cover:

  • Lieutenant Grumpystache misses his Xbox.
  • That neckerchief is beautiful. I also love the orange, the hint of mountains, the way the line of soldiers on horseback extends and fades to nothing. Fine little touches like these make this potentially generic cover visually interesting.
  • Turns out McGinnis can paint things other than bored-looking half-naked ladies with ample hips. I had to double-check my own labeling just now, because I thought “no way this is McGinnis.”

DellFEB126bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • “A story as big and rugged as these two giant dueling cocks … oh, sorry sabers. Those are sabers. All appearances to the contrary … sabers.”
  • I can’t wait to read about the “strain” that brought the giant dueling cocks men to their “final glory.” I am in. Money down, out the door. You had me at “shavetail.”

Page 123~

Roan thought of how Graham had denied them.

Don’t deny them, Graham. Open your heart. Let your love flow. And nevermind that I’m taking things out of context, just go with it.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]