Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants. . .

I am a book nerd and I love book history.

I'm fascinated by the art of book covers and how the styles have changed over the years, reflecting our cultural preoccupations and societal attitudes. So I love this new book out from Rizzoli, as much for the title as the subject matter. Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants by Steven Brower is a celebratory look at the art of the mass market paperback, letting the covers definitely speak for themselves.  It's a hoot!  There's crime noir, trashy romance, adventure, sci-fi and lots of classics too, from Shakespeare to Mary ShelleyEdward Gorey even contributes a cover to the Aeneid. But it's the pulp that is the most fun, especially reading the selling blurbs such as One Tropical Night (The Ship and the Shore) by Vicki Baum which promises that "A girl can grow up in a few hours ashore in the tropics . . . "   What I find amusing is how many of these books felt the need to let the reader know they were "Complete and Unabridged" or "Not One Word Cut" right on the front cover. Bios of the designers are included in the back. A great gift idea for a bibliophile or designer.

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