Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

You Can Absolutely Judge a Book by Its Cover

Oh, pulp. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love the covers. So tawdry. So wrong. So very right.

I love the smell of the cheap paper and cheaper glue.

I love the hamfisted writing, the ludicrous plots; they're like little Roger Corman films in book form.

I love that you can buy them for about a dollar or two at most used book stores.

I love that although there is absolutely nothing of any redeeming quality in 90% of them, reading them doesn't feel like wasting precious hours of my life, as does dumb-TV-watching. Because, hey, I'm reading.

And I love the promotional copy, which almost never fails to mention the hair-color of the dame in question. While the front covers get most of the attention, someday someone will hopefully put together a book about the fearless editors whose job it was to come up with gems like the following:

Carla was a beautiful redhead in a skin-tight yellow sheath. Rick thought they could play a swinging scene together. Then she did a disappearing act. . .
Marty was a beautiful blonde. And Rick was more than willing to put in a good word for her. Until he found out she did her talking with a pearly Colt. . .

DIRTY PICTURES. "These photos were found in the wallet of your ex-husband," he said. . ."They are the most shocking I have ever seen in my twenty-two years as coroner. . ."
[I'm gonna pause so you can let that one sink in. - bp]

There were lots of salacious photographs being circulated around Porthtown. Pictures of some of the town's most respectable citizens, snapped when they were least expecting an audience. And almost every time the camera clicked, a maddened murderer would strike!"

And last, but not least, from The Flight of the Stiff: "Corpses fly as well as bullets when Pete McGrath battles an underworld gang to save the life of a hot-blooded redhead."

FYI, in that one there is as promised a corpse that flies. Although I'm not sure if "being flung by a catapult through the window of a distant mansion as a message" counts as flying.

Edited to Add, in Response to a Question from Mary: No, I did not make any of those up.

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