Friday, August 04, 2006

Rabe: Murder Me For Nickels

Read the Peter Rabe book I mentioned earlier. It was good, but there was just too much stuff going on and I kept being distracted from the book and it took me too long to get it finished. Kids and reading don't mix very well.

Rabe keeps up the tension with just so little that it's almost amazing: nothing seems to happen, yet there's lots of stuff going on all the time. Some of the scenes are hilarious, such as Jack St. Louis (the head guy in the book) getting the mixer removed from the thugs he's himself hired to damage the place. It's no wonder Rabe wrote one of the funniest Batman TV shows I've ever seen (the one in which Joker tries to get Batman into the madhouse; there's a scene where there's the lunatic squad of the police force driving on the road on their way to pick up Batman; there's also Alfred impersonating Batman and climbing up a wall).

There's just one small glitch in all this: the Stark House books are not very appealing. The covers are ugly, the books are too big and there's just too many printing errors (maybe due to scanning and OCRing process; wish they had more money to get someone to type them!). But I don't want to complain. They bring us the most wanted vintage noir and the books are quite cheap: the original Fawcett Gold Medal edition of the Rabe is about 50-60 $ in Abebooks. The Stark House reprint contains also another novel by Rabe and costs 20 bucks. (Plus shipping overseas, of course.)

The cover on top is the original one. It was used (as a mirror image) in Finland to accompany Evan Hunter's first mystery novel, The Evil Sleep! (1952; the Finnish title is Painajainen/Nightmare; it's Ilves # 31, 1963). It was published by a small outfit called Falcon and I understand it's pretty rare. The Finnish book of it is quite common and you can get it for five euros, tops. The lady in the cover, by the way, must have the best legs in the whole universe.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The Evil Sleep is rare, all right. It took me a long time (years) to find one. Richard Moore, the rat, has a signed copy.