Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Popular Library Giant G-121, 1953

Title : Look Down in Mercy
Author : Walter Baxter
Cover art : uncredited
  [N. Y. : Popular Library Giant, 1953. G-121. Popular Library edition published, March 1953. Cover in James Avati style, but cover artist is uncredited. "A savage novel of forbidden love." First published in hardcover, London : Heinemann, 1953]

style ***
substance ** 
collectibility **

The author's first book, Mercy is a WWII novel about a British soldier in the Pacific Theater who has an affair with a Eurasian nurse. Includes graphic descriptions of jungle warfare and Japanese atrocities. The [anon.] cover art for the Popular Library reprint depicts two somnambulist-looking guys who frame a shapely, forlorn brunette who wears tropical clothes. Nice texture is provided by bright lighting of the individuals from the undefined source in background. One criticism : lettering for the title is a little too large, and tends to mar an otherwise beautifully balanced design. The cover blurb (“a savage novel ….”) may refer to hero’s affair with the nurse. Some sources refer to a gay theme in the novel -- this may also explain the use of the word ‘forbidden.’

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