Friday, July 16, 2010

Gold Medal 921 (1959)

Title : The Wife Next Door
Author : R. V. Cassill
Cover art : Uncredited

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 "They met like two comets in the night - the bored and restless man, the lush and willing woman!" - front cover. 

GM 921 has great racy front cover art featuring the title character in pink negilgee leaning against a chair. She's rendered in a Barye Phillips style, but, alas, no cover artist is credited.

Risqué details aside, for me what's most interesting about the cover design are those red, brick-like shapes sprinkled through the center of the front cover. What exactly are they? Bricks to suggest the houses of the adulterous individuals? (it's the wife next door, after all). Some sort of wacky, cubist/abstract desire motif? Or maybe a hieroglyphic code? (they vaguely suggest some kind of Mayan script). Whatever, it's all great fun in this mild example of vintage sleaze from a mainstream 1950s paperback publisher.

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