Sultry Sunday #2 - The weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

Hey, "Judge a Book" readers. Rex Parker here. It's Sunday, so that means it's time for another syndicated episode of my vintage paperback blog, "Pop Sensation"


Paperback 141: Berkley Books BG-149
(1st ptg, 1958)

Title: Ah King and other famous stories of love and hate in the tropics (!)
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Cover artist: Robert Maguire

Best things about this cover:

  • Sometimes, when I've been at the computer for too long, I sit like this. The topless native girls never seem to show up.
  • Could this dude be more oafish? He's literally belly-scratching.
  • I wish we had a better close-up on the women, as Bob Maguire does women, especially faces, better than anyone. The kneeling woman is especially sexy and not just because she's, you know, kneeling. God I wanna photoshop this guy out of the picture so bad.
  • You'd never know from this cover that Maugham is one of the most popular and esteemed writers in British history.

Best things about this back cover:

  • OK, for once, these blurbs all sound awesome. I may actually read stories from this book today. That's a first.
  • Is it just me, or does the type-setting look ever-so-slightly off? Like the black and blue inks were set separately, and aren't quite square to one another. It's making me a bit queasy.
  • If I read just one story in this collection, it will be "The Book-Bag"

Page 123~

"When you left them, after a couple of days at the bungalow, you felt that you'd absorbed some of their peace and their sober gaiety. It was as though your soul had been sluiced with cool clear water. You felt strangely purified."

-from, that's right, you guessed it, "The Book-Bag"; I'm dying to see how a book-bag figures into a story about incest on a rubber plantation. I'll let you know.



Anonymous said...

The cover does seem a bit unlikely for a Maugham book! Though I confess the blurb has made me want to read those short stories as well.

Topaz said...

Hey, is this still in print? LOL If not, I'll have to find it at a used book shop that doesn't mind carrying culturally "sensitive" artwork. Hah!

Anonymous said...

I really hope Ginger Ted was not the missionary, although he very well could be, with the brawling and wenching. But man, spinster sister incest. Ick.

BikerPuppy said...

All the guy on the cover needs is a beer, a remote control, and a big fart issuing from him. Then he'd be my ex in one of his favorite fantasies.

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xenobiologista said...

"Ah King" sounds like a Chinese guy's nickname.