I had so many great covers left over from the last post that I decided to put them in a follow-up. As with the first batch, these depict lives largely lived in dirty back alleys with broken bottles on the pavement, in a kind of netherworld. These are not visions of the traditional American dream. For me, they’re a direct connection to film noirs of the late 1940s and ’50s.
My focus has been on paperback covers. I haven’t gone into the authors or content. That would be another kind of piece. But in the process I’ve missed some interesting connections. It’s been pointed out to me that the author of Lovers Are Losers, Howard Hunt, is the same E. Howard Hunt who gained notoriety as a Watergate conspirator. It turns out that during and after World War II he wrote novels under his own name as well as spy and hard-boiled novels using a variety of pseudonyms. Night Light was written by Douglass Wallop, who would write the novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, which became the Broadway musical Damn Yankees.
Okay, here are more covers. I think the most problematic aspect of these, from a “woke” point of view, is the way women are depicted. But as before, I’ll let them speak for themselves. The first one doesn’t waste any time.
I particularly like the title of this one. Very hard-boiled.
I want to wrap up with a really strong cover. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing more of these. – Ted Hicks