Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thrift Shop Book Covers: "Point Blank" and "Killtown"

Posted: 23 Sep 2015 06:00 AM PDT
In the early-1970s Berkley Medallion published several of Richard Stark’s Parker novels dressed up as a men’s adventure series. The series was called: The Violent World of Parker. Each novel was numbered; the numbering had no relationship to the original publication order. The first in the series was Slayground, which was the fourteenth printed, and the second in the series was Point Black, which, under the title The Hunter, was the first to feature professional thief Parker. The covers are very much like the men’s adventure series published in the 1970s—explosions, shootings, guns and knives. Two of my favorites, as far as cover art, are Point Blank, and Killtown (originally published as The Score). The artist: unknown.    

The opening paragraph of Point Blank:

“When a fresh-faced guy in a Chevy offered him a lift, Parker told him to go to hell. The guy said, ‘Screw you, buddy,’ yanked his Chevy back into the stream of traffic, and roared on down the tollbooths. Parker spat in the right-hand lane, lit hislast cigarette, and walked across the George Washington Bridge.”

The opening paragraph of Killtown:

“When the bellboy left, Parker went over to the house phone and made his call. He gave the operator downstairs the number he wanted, and waited while the phone clicked and ticked and snicked in his ear. He was feeling impatient, and he was about to go downstairs and put in the call from a pay phone when all the clicking finally quit and a ringing sound started instead.”

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