Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
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The melodrama of another time (a book blurb bonus)

I recently finished reading a paperback copy (borrowed from Alicia) of Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. It’s a Bantam edition published May 1959, cover price 35 cents. Nearly 50 years of being passed along or sold and there are no intentional page-folds; of course there’s wear, but still, books are physically durable. (I’ve moved several times and I’ve worked in book warehouses twice. The book-lifting I did proved that.)

On the last page of Dandelion Wine are ads: take out this page and order more books! is what the late ’50s/early ’60s reader is encouraged to do. It’s a two-page glimpse into how some books were advertised at that time, and there’s a touch of melodrama to it that makes me smile. Not with nostalgia (I was, let’s see, negative 14 years old when it came out; my parents didn’t even live in the same city yet, let alone know each other), but with definite curiosity. I thought several people who read this would appreciate a recreation of what was on those two pages:

BOOKS YOU’LL ENJOY! For just 35 cents, any one of these exciting novels will bring you hours of reading pleasure. Look for them at your favorite newsstand or order direct from the publisher.

APE AND ESSENCE, Aldous Huxley. The biting novel of a world dedicated to Belial and the suppression of all man’s rebellious desires.
THE LADY, Conrad Richter. A superb store of the Old Southwest by one of America’s most distinguished novelists.
LIFE AT HAPPY KNOLL, John P. Marquand. From parking-lot romances to locker-room brawls – America’s great satirist takes a knowing look at the sophisticated country club set.
THE WIND CANNOT READ, Richard Mason. The passionate love story of an eager young soldier and a girl of the exotic East.
THIEVES’ MARKET, A.I. Bezzerides. A savage novel about the men who drive the big trucks and the hoods and girls who prey on them.
REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE, Carson McCullers. That summer evening terrifying forces were unleashed. It is all recorded in this bizarre and powerful novel.
THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING, Carson McCullers. The brooding sensitive novel of a young girl torn by strange and conflicting desires in the tortured shadowland between childhood and womanhood.
THE SHORT REIGN OF PIPPIN IV, John Steinbeck. Hilarious and affectionate spoof on French politics, Texas millionaires, Teen-Age Girl Novelists, Sex and othr human frailties.
NEVER LOVE A STRANGER, Harold Robbins. The swarming city made him crooked, tough—and rich. This is the famous novel cheered by millions of readers.
AN END TO DYING, Sam Astrachan. Here is the powerful, rich, earthy and revealing saga of a big Jewish family. A brilliant first novel that blazes with life.
THE BIG NICKELODEON, Maritta Wolff. The harsh, unsparing novel about the seamy underside of Hollywood.
THE HELLER, William E. Henning. The famous novel of a young girl who grew up—too fast!
THE HUNTERS, James Salter. The unforgettable story of the jet fighter pilots—the big novel of the supersonic war in the air.
WAGONS TO TUCSON, Ed Newson. Benteen thought the lady was useless till she fought beside him like a man.
THE GOLDEN PRINCESS, Alexander Baron. A novel of the hot-blooded Indian mistress of Cortes who led him and the conquistadors to flaming destruction.
LONG STORM, Ernest Haycox. A bloody struggle for the riches of the wild Northwest, and the desperate fight of a man and a woman to hold it for the Union.

The next page (the last in the book) is another form with a coupon at the bottom. The coupon in question states “Please send me the Nurse Books which I have checked above.” Hmm; I didn’t notice that notice until I’d read the blurbs, but I’d quickly noticed the similarity from blurb to blurb. I’m glad I don’t have the job of trying to sell a book with one sentence.

IF YOU LIKED THIS BOOK, YOU’LL WANT TO READ THESE OTHER BANTAM TITLES! For Just 25 Cents Each, the warm, human stories are available at your favorite newsstands or by ordering directly from the publisher. Simply check the titles you wish in the box provided and fill in the coupon below.

A NURSE FOR GALLEON KEY, Ethel Hamill. In pursuit of her whirlwind romance, Nurse Simone Greer met an unfamiliar challenge in a world of tropic heat and brilliant sun.
EVE CAMERON, M.D., Ann Rush. Proud, lovely, aristocratic—her dream of a brilliant medical career was tested by harsh reality in the poverty and wretchedness of a remote Southern town.
WHAT THEN IS LOVE?, Emilie Loring. Beautiful, proud Pat Langston fights for love and happiness under the black shadow of disgrace.
CALLING DR. JANE, Adeline McElfresh. Duty or Love—Should Dr. Jane abandon her patients to follow the man she loved across half the world?
NANCY ROSS: PRIVATE SECRETARY, Jeanne Judson. Would this brilliant girl sacrifice her successful career in a man’s world for the demands of her ardent young heart?
SPECIAL NURSE, Margaret Howe. Lovely, dedicated nurse Nan Warner faced new temptations in a world of wealth. Could she remain true to her vows as a nurse…her ideals as a woman?
CAROL TRENT, AIR STEWARDESS, J. Judson. She had fought and won. Now she must choose between success and the claims of love.
HER SOUL TO KEEP, M. M. Marshall. Love and career wrecked, Nurse Randolph fled from her big city hospital to build her life anew.
FOR ALL YOUR LIFE, E. Loring. Warm and thrilling story of a young heiress whose great future threatens her happiness.
VISITING NURSE, J. Judson. Elizabeth Downer knew she had found her calling. But her passionate heart was torn between two Doctors.
NORA MEADE, M.D., E. Wesley. Proud and independent, a great career in medicine lay before her. Would she sacrifice for the man she loved?
DR. WOODWARD’S AMBITION, E. Seifert. Would this dedicated nurse betray her calling for the demands of a fascinating but arrogant Doctor?
NURSE WITH WINGS, M. M. Marshall. The gallant young flight nursewhose live is changed dramatically by a plane crash.
NURSE FAIRCHILD’S DECISION, Z. K. MacDonald. Corrina renounced wealth to become a nurse only to fall in love with a Doctor.
DOCTOR JANE, A. McElfresh. Beautiful and dedicated, her love for an ambitious man could wreck the promise of a great career.
NURSE LANDON’S CHALLENGE, A. Humphries. From a luxurious, pleasure-seeking background, she plunged into the gruelling [spelled with 2 Ls] life of a tough hospital.
WARD NURSE, M. M. Marshall. The proud career of a beautiful woman who thought she could forget her womanhood in her dedication to duty.
GRADUATE NURSE, L. A. Hancock. Jill Ordway was devoted to her career in medicine until her heart could no longer be denied.
WOMAN DOCTOR, Hannah Lees. A woman’s fight to win her place in the male world of medicine and the two men who influenced her life.
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