Books You Haven't Read & That Might Be Poor but Have Stuck in Your Mind for Ages

Extollager

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Over on the skimpy thread for Alder's Terror on Planet Ionus, I mentioned the phenomenon of books that we haven't read but that we've continued to remember. For some reason, such as the cover art, they've made an impression on us that has remained. We might well doubt that the books in question are much good, but there they are. Maybe we don't intend to give them a try or maybe we do.

That Allen Alder book, so vigorously panned by Damon Knight, is an example for me. I don't suppose I have laid eyes on an actual copy of the book (as opposed to a picture of it) since the 1970s or maybe even late 1960s.

Does anyone else "suffer" from this condition?
 

Randy M.

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I imagine others will eventually come to mind, but the only one I've thought of so far is Philip Jose Farmer's Image of the Beast/Blown. My inner-genre-nerd wants to know if it riffs on Jack Williamson's Darker Than You Think but Farmer is hit and miss for me, so while I'm curious, I haven't followed through.

Randy M.
 

Extollager

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Another one for me was L. P. Davies's Psychogeist, and since I found a copy with the dustjacket that I have remembered for nearly 50 years, for sale for about $4 ppd at abebooks.com, I ordered it.
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Extollager

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I remember being intrigued by one or other of Paperback Library's Mu books at about the same time as the Adler and Davies books caught my eye. But no way I intend to spend time looking for or reading these. However, here's a bit of cover art...


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In my opinion, the cover design kind of resembles the art Ballantine used on its Lord of the Rings volumes at the time, and even more so the art for Ballantine's Worm Ouroboros etc. No wonder my eye was caught!!
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Extollager

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How about M. K. Joseph's The Hole in the Zero? That was another one I remembered from almost 50 years ago but (so far as I remember) haven't seen since, and never read.
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Danny McG

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This is one I could see weekly in local library when I was early teens in early seventies. However it was in the adult section and I wasn't allowed in there until fourteenth birthday. At that point you were given a beige ticket and the children's green one was taken away.
I never got it checked out, it disappeared from the shelves before that wonderful date of maturity.
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Extollager

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Got an interlibrary loan copy of Arthur H. Lewis's Hex, about a true 1928 murder case occurring in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. Were they motivated simply by desire to rob an elderly man, or did they hope to lift his curses by forcing him to surrender a magic book or by taking a lock of his hair and burying it? The cover of the paperback is misleading, since the apparently lifeless figure appears to be female and lies in tall grass instead of inside a house, etc. The book is shaping up to be largely an account of the trial, by the author of a book about the 19th-centruy Pennsylvanian terrorist the Molly Maguires (in the exact region where my wife grew up). Hex is pretty interesting, but not something I'd have read when I first saw the book in my very early teens; but the cover design stayed with me.
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Extollager

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I bailed out of The Hole in the Zero after about 35 pages. Anyone stick with it? The idea seems to have been that four space travelers taken an excursion into what lies beyond the edge of the universe, but get stuck there on their way back, and experience weird stuff. It looked to me like it would be tedious -- the author straining to be all Sixties Bizarre. So I don't intend to finish this May 1969 paperback. (Reading Phyllis Paul's first novel instead!)
 

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