Friday, 30 October 2009

Andrew J. Offutt, Evil is Live Spelled Backwards (1970)


As regards bad cover design, I've pretty much yielded the field to Good Show Sir; but every now and again a book primps my interest and stays, like a retinal burn, with me. This is a click-the-images-to-enlarge-them case in point. And there's little to say here, beyond idly framing unguessable pub-quiz questions ('what links Black Sabbath, Miles Davis and Andrew J. Offutt?'). Sure, the the title is awful but at least the cover art is able to achieve a matching level of awfulness. Yes those ladies look like they've overbalanced and are about to clonk into one another. Yes, the title is very bad. Yes, the couple in the right-hand circle look like the Chemical Brothers. But more than all of that, the title is awful. Look how awful the title is! Before you so much as open out the front cover the novel is already haunted by its ghostly other, a book called Gateman is Nametag Spelled Backwards, or Straw is Warts Spelled Backwards, or Maps is Spam Spelled Backwards. Any of which would have made for better novels than this.

What's it about? Oh, this:

Those darn Satanists. Moving more daringly, eh? That's typical of satanists, that is: daring movement. That and bellowing 'Let There Be Licence!' What a powerfully evil slogan! -- so evil it's almost ... live ....

5 comments:

Boiledfrog said...

I'm sorry, this Bill Bailey's already done this one, and without evidence to the contrary, he's the better singer! Soul/Soldier vs Ham/Hamster at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kntawlgAonA

Cheers,

Stu

Adam Roberts said...

Stu: naturally I yield the palm to Bailey, who's funnier and a better singer than I am (though Tinselworm's not my favourite Bailey routine: Wembley isn't an intimate enough space for his peculiar brand of comedy to work). Nonetheless, I'll confess I don't see the palindromic angle on ham/hamster.

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