Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants

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I wanted to love this book. The title is killer—like a poem by Ed Sanders—promising a rich trove of visual treats and creeps. For the most part, “Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants” is a disappointing collection of mundane covers. Subtitled “The Art of the Paperback,” it’s intended to be a thrilling trip down Mass Market Memory Lane, but instead it’s littered with some lazy cowpokes, a few mutants and some shapely maidens—and way  too many dull  reproductions of Shakespeare covers.

In short, the artwork doesn’t live up to the sensational title.

There have been several first-rate collections of covers  published and only a masterful selection of paperbacks is warranted. This book suffers from being too general with only a smattering of covers in various genres… it’s more  like  potluck at the thrift store than a selection  lovingly compiled by a bookworm. Indeed, the memorable artwork is missing.

As a kid I was a “breathless” fan of horror and SF paperbacks and vividly recall the  best covers, e.g.,  the surrealistic artwork that appeared on Ballantine’s SF releases.

Had the author selected more examples like the two below,  the book would have been a keeper.

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Illustration above by Norman Saunders

Those are the best the book has to offer. I WANTED MORE!!!

Oh well, slime rolls on.

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