The Frightened Stiff – Kelley Roos (1942)

FrightenedStiffAs I build out my library of GAD literature, it all comes down to the promise of an unknown story, sometimes by an unknown author, based on the back of recommendations I’ve seen from well regarded bloggers or an interesting comment left on some random post.  In seeking out these titles to purchase, it’s hard not to get drawn in by the qualities of the actual books themselves – the cover art, the edition, the physical format.  Yeah, I could buy some gangly modern day 10×7 copy with dreadful cover art, settle for the generic 1980s printing, pick up the ebook version for a fraction of the price, or splurge for that original hardback with a crinkly dust cover.

For me though, there is one pure form that has no equal.  The 7×5 pocket format, typically published between the 1930s-50s.  You know what I’m talking about – the Dells, Avons, Pocket Books, and occasional Berkleys or Bantams.  The size is perfect.  The paper (both cover and page) has the right feel.  And then there is the art.  I absolutely love the illustrations.  There’s something about the style that just connects with me in a way that I can’t describe.

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