Sunday, 5 April 2015

Savage Streets
by William McGivern

(Fontana, 1962)

Whilst it sadly has nothing to do with the ‘80s Linda Blair uber-trash classic of the same name, this UK repackaging of veteran US crime writer William P. McGivern’s JD drama ‘Savage Streets’ is nonetheless liable to provoke a similar feeling of dazed and dehumanised bewilderment.

From the shock-red background and crudely rendered image of Richard Nixon delivering a beating to ‘Repo Man’-era Emilio Estevez, to the foaming-at-the-mouth hysteria and garish colour-clashes of the back cover, this is certainly an approach to book design that, uh… goes for the jugular?

With no disrespect intended to McGivern’s novel, the sheer, crazed over-reaction of the back cover blurb here just cracks me up. Teenagers stealing stuff and lying about it? MY GOD, WHERE WILL THIS SUB-HUMAN BARBARITY END? BAR THE WINDOWS, MILDRED! etc etc.

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