Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Books - The Deputy/Bettie Page: Queen of Curves

The Deputy 
by Victor Gischler
The Deputy is the first novel I have read by Victor Gischler and it instantly made me a major Gischler fan. Toby Sawyer is a careless slacker who works part time as a deputy in a small southwestern town. When a body is found in a pickup truck, Toby's only job is to keep an eye on it for a while because all the "real" cops are busy. But he can't even do that right. When he abandons his post for a brief booty call, he comes back and the body is gone. That leads to a downhill-rolling snowball of felonies, drive-bys, thug beatings (getting them, that is) and unexpected results Toby has to deal with. Taking place over the course of one night with some mind-blowing twists and turns, The Deputy will surprise you in a good way. The time it takes to read is roughly similar to the time it takes to happen, making it a unique and satisfying experience. A double highly recommended crime novel, and one of the best books I’ve read lately. 
Rating: ***** out of 5 stars

Bettie Page: Queen of Curves
by Petra Mason, Photographs by Bunny Yeager 
One of the great joys in life is the classic American pinup. I love the work of the masters, artists such as Elvgren, Vargas and Olivia. Photographs work too, and the greatest American pinup girl of them all was Bettie Page. 
Page was a flat out natural beauty and the camera loved her. She was the subject of thousands of photos in her life, and some low budget “bachelor” films. She did many naughty and fetish sittings for Irving Klaw in New York, but to me her best stuff was with photographer Bunny Yeager. They worked together for several months in Florida in the 1950s, and this book contains the bulk of those photographs. 
The book is packed with color and black and white photos and divided up in sections, such as Naked Truth (Bettie on the beach), Sweet & Savage (in a jungle outfit at a nature preserve)  Gone Fishing (in the water), Jungle Land (with wild animals at the preserve) and Sunshine State (in the Florida sunshine). Some are nudes, but most of the book is Bettie is in costumes or various types of swimwear. I’ve never seen anyone more comfortable, unassuming or natural in front of a camera. 
The book also features an interview with Yeager about her work and some interesting biography blurbs about Bettie, but mostly it is pages and pages of photographs. Betty on the beach, Bettie at sea on a yacht, in the trees, in the ocean. If you love to see one of history’s most beautiful women doing what she does best, this is where you’ll find it. Bettie Page: Queen of Curves is a stylish book of pinup photography, and does contain some tasteful nudity. 
Rating: ***** out of 5 stars

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