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The Nostalgic Attic: Bargain-Bin Books #1: Slob, by Rex Miller

7 March 2014

Bargain-Bin Books #1: Slob, by Rex Miller



Something I truly love to do is go trawling through second-hand book stores and car boot sales, scouring for odd cover art or editions of favorites that I've never seen before. Sometimes the books aren't necessarily great; but the art is what drew you to it in the first place, so I find it hard to pass on stuff like this, even if the story didn't exactly set the world on fire. At this point I have a pretty good collection of such bargain-bin finds, so I figured where better a place to share them?




Slob, by Rex Miller (Pan Books LTD, 1988) follows the exploits of a morbidly obese, egg roll-munching, Vietnam vet serial killer, and the detective, Jack Eichord in his search for him before the next victim falls. You get plenty of murders, descriptions of the killers sweaty, hulking body and POV's for the main characters. The climax seemed pretty hilarious to me, and involved puppies. I'll try not to spoil any more than that. Slob was actually the first in a trilogy involving the Eichord character, but I have yet to find any of the others in the series, and unless the cover art was as incredible as this, I doubt I would pick them up. Written in the wave of serial killer stories that followed the success of Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, it is entertaining enough but is fairly forgettable. It has some strong praise from Stephen King on the front cover though, and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel, so don't let me put you off it. The cover illustration was by David O'Connor. Ex-disc jokey Miller also wrote a trilogy of novels focusing on the serial killer from Slob, Daniel Bunkowski.



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10 Comments:

At 7 March 2014 at 10:22 , Blogger Wes M said...

Yeah, a great jacket JP, it reminds me of the old UK VHS of Street Trash and Graham Humphreys' artwork for The Stuff. I think I had a copy of Miller's Frenzy but it's long long gone... I used to love browsing the horror section in second-hand bookstores, I was especially fond of the jackets for Guy N. Smith novels although never enough to actually read one. I think my all-time favourite book jacket is the New English Library edition of The Stand from the mid-80's. I have no idea who the artist was sadly, there's no mention of his/her name on the actual book...

 
At 7 March 2014 at 10:48 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

Good call on both Street Trash and The Stuff there, Wes. You can definitely see the similarities, though I love the look of all of them. The Stuff is a personal favorite. Chapters in Dublin still has a fantastic 2nd hand book section, and any time I'm in there I go straight for the horror aisle to see what they have. I have loads of fun ones so will post em up regularly. As you said, reading them was only secondary to the drooling that would commence when you spot something great.

That The Stand one is fantastic, never seen that cover before. Saying that, I always liked the ones on Stephen King's books, I have vivid memories of picking up stuff like Skeleton Key and The Shining in the library back in the day.

 
At 7 March 2014 at 11:20 , Blogger Wes M said...

Oh yeah, I always make a point of stopping by Chapters, I got some nice film books in there over the years, and I always have a nose around in the Secret Book/Freebird on Wicklow St - in fact I got a Hunter Thompson book in there back in November on the way to the O2 to see Depeche Mode. I left the shop a little depressed actually, the guy was showing me the newly released Cabaret Voltaire box set, which was wayout of my league, price-wise. Still, Depeche Mode were fantastic...

 
At 7 March 2014 at 11:26 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

Funnily enough I seldom pop into The Secret Bookshop, mainly as I tend not to pass it when out-and-about in town, but I would be in there about once a year. I tend to find the best trash in car boot sales, to be honest. Fuckin' hell, that IS an expensive boxset.

I would imagine Depeche Mode put on a great show, will definitely catch them at some point in the near future. Though I do have Sisters of Mercy to look forward to this summer...

 
At 7 March 2014 at 11:38 , Blogger Wes M said...

Weirdly, I was only listening to Some Girls Wander By Mistake during the week, not having listened to the Sisters in a while but I had been listening to Stones' Gimme Shelter before that and it put them in mind. I have the house to myself this evening and as I write this, am listening to Einstürzende Neubauten (not one of my wife's favourites!)

 
At 7 March 2014 at 11:51 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

Excellent, we are actually big SOM fans, and are a great band to see live.

I've never listened to ANY Einstürzende Neubauten, where do you suggest starting?

 
At 7 March 2014 at 12:20 , Blogger Wes M said...

Hmm... I can't actually place it in the films but Michael Mann dropped Neubauten's 1983 track Armenia into Heat and The Insider.... that might be a good place to start (and to end!). The clip is from Halber Mensch, Sogo Ishii's 1986 film of Neubauten bashing it out in a disused factory in Tokyo. I've always wondered if Shinya Tsukamoto had this film in mind when preparing Tetsuo...

 
At 7 March 2014 at 12:29 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

Jeepers, there's no messing around there! Will definitely look into a few more bits and pieces from them. Definitely seeing the Tetsuo vibe...

 
At 11 June 2014 at 20:17 , Blogger Craig Edwards said...

The American cover art for Slob was much more sedate - but King's praise got me to buy it - and I enjoyed it. I think I ended up reading everything Rex Miller wrote before his untimely passing. Not world beating classics - as you point out - but certainly readable.

 
At 12 June 2014 at 05:43 , Blogger JP Mulvanetti said...

Yeah, it's the kind of book that I enjoy digging into every now and then, it doesn't take much concentration to read it, and you are happy that all the boxes are being ticked for you as you go.

 

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