Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Finds: “Wear the Butchers’ Medal”

Another in our growing line of vintage book covers we love.



Wear the Butchers’ Medal, by John Brunner (Pocket, 1965)
Illustration by Harry Bennett.

Prolific and British-born author John Brunner (1934-1995) was principally known for penning science fiction and fantasy, including such novels as The Whole Man (1964), the Hugo Award-winning Stand on Zanzibar (1968), The Jagged Orbit (1969), The Sheep Look Up (1972), and Children of the Thunder (1990). But he also wrote outside of that genre, producing a trio of espionage thrillers starring “Jamaican man of action” Max Curfew, a “satanic chiller” titled The Devil’s Work (1969), and what’s been called “a stunning suspense-adventure novel,” Wear the Butchers’ Medal.

Unfortunately, I don’t (yet) own a copy of Butchers’ Medal, so all I really know about this book’s plot comes from its cover blurb: “A summer hitchhike across Europe turns into a nightmare of horror and fear.” I’m more familiar with the illustrator responsible for the powerful, slightly off-kilter artwork fronting Brunner’s book: Harry Bennett (1919-2012), whose talents have been applauded a number of times on this page. With damn good reason.

2 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I read this one back in 1965, and about all I remember is that I liked it quite a bit. I still have the copy I read back then, but I don't know that I'll ever read it again.

Jerry House said...

Just about everything Brunner wrote was enjoyable. He had hoped to hit it big with the Max Curfew series but had a notable flareup with his publisher. His publisher had outined a plot he wanted for the fourth book and when Brunner pointed out that that was essentially what happened in the second book of the series, the publisher, in effect, said, "So?" Thus, there were no more Max Curfew books and the third (I believe) never made it across the Atlantic.