50 Pulp Cover Treatments of Classic Works of Literature
Guns, Broads, Beefcake, Literariness
Last month at CrimeReads, Rebecca Romney looked at a few classic detective novels that had, at one time or another, gotten makeovers as sexy pulps—because as we all know, the easiest way to sell something is to make it look salacious (whether it actually is or not). But it isn’t only great detective novels that have gotten the pulp treatment. Classic works of literary fiction have existed as pulps from the very beginning of pulp—the new paperback publishers of the 1940s and 50s printed them right along with classic crime and some genuinely lowbrow (and sometimes quite lurid) new novels, often commissioning the very same artists to design their covers. Below, I dug up a few of these pulpified classics (not including the Pulp! The Classics imprint)—many of which I found through the excellent resource Pulp Covers. Some are true pulp covers—with overtly sexy women and tantalizing movie-esque taglines—while others are just amusingly lowbrow mass market treatments of highbrow novels. Either way, they’re even better than you’d expect.