Jade, Hollywood, 1963
The blurb on the back:
Even in the mid-19th century, when French literature was at a creative peak, and when internationally the novel form was achieving unparalleled heights, Honoré de Balzac was perhaps the biggest and most important of all French novelists. He's best remembered as the author of the massive cycle of novels known as La Comédie Humaine, somewhere in the region of ninety novels set in and around Paris, but there were also the much more, ahem, earthy (Rabelesian is the favoured term) Contes Drolatiques which were published in 1832-37, and which we find here in updated form.
No, I don't know why either. It's clearly supposed to be racy, but frankly it doesn't work - it actually feels more coy than the original, since nothing dates so badly as yesterday's raunch. But the dedication's nice, don't you think?
Mr Bradley is also the author of some other works that lead one to suspect he wouldn't have been Balzac's preferred choice of interpreter: Faggots to Burn, Homo Hill, Lesbian Lane and Hot Curves. The cover was designed by Buck Holloway and the illustrations are by Robert Caples:
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 3/5