Love Addiction by Arnold Marmor (Merit Books, 196?)
There’s no publication date on this Merit title, but is most likely 1962 based on the typeface…in 1961, Merit published Love Addict by Arnold Marmor, and it may be the same book, as Merit/Novel was known to do…
Who was Arnold Marmor? He seems to be one of those forgotten, obscure pulp guys of the early and mid 50s, who wrote often for Hamling’s Imagination, Amazing, the crime ones like Manhunt, Trapped, Pursued, and second and third tier men’s mags like Dude, Pleasure, Rogue, etc.
Project Gutenberg recently put up his short SF novel Spies Die Hard! from Hamling’s Imagination…which might make one wonder if Marmor was a Robert Silverberg pen name, but he wasn’t. He seemed to be a UK writer who specialized in spy-type fiction — Spies Die Hard! is about earth and Martian spies…he also ghosted a Nick Carter or two…and when the pulp market dried up in the late 50s, like many others, he started to write books for the sex market, though they were still spy and crime thrillers packaged with lurid covers and suggestive titles…such is the case with Love Addiction.
Marmor (1927-1978) published a number of sleaze-styled books for Merit, Saber, Playtime, Intimate, Boudoir, Twilight, and other short-lived imprints, but never the bigger ones like Nightstand, Midwood, Kozy or Beacon…
Love Addiction introduces Nick Sparta, former British Secret Service ex-patriot living a low-rent life in a New York fleabag hotel with an American woman. He’s been called to a meeting by the head of British-Lion btea Limited, a front for MI-5. They want to locate another former agent, Major Walter Waldron, who, supposedly, has written a memoir about his spy days and contains information that could compromise Her Majesty’s Secret Service. While Nick’s vice for gambling and women got him kicked out of the spy force, the Major Waldon’s is heroin — he’s an addict, so the back cover blurb states:
Nick Sparta always left the babes asking for more. The major might be a dope addict, he thought to himself. But, ‘m a love addict, and I’m sure getting a lot more kocks from my addiction than he is from his!
Does he get the dames? His Nick Sparta a B-grade James Bond? Yes and no.
The writing is spare, minimal, 34 short chapters in 128 pages. The tone is laid bad and smooth, less action-oriented, more clever dialoague and incidents between old spies from the O.S.S. and World War II days, Germans and Russians, Americans and Brits — in fact it reminded me a lot of Le Carre and Trevenian spy books.
Sex? There’s some sex, the kind expected in a spy or sleaze book.
Not bad. I will seek more Marmor.