Cindy by Orrie Hitt (Softcover Library UK, 1969)
Cindy is the UK arm of Softcover Library’s edition of The Sex Pros, published back-to-back with Barry Malzberg’s (as Mel Johnson) Love Doll. It is the second-to-last book Hitt published at the end of his writing career, Naked Model (McFadden, 1970) being the last.
As we have noted over at the Orrie Hitt blog, the work ol’ Orrie did after 1964 isn’t his best, when his output was low and his health bad. Did he burn himself out? Probably. Was his heath issues causing his writer’s mind to wander? Most likely. Much of his latter work is either slow and boring, or scattered.
That’s the case with Cindy, alas. It’s a carnival stripper novel and very similar to his other carney books; in fact, it takes a storyline B from the little Vest-Pocket Carnival Sin: Cindy is in the stripper show and her ex-boyfriend, Eddie, has followed her, becoming the boxer guy that on-lookers pay to fight in the ring. Eddie hadbeen drafted, and that ended their love affair, marriage plans and hopes, and Cindy took off with a carney as a way out of small time life; when Eddie comes hom and finds out, he goes searching for her.
Like all of them, the carney is having money issues and must beef up the stripper act to bring in men and money.
The problem with Cindy is that it’s just dull, with a lot of banter, and the sex scenes are explicit and obviously not Hitt writing them (in fact, read similar to the sweaty flesh slapping scenes in Love Doll).
We will soon look at Hitt’s last book, Naked Model, and compare it to one of his early ones, She Got What She Wanted (1954) or maybe Too Hot to Handle (1958), and compare the differences.
Of all his carney books, Carnival Girl is the best of the lot.