Archive for the lesbian pulp fiction Category

Community of Women – Sheldon Lord aka Lawrence Block (Beacon, 1963)

Posted in Beacon Books, Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, pulp fiction, Sheldon Lord, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on January 11, 2012 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Was this one a “major bestseller” Beacon claims on the cover of the 1964 second edition, third printing? Who knows what is truth or hyperbole. Community of Women is Block fo’shure (BFS) and he has recently made it available as an ebook reprint.

The terse novel, told in 22 short chapters, is one of Block’s multi-character soap operas, like the many Andrew Shaws that take that form, a form Block still employs now and then, most recently with his 9/11 mainstream novel, Small Town. (I tend to prefer Block keeping to one POV, usually first-person.)  The caharcters here are residents of suburba, Cheshire Point, a commuter train’s ride outside Manhattan where many of the men work and their wives stay at home and have their own secret lives, such as Maggie, a secret lesbian married to a gay man for appearaces, who sets her seductive third sex sites of Elly Carr, a woman who sleeps with any man who comes around when her hubby is away — she has been a nympho since her days at Clifton College (a BFS giveaway). But when Maggie does get Elly into bed, Maggie convinces her the nymphomania has been misdirected, that no man has ever been able to satisfy her because she needs a woman’s lusty tongue and touch.

One fun character is Linc, a hack novelist having writer’s block; a new novel is overdue and he cannot seem to get any words on paper so he drinks to a stupor.  He and his wife, Roz, moved to Cheshire Point when he sold a novel to Warner Books for $35K…now, with books ovedue, no sales of stories, no advances, he and Roz are nearly in the poor house among the upper middleclass suburbanites. Not to fear, he gets his writer’s wings back, making love to Roz in between writing marathon hours.

One thing surprising here, for these books at that time, is the lesbian awkening is a positive thing; Elly does not discover despair in dykedom but seeks a happy new life in the arms of Maggie.

Another fun read!

Anybody’s Girl by March Hastings aka Sally Singer (Midwood Books #37, 1960)

Posted in lesbian pulp fiction, Midwood Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on December 13, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

I have enjoyed all the March Hastings books I have read so far, such as The Drifter and others. Anybody’s Girl is a decent, albeit predictable read about sexual confusion.

Addie is 19 and lives with her abusive alcoholic mother. Her father is absent, living in Manhattan with a woman named Margo. She is ready to give up her viriginity and when she does, the guy treats her like a whore, even tosses a twenty dollar bill at her when it is over.  Humiliated, she vows to become a slut, to sleep with whatever man wants her, to become as the title says anybody’s girl. And she does…

One day she goes to visit her father and has a talk with her father’s girlfriend, Margo. They have a curious good  rapport. She stays the night in the guest room and Margo comes to visit her, to seduce Addie, and Addie gives in…why not? And she likes it. It is apparent that Margo is only with her father for his money.

Margo sets Addie up in her own apartment so the two have a place to maintain their lesbian love affair. Margo takes Addie to Greenwich Village and the lesbian bars to introduce her to the third sex way of life. But Margo does not like that Addie still likes to fuck men.

In fact, Addie meets Cliff, the man who will turn her away from sinful dykedom, the way these lesbian novels often concluded as per genre stipulation: that heterosexuality wins out.

The cover is a Paul Rader classic with the classic Rader-esque woman. He also did the cover for the 1964 reprint:

Diary of a Dyke by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Pleasure Reader, 1967)

Posted in Don Elliott, Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on November 30, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

I really wonder if Robert Silverberg penned this one for a couple of reasons: the publication date is 1967 and he has written that he stopped writing these books around 1965, although it is possible the manuscript sat around at Greenleaf for a year or two (half a dozen came out in 1966); and it does not jive with Silverberg/Elliott’s sytle, which always had a dark side…this book is light and airy and often funny.

It is the diary of a woman who has jsut turned 32 and is bored with lesbian sex. She engaged in a six girl orgy and yawned. She has been with men before, so she is really bu but prefers girls…until she sleeps with a VP at her work, Tom, and she her interest in sex is rekindled…maybe she will go straight, as many lesbian novels at the time had the characters do,

Around the same time, Lawrence Block wrote three diary-like lesbian novels as Jill Emerson…one, I Am Crious Thirty, is about a woan turning from 29 to 30 and wondering about her sexuality…in fact these two books are quite similar.

Silverberg claims that no other writer used the Don Elliott name, and only one, Carnal Counselor, was frmed out to a ghostwriter when he could not make a deadine.

Either way, a fun read.

Got Book? We Like Book

Posted in Beacon Books, crime noir, lesbian pulp fiction, Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, noir fiction, Paul Rader, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on November 29, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Is there a vintage book or author you think we should discuss/review on this website?  Are you a publisher or have you had published a novel that has a vintage feel, pays homage to the style and subetmatter of the 1940s-70s?  Feel free to send them along. We will mention your name and thank you in the post if you like.

Send to:

Those Sexy Vintage Sleaze Books

C/o M. Hemmingson

PO Box 1284

Lemon Grove, CA 91946

The Paperback Sleaze of C.M. Kornbluth

Posted in lesbian pulp fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , on March 16, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

We only recently discovered that legendary SF writer C.M. Kornbluth wrote a number of books as Jordan Park, three of which were in the softcore sleaze genre.  The lesbian novel, Sorority House, was co-authored with Frederick Pohl.  Valerie is about a girl accused of witchcraft and Half is about an “intersex” person.

All are from Lion Books.


Slum Sinners by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block (Midnight Reader #499, 1962); rpt as Pity the Damned (Reed Nightstand, 1973)

Posted in Andrew Shaw, crime noir, Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , on March 15, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Two characters from other books appear in this one:  Kyros the Greek pimp from The Twisted Ones, and Joan McKay from Girls on the Prowl (with a footnote).

Slum Sinners opens with ffifteen-year-old Monita Ruiz, a Puerta Rican girl who lives in a slum neighborhood up towards 100 Street and Columbia, is bed with a boy in a ratty room.  She can’t go through with it.

Then we see Ruth Lansing who lives on the upper West Side; she’s married, has a six month old baby, and is miserable. She really has deep secret lesbian wanton desires and has no idea what to do.

Then we meet Al Carter, newly released from a five-year prison stint for armed robbery. he has ten bucks to his name and needs to find some sort of quick con game to earn quick cash.

We tend to prefer Block’s Shaw and Sheldon Lord books that center on one character, or are first-person, rather than these multi–character stories where everyone’s lives mesh together at a cross in the road; still, this one is pretty darn  entertaining and smoothly written as both a softcore and crime novel. Like The Twisted Ones, he gets a little postmodernly reflexive at the beginning when giving a historical account of New York neighborhoods and how they changed racially and economically over time.

Monita decides she needs to lose her virginity and she doesn’t care who does it, so she randomly picks the first good-looking guy she sees on the street, who happens to be Al.  She also has another plan: she will blackmail him for statutory rape so he will give her money and she can get out of the slums and start a new life.  She loses her virginity quite painfully and she tries her blackmail on Al, he laughs and tells her he doesn’t have a dime, and tells her she’s bad at the con. However, he suggests they could work a “badger” game together….

Ruth goes to a lesbian bar and gets picked yup by Joan McKay…

The first mark Al and Monita get is a Manhattan businessman, who happens to be Ruth’s husband, Glenn.  He pays up on the blackmail: $500.

Monita is amazed at the easy money and wants to blackmail more unsuspecting men she picks up in hotel bars.

Glenn, although robbed, has gotten a taste of young girl and wants more. He connects with Kyros, the Greek pimp in The Twisted Ones who specializes in underage prostitutes. He provides Glenn with a number of them, from Canada to Europe to the south, girls 12-14…he so much desires this that he leaves his wife…

Ruth has a short fling with Joan, and some other women, but decides she would rather have men, and begins to let men, any men, pick her up in bars and have their way…

Monita has $3,000 in her bank account and she decides to start life over, changing her name to Mona, leabing Al and going to San Francisco.

Al needs a new girl, but young girls won’t be easy to find. He does find Ruth in a bar, and he talks her into a business deal: he’ll find the men and take them to her, she’ll wait at home, they’ll both make money…

Definitely a fun read. The Twisted Ones, Girls on the Prowl, and Slum Sinners would make an excellent reprint omnibus edition.

Reed Nightstand reprinted it as Pity the Damned.

Girls on the Prowl/The Wantons by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block (Nightstand Book 1548, 1961/Reed Nightstand, 1974)

Posted in Andrew Shaw, Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on March 13, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Girls on the Prowl (later, The Wantons) opens with a bang– pun intended. A cab driver picks up a sultry-looking blonde; he’s in 40s, married, and it pains him he could never have a woman likes this.  She tells him to drive into Central Park and starts to undress in back; she tells him to stop and asks if he likes her breasts; then she invites him to join her in back for sex. He obliges.

The woman is Saundra Stone, hailing from Ohio where she went to Clifton College.nd works at a pretentious literary quarterly, Agony Magazine (pergaos a take on The Paris Review?)  She lives on West 73rd Street in a four-bedroom apartment that goes for a pricey $210/month (this is the early 60s). She has two roommates: Marilyn and Joan.  Marilyn is waiting for her, asks her how the fast anonymous sex was. Seems it was Marilyn’s idea, something she likes to do, picking up strangers for quickies and one-nighters.  Saundra says it was exciting and fun.

Marilyn is an on-the-rise young assistant editor at a Phulcorte Press, which publishes a variety of magazines and books.

The other roommates, Joan McKay, is a lesbian, but they don’t know that; they would appalled to know that while Joan is just as promiscuous as they are, she sleeps around with women she finds in the Greenwich Village gay bars.

Lynne Munroe has a good summation from his article in el:

Sandy from Clifton College and her two roommates in Greenwich Village. Schwerner. A Sound of Distant Drums. Some great jokes, like a publisher named Phulcorte Press, a night club called Open d’Or, a Chinese restaurant called Haow Naow, a Spanish restaurant called Dolor de Estomago. Harvey Chase’s Agony Magazine is introduced. As Wayne Mullins showed us on one of his excellent Block checklists, two of the characters are anagrams for the author: Cornwall Becke and Lance Brecklow (“Phoney sounding name,” a character says.)

Saundra/Sandy may also be Sandy from The Twisted Ones. Joan, however, does make an appearance in Slum Sinners, which we will discuss next.

Girls on the Prowl is less than a novel than a character study of three sexually free and open women. They do evolve and change: Marilyn finds true love and leaves her career and New York to be with the man of her dreams, and Joan, at the end, fully embraces her llesbian desires, instead of being ashamed of herself and her feelings for the third street.

Again, this Block/Shaw is a bit more sexually explicit than the softcores of the day; the erotic elements are not as subtle and evasive as, say, Silverberg, Westlake and Harry Whittington’s Corniths. It’s not a matter of exact description, but the lewd nature. For instance, Sandy goes to an underground live sex show, which opens with “a Negro and a Puerto Rican girl” going at it n stage, and then they are joined by a young blonde girl that Sandy realizes cannot be older than fourteen, and the man and woman on stage rabish the young lady is a mock rape act.  So, here we have not only an illegal public sex act, but a sex show with an underage female…another is the final sex scene, with Joan and a pale woman meeting in the Village, never asking each other’s name, and having intense, kinky lesbian lovin’.

But we understand this pales in comparison with the Jill Emerson 70s novels, The Trouble with Eden, I Am Curious (Thirty) and Sensuous., which we have yet to get to, but will at some nifty point in the future…

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