Archive for the Loren Beauchamp Category

Hired Lover by Fred Martin (Orrie Hitt), Midwood #13

Posted in crime noir, Loren Beauchamp, Midwood Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

midwood - hired lover

Accoridng to Lynn Munroe’s richly informative article on Midwood’s beginnings:

Amazingly, just 5 men wrote almost all of the first 40 numbered Midwoods. This hard-working group (Beauchamp, Lord, Marshall, Orrie Hitt and Don Holliday) carried and established Midwood until [Harry] Shorten was able to build his own stable of regulars –- names like March Hastings, Dallas Mayo, Kimberly Kemp, Joan Ellis, Jason Hytes and Sloane Britain.

Beauchamp was, of course, Robert Silverberg, Lord was Lawrence Block, Marshall was Donad Westlake, Holliday was Hal Drenser, and Orrie Hitt was himself.

Hired Lover is Midwood 13, published in 1959, although there are some early un-numbered Midwoods. Fred Martin was a one shot name for Midwood (and seems to have written one for the short-lived Magnet Books), and the style is easily identifiable: this is an Orrie Hitt book.  You can’t mistake Hitt for anyone else: the set-up, the dialogue, pacing, wrap-up.  Silverberg also did an early one shot, Immoral Wife by Gordon Mitchell (Midwod #11), that I discussed in this blog a while ago.

The question is: why these one-shot names?  Was it Midwood’s idea, to look like they had more than the same writers, or Scott Meredith’s, since the mauscripts came from the agency blinded as to the true writer’s identity. After all, Silverberg did an early Midwood, #7, Love Nest by Loren Beauchamp (see my review), and Beauchamp was his continued name for a dozen more titles from 1960-1963.

Munroe also notes:

Although nobody at Midwood knew it then, most of the books were by the same writers turning out the Nightstands. For example, Loren Beauchamp (Robert Silverberg) would become Don Elliott a year later at Nightstand, Sheldon Lord (Lawrence Block) would become Andrew Shaw. Some of the writers, like Alan Marshall and Clyde Allison and Al James, used the same name for both.

Midwood - Call Me MistressI have another early, un-numbered Midwood, Call Me Mistress by Tomlin Rede, and I wonder who wrote this one.  I haven’t read it yet but on quick glance, the style seems like early Westlake/Alan Marshall.

Call Me Mistress is a crime noir set in Hollywood and among syndicate crime lords, wuth a dash of lesbiana tossed in.  I will be getting to this book soon after I do my reading stint of campus sex books and lesbian titles.

Back to Hired Lover — yes, one of many Orrie Hitt’s novels but the name is not listed among Hitt’s pen names (Nicky Weaver, Kay Addams).  I Feldspar - Squeeze Playhave two Kozy Books by one “Walter Feldspar” (Loose Women and Squeeze Play) that look like they may be Hitts (there’s also a Beacon Hitt book called Loose Women) — Feldspar only penned two books, and for Kozy, and Hitt wrote many for Kozy as himself, Weaver, and Roger Normandie…like Lawrence Block and Robert Silverberg and others, there are pen names used that are not always associated with these writers, either overlooked by bibliographers or not admitted to by the writer (or remembered).

Hitt - Loose Women

Hired Lover is a first-person tough guy story — Mike has left Los Angeles after a bad incident and is in Chicago, where he has ties.  He’s working as a driving instructor when one day a gorgeous dame in her mid-20s, Kitty, is his student…she takes him to her mansion, gives him booze and fucks him.  She’s married to a rich old man — short fat,bald and ugly — whom she met when she was a nurse and he was in the hospital in diabetic shock.

As luck would have it, the rich man’s chaueffer just quit and he needs a new driver. Kitty suggests her hubby hire Mike — he can live in the apartment above the garage, where she can visit him for illict sin and lust.

While Kitty and hubby are away on a trip, Mike looks up an old business buddy who runs a stripper club.  One of the strippers has her sister, Ruth, with her — new in town, fresh from Ohio farmland, 18, a virgin, and ignorant of the big bad ol’ world of strippers, whores, booze and crime that her sister is involved with.  Mike manages to talk her out of going down that road — he’s no hero, since he also gets her drunk and takes her virginity, being 10 years older than the girl.

Right off, we know that Mike will end up with Ruth as his wife in the end.  This is typical of Hitt’s novels, mostly for Beacon — similar to the set-up of The Promoter, that I talked about last week.

(An aside: Beacon and Softcover seemed to require, as with lesbian novels, that the hero or heroine redeem and depent tgheir sinful ways by book’s end, married and in the arms of someone good, man or woman.  This does not seem to be the case with Hitt’s titles for Sabre and Novel Books — in fact, Novel gave Hitt carte blance to “take the gloves off” and write what he wanted, free of market and genre constraints.  I will be talking about a few of those in the near future.)

The set-up for Hired Lover isn’t new in sleazecore: the wife convinces the lover that they have to murder the old rich husband so they can be together and get rich.  That never works out, of course, and the wayward wife gets hers in the end — in this case, she has set up Mike in cahoots with the head butler/valet of the mansion. And the hero repents and finds love in the arms of a younger, less gutter-drivem woman, in this and other Hitts.  Mike, on the run from the set-up murder, is aided by young Ruth.  The cops wind up arresting the wife and the valet, but Mike is still guilty for the murder, and had helped plan it.  He married Ruth, but is dying from tetnus due to a untreated gun-shot wound.  The novel ends with Mike on his deathbed, confessing the murder to a Catholic priest, and holding his young wife’s hand, whom he has impregnanted so she will have something of his left.  It’s a sad ending, in a way.

Hired Lover is a great read, however, and if you dig Orrie Hitt, you will dig this — and it’s too bad that Hitt fans may miss this one,  so this blog/review will serve as a pointer for anyone doing research on Hitt.

Now that I am an Orrie Hitt fan  (where was he all my life?), and have bought several dozen books now, expect much discussion of his work here.

I have also found another promising sleazecore writer, Brain Black, who wrote a handful of Beacons, pen names for Western pukp writer Robert Trimnell. The books look good on first glance:

Black --Passionate Prof

Beacon - Unfaithfuil

Black 0 Jeanie

April North by Sheldon Lord (Lawrence Block) Softcover Library, 1961

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Lord - April North

Like “Andrew Shaw,” Sheldon Lord was an early pen name shared by mystery/crime authors Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake, later used by others, for Beacon, Softcover Lib., and a couple Midwoods.

April North is Lawrence Block — his early style is easily identfiable, it’s set in midwest Antrim, Ohio, not far from his alma mater, Antioch College (featured in many Shaw Nightstands).  There’s also the mention of a film, The Sound of Distant Drums, some sort of in-joke connection found in all Shaw novels and others.

April North is 17, a senior in high school, and a good girl from a good, Christain family.  She has been “going steady” with a football/baseball jock, Duncan, and believes he loves her and intends to marry her — thus, one night, she “goes all the the way” and loses her virginity to the boy.  Like many a naive girl in these books, she thinks this is a contract for marriage.

Now that she has “done the dirty,” Duncan wants nothing to do with her.  She is not wife material and tells all his buddies she’s a tramp.  Within a week, all the boys in her class are calling up for dates, and Duncan breaks up with her.  She has sex with another boy in a field — as shown in the nifty splendor in the grass cover art — because she is dazed at her new reputation, and word gets “around” in the small town that se’s easy.

Knowing her rep is ruined forever, she withdraws her savings ($500) and decides to run away to New York City.

I thought this was going to be like Loren Beauchamp’s Connie — she would become a call girl in NY as a revenge against the men who hurt her.  April seems a lot like Silverberg’s Connie.  But before April can catch the NYC-bound bus, she crosses paths with Craig, a 27-year-old ladies man in a Mercedies 300-SL, who has inherited a fortune from his dead parents.  Craig convinces her to stay, to shun those who mock her, and he will teach her to be a sexually wise, wordly woman.

She falls in love, of course, and has visions of wedding bells with this lover-man, until she attends one of his orgies.  She ignores the rumors she has heard that he seduces young girls and degrades them — she believes she is different and that he loves her.  She discovers that all his rich, literary, and “world weary” friends are all alcoholics, drug addicts, and lost as anyone — and that Craig, despite his wealth and car and looks, is at heart empty and a loser.  To keep her from going home and to stay with him, Craig has mailed secret photos of her having sex with him, an a drunken lesbain encounter, so her parents will disown her.

Trying to escape Craig, she is picked up by her ex-, Duncan, in the rain.  She thinks he will help her get her to NY but leads her to a barn where he has arranged for 20 boys in town to come and have sex with her in a gang bang, $5 a piece.  “Work for the money you need for New York,” he tells her.

The second boy she had sex with, Bill, comes to her rescue and they run away and live happily ever after.

The book fell apart about 75% the way in, and rushed to a sappy romantic ending, as if Block was closing in on his reqyured 50K words and he needed to wrap up.  Otherwise, a fast-paced novel with good characters, and an interesting early-era Block novel.

Here is the cover for the UK editi0n:

Lord - April North UK

Suburban Sin Club by David Challon and The Wife Traders by Loren Beauchamp (Robert Silverberg)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Challon - Suburban Sin Club

Beauchamp - Wife Traders

Suburban Sin Club by Silverberg pen name David Challon was published in 1959 by Bedside Books, and reprinted in truncated form as The Wife Traders in 1962 by Boudoir Books, as a Loren Beauchamp novel.

Suburban Sin Club is 192 pages and Wife Traders 160, in a smaller digest form and larger type, with about 15,000 words edited out.  The edit seems to be have done for budget reasons, to get the book down to 160 pages.

The other Boudoirs I have seen are 144-160 pages, small trim in Nightstand-like digests.  Boudoir was a short lived imprint (1962-64) from Imperial Publishing, in Los Angeles, from American Art Enterprises, a company that issued out thousands of books in the 60s under many imprints, most of them reprints from a decade earlier.

The edits in Wife Traders mostly removes 2-3 pages from the end of chapters in Suburban, and taking out a lot of banter that is really padding for Silverberg to meet his page quota.

Raplh and Betty Holland are in their early 30s and have moved to the Long Island suburbs to get out of Manhattan.  Ralph works in publishing. They have two boys.  They move into an apartment/condo complex, Court K.  Seems Court K is a swingers haven, where each Saturday the denizens engage in the pick-a-key, get-that-wife game.

The two go for it.  They seem to be a little too easy in trying out the swinger lifestyle…and then Betty gets pregnant, and the father could be any one of eight men she has been sleeping with.

A morality tales — as with 1950s wages of sin, it all culminates in murder, suicide, tragedy, morals charges, and scandal.

A fun read.

Immoral Wife/Henry’s Wife by Gordon Mitchell (Robert Silverberg Midwood Books)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , on July 18, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Rader - Immoral Wife

Mitchell -- Henry's Wife

This novel was originally published as Immoral Wife (Midwood 11) and then Henry’s Wife reprinted — keeping the same Paul Rader Cover.

Robert Silverberg only used the Gordon Mitchell pen name once, for this one, and it’s unknown why.  Perhaps because he had not yet established the Loren Beauchamp pen name there, with Love Nest, which was an unnumbered early Midwood.  At the time, Midwood was getting its books from the Scott Meredith Agency and had no idea that Loren Beauchamp and Gordon Mitchell were the same person, or that the same person was also Don Elliott at Nightsand and David Challon/Mark Ryan at Bedstand/Bedtime.

This is more a crime noir/suspense yarn than a sex book — there’s sex, but less so than other Midwoods or Beauchamps/Elliotts; there is more sexual tension, calling to mind a good James M. Cain novel, like Postman Always Rings Twice or Sinful Woman.

The setting is a small New Engalnd town, so small everyone knows everyone’s busienss and phone oprators listen to calls for giossip — any gossipy news is spread fast.  Hollister has returned to the small town after inheriting his parents’ home; he has been living in New York with his wife, Katherine, and their two children.  He met Katherine the day he came back from Korea, while in New York.

All the married women in town are ex-girlfriends of his, or he dated them…except for Jean, who is ten years younger (27) and lives nextdoor, married to Henry, a man twice her age.

Jean has been teasing and flaunting Hollister with her body, un til he can take it no more and cheats on his wife.  They have an affair all summer. Katherine finds out. He tries to call it off with Jean but Jean does not want to it to end — in fact, she wants him to leave his wife, she’ll leave Henry, and they can move to Los Angeles and have babies.  She wants children — he older husband is shooting blanks, and Hollister is obviously virile since he has sired two kids.

Hollister realizes that Jean is a nut-case and wants nothing of her. To get back at him, she claims he raped her, and Hollister becomes persona non grata in the small town community.

Henry finds out the truth: that his wife in an unfaithful floozy.  In front iof Hollister’s eyes, he shoots her with a .22 several times, then kills himself.

This was a good page turner, another worthy of reprinting, and I could see it as a good movie (maybe I will adapt some day). It is far better than some of the disappointing Beauchamps.

Unfaithful Nympho Wives: Unwilling Sinner by Loren Beauchamp and Man Mad by David Challon (Robert Silverberg)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Uncategorized, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Beauchamp - Unwilling Sinner

Beauchamp - When She was Bad

Two books about unfaithful nymphomaniac wives, by Silverberg’s Beauchamp and Challon pen names.

Midwood published Unwilling Sinner in 1959 and then reprinted it a few years later as And When She Was Bad. It’s told in the first person by Ellie, a small town upper New York state girl, nineteen, and a nympho…she’s been a nympho since she was fifteen, although her parents and anyone who first meets her think she is a sweet, virginal kid.  The boys in town know otherwise: all they have to do is start touching Ellie and she’ll fuck them.

She is ashamed of herself — her actions, her reputation. But she cannot help herself; every time a man touches her, a fire builds up inside and she needs sex, only to feel dirty, shameful, and sin-ridden after.

A new fellow comes to town to take over the grocery store for a syndicate: Dick, twenty-seven (is the name supposed to be a pun?). He asks Ellie out for a date.  He has no idea about her rep. She tries to keep him at bay, to not lose control.  They fall in love. They get married…okay, so a nympho marries Dick, haha.

In her new home, while her hubby, Dick, is at work, Ellie gets vistors: the boys she has slept with. They know she cannot say no, and they blackmail her: if she doesn’t give in, they will tell her husband about her sordid past.

So it goes on for months: five boys round robin, visiting her 2-3 times a week. One brings a friend who whips her with his belt.

Then her husband walks in on her with one of them — to add insult to injury, he is beaten up by his wife’s lover, who laughs about it.

He wants a divorce.  There’s a problem — she’s pregannt and doesn’t know who of the five men and her husband could be the father.  She tries to kill herself by jumping in front of a car going 50 MPH.  She doesn’t die, she breaks some bones and ribs, and loses the fetus.

In the hospital, a doctor determines why she’s a nympho.  It is outlandish and I have no idea if there is any medical truth to this, but seems she has a tumor near her adrenal gland, and whenever she gets emotionally worked up, the tuimor presses on it and releases too much adrenaline, which causes the fire in her, the “unnatural” need for sex.  This may be as absurd as Deepthroat, a woman with her clit in her throat.

I just checked online, and it seems that such a tumor by the adrenal gland is indeed a cause for nymphimania.  You learn something new every day.

So the doctor says he can cure Ellie and Dick decides he will not divorce her, knowing her promiscuity is not her fault.

BTSilverberg/Beauchamp usually create sympathetic characters but I could not side with Ellie in this. She disgusted me.  Remidned me of Jay MacInernay’s Story of My Life – a 1980s Breakfast at Tiffany‘s that fell short; at least we cared about Holly Golightly.  Ellie is just a dumb hick kid, and the story was not as engaging as other Beauchamp Midwoods.

I don’t have a cover scan for Man Mad by David Challon, Silverberg’s pen name (along with Mark Ryan) for Bedstand Books.  This is Chariot Books #143 — I thought Chariot might be an imprint of Bedstand, but according to Sin-a-Rama, was a short-lived company.  I have found only one other Challon with Chariot.

Man Mad‘s front and back covers do not coincide with the novel.  On the front is a lusty GGA, on the back a real photo of some go-go dnacing stripper, with men and women watching her, and this blrub: “What happens when anymphmaniac marries for love” and “compulsive sex turned her life into a nightmare.”

The protagonist, however, is Paul Edmonds, a publisher in his late 30s.  He has an “open” marriage with a wealthy woman, similar to the situation in Beauchamp’s Love Nest (Midwood).  His wife, Elissa, has to have many lovers, and he has his; she’s not as much a nympho as she can’t stand to be alone and, in her aging, needs men to like her.  Her money, invested into Edmonds small company seven years ago, has turned his company into a large publishing house, and made him rich and powerful in the literary community.

This is a pretty good novel, bordering on fine literature about the publishing industry, like Bright Lights, Big City or Elbowing the Seducer. I had a hard time putting this one down.  Edmonds falls for a young actress; his wife’s current lover, a playwright, also falls for her.  There’s a lot of jealousy going around.  When Edmonds is lonely, he hires a high class call girl, Harriet, to spend time with.

It has a semi-happy ending…Edmonds finally decides to divorce his wife and the actress sort of says yes, she will be his next wife…

This is a novel Silverberg should be proud of, but he probably doesn’t even remember writing it.  It is defintely one that should be reprinted.

A Note on Craft: Nightstand, Bedstand, Midwood

Posted in Don Elliott, Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Nightstand Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Elliott - Gutter Road

As I have been reading these various books this summer, I have noted the excellent craftsmanship, especially by Robert Silverberg, inRS-Rotslerdelivering books that always reach the 50,000 words mark.

In his seminal essay, “My Life as Pornographer” (from Penthouse Letters, reprinted in Sin-a-Rama on in Kemp’s el), Silverberg states his books for William Hamling were 12 chapters, each chapter 14-16 pages (or 4,000 words); his memory is fauluty, because every Don Elliott and John Dexter he did consist of 14 chapters, 12-13 printed pages, and always reach 192 pages.  Every Nightstand/Ember/Midnight Reader/Idle Hour was 192 pages — if the novel only reached 188-190 pages, they would add in a list of available books to get that 192.  Earl Kemp once told me this was necessary for gang-running books — printing four at a time, all the same length, which saved on money; if books were more or less than 192 pages (later, 224 pages as Reed Nightstands), they would have to be printed separately from the gang-run.

Beauchamp - Unwilling SinnerSilverberg’s Beauchamp Midwoods were also the same length, with 12-5 chapters, reaching 158 pages in Midwood’s format and type front.  Bigger font, the books reach 186-188 pages. Ditto on the Bedstand/Bedtime Books.

Other writers kept to the same — it was a matter of craft, of sketching out a story so that it would reach that length with that many chapters.  This is not unlike writing for TV, when scripts need to be 45-50 pages, broken into a teaser and four acts that are 10-15 pages each.

I find this admirable, because I have a hard time writing that way.  My Blue Moons varied from 120 pages to 260 pages, and I never plotted them out for x amount of chapters to reach x amount of words.

Such discipline, Silverg notes in his essay, helped him plot his SF novels in the 1970s-80s better.

Bum - Sin

Dexter - Bra Peddlers

Elliott - Sin Hellion

Elliott -- Sin Bait

Bellmore - Shame Sheet

Back then, the min. word length for a book was 50,000 words.  The decade before they preferred 40,000 words (like the Ace Doubles).  In the 1970s-80s, it was 60,000 words.  Today, commercial publishers don’t want to see a genre novel less than 80K words, and like them up to 100,000.

Is more better?  The end result, sometimes, is a lot of padding and unneccesary banter dialogue, dreams, or sub-plots.

Sin on Wheels by Loren Beauchamp (Robert Silverberg, Midwood Books #70, 1961)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Beauchamp - Sin on Wheels

Robert Silverberg published two novels called Sin on Wheels — first for Nightstand as Don Elliott, about lusty driving instructors and teen girls, and for Midwood as Beauchamp, about swingers in a trailer park.Elliott - Sin on Wheels

I coveted this Midwood for a long time — it was difficult to find a copy for a reasonable price; some dealers wanted $100-200 for it, and I seldom pay more than $50 for a vintage book.  I wanted it for (1) the great Paul Rader cover; (2) for my Silberberg sleaze monograph; and (3) to complete my Loren Beauchamp collection.

Lynn Munroe was kind enough to find a beat up reading copy for me, and a day later I found a near-fine condition copy  priced a little more than $50.  So, I had one for the collection, that I would not take out of its bag, and one to read.

The cover is classic Rader, classic Midwood, classic sleaze era — the image has enetered the pop culture meme and has been used for posters, notebooks, T-shirts, mugs, chains, and boxes.  Several bands have pilfered the image for their CDs.

Would the book live up to its pop hype?  I prepared myself, read it on my birthday (July 12) as a treat…and was disappointed.

Sin on Wheels fell short as both a Loren Beauchamp/Silverberg novel, and a sleaze title.  Maybe I was hoping for too much.  But it was not as engaging as Connie, Meg, Nurse Carolyn or Another Night, Another Love — more along the lines of The Fires Within: an average novel, not bad, but not a page-turner.

Lenore is 19 and just married Jack, a husky he-man she met five weeks ago, who works as an engineer of some sort on missiles at the army base. He’s also a womanizer and swinger, but she doesn’t know this yet.  She goes to live with him in his trailer in a trailer park in a rural zone not far outside New York City.  There, in the park, all the men eye her as new meat to feast on: she is young, gorgeous, naive and untainted.

The parties there are drunk fests with  alot of groping and wife swapping. Her husband leaves for an hour with another woman; he later denies it.  Then he takes her to a strip poker party where after everyone is naked and drunk, they dance and slowly pair off with each other’s wives or husbands. She goes to bed with another man but stops it mid-coitus, running away.

She has just lost her virginity on her wedding night a week ago, and here she is at a swinger party. This is not her.  But to get even with her husband Jack (“turnabout is fair play” is the phrase often used) she sleeps with a much older married man, whose wife her husband has a constant “thing” with, and then has an encounter with a lesbian in the park…

All of Beauchamp/Silverberg’s lesbian encounters seem to be the same: they happen when the heroine is confused, drunk, hurt…the lesbians take advantage of this, mutter how men are bad and don’t know women the way another woman does…and after, the heroines feel shame…the lesbian here is a writer of children’s books, just like the chldren’s book writer lesbian in The Fires Within, but Lenore does not harbor as much guilt as the other Beauchamp heroines do. In fact, Lenore admits she liked it, and while the lesbian tries to convince her all men  are evil and to leave with her on a country-wide trailer jaunt, she does not want to be a dyke.

One of the drunk residents pays her a visit, wanting to know why she won’t do him; he’s just lost his job and wants some love.  He tries to rape her.  Jack shows up and stops the attack and beats the living crap out of the rapist.

Lenore wants to leave Jack and the park…she knows her husband will never change…he pleads with her, says he will reform and never look at another woman, that they will move out of the park, he’ll put in  a transfer for White Sands…Lenore knows he will cheat eventaly, and she might too, but decides to give marriage another whirl.

Again, an okay story that does not live up to its great cover: “the uncensored confessons of a trailer camp tramp” (which was removed in the second printing).  Lenore is not a tramp, and this is not a first person confessional, like Beauchamp’s And When She Was Bad, or even like Andrew Shaw’s Trailer Trollop, both of which I will read and discuss next.

Note: this has also been reprinted as Orgy on Wheels by Don Elliott (Companion Books, 1967).

Beauchamp - When She was Bad

Young Widows Gone Wild — Thirst for Love (David Challon) and Wayward Widow (Loren Beauchamp)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Challon - Thirst For LoveBeauchamp - Wayward

These two Robert Silverberg books are the same text. Thirst for Love (as David Challon) was published in 1959 by Bedtime Books and Wayward Widow (as Loren Beauchamp) by Midwood Books in 1963 (later, in 1968, again as Free Sample: Wayward Widow, a promotional editions).

The story is fitting for those 1950s alcohoic yarns like The Days of Wine and Roses and Lost Weekend, when boozing too much became a social stigma to find “shame” and “sin” within.

Kay Brighton is 22 and married 3 months when she loses hr husband; he dies in a car accident.  Drunk and in grief, she seduces a maried neighbor when he comes by to pay condolences. She goes on a drinking binge from there.  She takes the insurace money and checks into a cheap SRO and drinks the day away.

She meets a guy down the hall, Gordon Ryan, a hack paperback writer.  This is when the story gets fun as we meet some of Silverberg’s hack alter-egos — his pe names Gordon Mitchell and Mark Ryan mixed (various Elliotts appear in other books).  Rayn is an overweight, unshaven slob, but he charms her — he goes from paychecks to paycheck, writing books and stoiries in all genres, collecting money frm his powerful literary agent, Lou Michaels (a sorta Scott Meredfith( with a sexy busty recpetionist.  He’s  womanzier but she falls in love with him and they sublet a Hollywood writer’s Manhattan digs for six months.  He has a knack for ghoing on benders and vanihsing for days.  He comes up with a book that a publisher pays a big advance on and Hollywood wants, and all seems like days of wine and roses until his estranged wife shows up and he winds up killing her.

Alone again, Kay goes on a huge drinking binge.  Worried about  oney, she becomes a prostitute, has a fling with a beatnik lesbian, has a beatnik orgy, and so on.  She winds up in the hospital to detox and finds her true love — the married man she seduced the night her husband died, who is now a widow himself, as a car ran over his wife.

Sappy at times, it is a dark story, hardly erotic, as Kay only has drunk sex with most people and is barely aware of it; but the book does wor as interesting commentary on alcoholism.

The Fires Within by Loren Beauchamp

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

beauchamp - Fires

A desperate housewife yarn.  Not as engaging as Silveberg’s other Beauchamps, but a good guilty pleasure read…

She’s 37 but books 27, married to a man ten years her senior who is a big time Manhattan lawyer living in a giant house on Long Island, two cars, lots of money…and no sex life…

A yoing auto mehcanics sets the fire within her loisn and she has an affair with him; one day they go to a motel where the owner is a former client of her husband’s.  This sleazy motel owner blackmails her: have sex with him or he’ll tell her husband.  Seems he does this to a lot of married women who come to his motel for a romp.  But he likes to spank and hit and bruise.  She only does it once.  He threatens to tell. She tells her husband the truth and he forgives her, but her husband and the motel owner have it out, the motel guy falls down the stairs and dies and her husband has a heart attack.

Now she is a rich widow and can sleep with whomever she wants…this is not a morality play, obviously, and does not have the patent “happy” ending the other books have.

Robert Silverberg must have had, or still does, a thing for busty red-heads, and many of this heroines thus far are all that — Connie, Meg, Wayward Widow, other womne in the Don Elliott books…just an observation.

(Sidenote: the woman in this novel reminded me a lot of a certain married woman I had an affair with in the late 1990s, who was also 37, older than me at the time — I was 29-30 — and well off. She was an actress ad hung around my theater crowd at The Fritz Theater in San Diego.  She was in a sexless marriage, but also on a crazy binge after the death of her mother.  But she was just like the woman in this book, so I find it…curious and odd I suppose…and she was a red head!  I write about this affair in semi-autobio fashion in my novel Drama (Blue Moon Books, 2002), reprinted as Bad Karma and Kinky Sex (Ophir/OlympiaPress, 2009).

Drama

bad-karma

Another Night, Another Love by Loren Beauchamp

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , on June 1, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

beauchamp - anoyher night another love

This Beauchamp is one of Silverber’s lighter titles — that is, there are no suicides or murders in the end, although there is a but of violence, and it ends on a sappy romantic note.

The out-of-work New York actor who turns to prostitution seems to be a common theme in vintage sleaze.  In Another Night, Another Love, it’s not a young woman this time but a 27-year-old actor typecast and finding it hard to get jobs.  Destitute, in debt, and close to homeless, he applies for a job as a “recreational director” at an upscale rural New York country club for the summer.  The job is really that of a gigilo, and he must prove himself first to the owner of the place, a heavy-set brute of a woman.  He does so.  And while there, he sleeps with all kinds of women — widows and bored wives with impoetnt husbands, all of them rich, all who tip him well.

But he develops a romance with one of the childcare girls, a 2o-year-old NYU student (the girl on the cover matches her description), and she gives her virginity to him, thinking they will get married…and then she finds out the truth about what he does at the club, and so does one of the husbands, who guns after him with fists ablaze, hitting and breaking his perfect actor’s nose…

But all ends well.  The girl forgives him, he relaizes he muts save his self-respect and stop being a whore, and the two leave the country club on the first bus back to New York City…

A fast read and aother guilty-pleasure.  This one was more like a Lifetime or TNT movie of the week…

It was reprinted as Sin a La Carte, which references one female client who has him bring her breakfast three mornings a week, along with some lovin’ spoonfulls…

Beauchamp - Sin a la Carte

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