Archive for the Robert Silverberg Category

Sex Fiend by L.T. Woodward, M.D. aka Robert Silverberg (Monarch Books, 1961)

Posted in Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on February 26, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

We have wondered if these fake sexual case histories were ever used in research papers, or caused anyone to believe there were actually real people out there as found in the plethora of these type of books that were churned out in the 1960s-70s.

Robert Silverberg composed about a dozen of these as L.T. Woodward, M.D., covering topics such as the virgin wife, sex techniques in marriage, sex in the army, sex in college, lesbians, etc.

Sex Fiend covers sex crimes, often sex that leads to murder, such as the chapter called “Teenage Thrill Killers” and “The Peeping Tom Murders.”  Nympho,mania, lesbiana, and ;psycho doctors are also found.

Basically, this is a collection of sort stories around a theme, framed as case histories lacking academic methodology, clinical ethics, theory, and all the other stuff one finds in true case history studies.

But so what? This is entertainment, a breezy cheap paperback that shows us publishers then and now will print anything if there’s profit…

Philosopher of Evil: The Life and Works of the Marquis de Sade by Walter Drummond aka Robert Silverberg (Regency Books, 1962)

Posted in Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , on February 26, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

In the 1960s, Silverberg was penning just about as much non-fiction as he was writing softcores, SF, and whatever else.  He used a number of pen names, writing books for the YA and trade market in history, anthropology and oceanography, as well as a dozen sexual case histories and research as L.T. Woodward, MD (after the success of Masters and Johnson, publishers put out both real and fake sexology studies in droves).

As Walter Drummod, Silverberg wrote two curious titles for Regency Books: this biography of the Marquis de Sade, and one about how to invest and spend money wisely.

Regency Books was owned by William Hamling, part of the Greenleaf/Cornith arm, and edited by Harlan Ellison.  Ellison published two of his early books with the imprint, Gentlemen Junkie and Memos from Purgatory. Interesting note:  Regency originally published Jim Thompson’s The Grifters. Ellison did have an eye for what was good.

Philosopher of Evil is written for a general audience, not academic; too bad as sometimes we wished for sources of quoted material. But this was a quickie paperback meant to entertain and at times, excite with graphic descriptions of de Sade’s personal sex life and the depravity found in his novels.

Lust Demon by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Sundown Reader #376, 1966)

Posted in crime noir, Don Elliott, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on January 22, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This s a novelized version of a short story in Illicit Affair by Mark Ryan. Common practice of the prolific writer: if you have no new ideas, expand an old short story.  So the story is basically Chapter One of Lust Demon.

Opens with a man named Carter driving from San Francisco to L.A. on the coast.  Half-way, he spots a naked woman sunning on the beach. He stops to talk to her.  Her name is Judy.  She’s gorgeous, built, athletic, blonde, tanned. She seems to be a free love type of the era and soon he has his clothes off and they’re fucking on the deserted beach…she suggests a swim. They go out, and she clamps her muscular legs around him and pulls him under the water, drowns him, and leaves his body to sink.

In the story, that’s all we get, a sorta cautionary tale about you never know what strangers will do, hinting at maybe the girl is some sort of demon siren out to get passing men. In the novel, we learn of her motivations: Judy simply hates all men, and she uses their own desires for her against them, and kills them.

She was raped at sixteen by her own brother, a haunting memory of incest.  She was raped two years later when she got drunk in a bar, still in despair about the disgust of the first rape, and a kindly middle aged man who helps her then rapes her, too.

In college, she decides to get revenge by making men fall in love with her and then breaking their hearts; making them grovel at her feet and crawl on their knees. Then she meets a man she actually falls in love with, thinks she will marry, and then he does the same to her: after three months, he kicks her out. He has his own revenge issues with women.

Several years later, she crosses paths with this man and invites him to her secluded cottage in the hills near the beach.  It’s a romantic night but she has revenge in her heart and kills him, and drags his body to the ocean.  The next two men she kills in the ocean. Carter was her fourth.

Thus far, the men have been reported missing or deemed suicides, but she wonders if the cops will ever get wise to what she is doing…

Everyone sees her as a quiet if kooky blonde hermit who makes pottery to sell to tourists.  Nearby in a cottage are two lesbians she sometimes has a threesome with.

One day a man is waiting at her door. She fears he might be a cop. He says his car broke down and needs to use a phone. This and that, he spends the night. The sex between them is rough and violent — he can match her moves, smacks her around, draws blood, and they both like it.  Without being too graphic, Silverberg deft handles the scene where Judy muses about biting his willywhacker off as she fellates him:

Abruptly, she brought her teeth into play. She kept her lips over them while she was caressing him, but now she pulled her lips back and let her sharp, white little teeth close in on him. Slowly, she brought her jaws together, a fraction of an inch at at a time. She knew that it must be painful for him. But he didn’t say a word, not even a murmur.

Judy took her mouth away from him. She looked up and saw him studying her with interest.

She said, “I’ve hot very strong jaws.  One good snap — whose the boss then?” (p. 150)

She hears a news item on the radio about a man on the run who murdered his wife and another man, and the description of the man fits her new lover, as well as the make of his car.  He admits he’s on the run. She tells him about her murders. She thinks she has found a kindred soul because she is not the lust demon — he is, the violent sex they had is nothing like she’s ever had, and everything she always secretly wanted.

This is the sort of psychological sexual horror that became popular in the 1980s. Silverberg, like Lawrence Block with his Shaw title, The Sadist, was ahead of the trend curve here.

It’s a good, swift read. Recommended, as most Silverberg Elliotts, Eliots, Beauchamps and Challons are.

Many of the latter books Silverberg wrote for Cornith in 1965-67 tend to be on the kinky, S/M and violent side, perhaps a foreshadow of the type of dark, sexual SF he produced a few years later.

A 1966 book — we are amazed whenever we read a book the same year we were born, thinking this little paperback was out there on the stands when we were just an infant sucking on our  mother’s teat.

Flesh Pawns by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Sundown Reader #525, 1964)

Posted in crime noir, Don Elliott, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , on December 18, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Like Gutter Road, there’s a sexual blackmail con scheme at the center of this little crime noir softcore.

Charley is grifter making his way from New York to Florida for the winter, to pull some jobs.  In a Delaware roadhouse, he spots waitress Janey and knows she has what he needs: she can look fifteen or twenty-five with her looks, lack of make-up or too much make-up…

He picks Janey up in his smooth way, beds her, invites her to come with him Miami.  She has nothing better to do, so why not.

Charley tells her his con game: she dresses up nice, hangs out in hotel bars, acting like a sweet young lady who likes older men, men with money. She does not charge them, she is not hooking.  The men have a great time with a hot young number. The next day, Charley shows up to the mark’s hotel room and Janey is wearing bobby sox, pony tail and no-make up, looking like jailbait. Charley acts like the appalled older brother whose kid sister was seduced; he then says he will go to the cops unless the men pay up, say $500-1000.

Janey thinks it’s a good grift.  She’s hooked before so she’s no stranger to crime.  They make some money in Miami and all is well for the two crooks, but eventually they meet other people who lead them astray — Janey a more suave guy and future real romance, Charley two teen vixens who lead him to a bigger gutter road.

Not the best of the Don Elliotts, but even these lesser titles are often better reads than 75% of the sleaze published back then and even now.

Gutter Road by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Sundown Reader 514, 1964)

Posted in crime noir, Don Elliott, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , on December 4, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This one is structurally a little different than Silverberg’s otrher softcore titles, or even his work in general — generally, Silverberg keeps to the point of view of one character, either in the first or third person. Gutter Road is a multi-character multi-POV story that seems like the kind Lawrence Block did — and we might have thought this was a Block if it had Andrew Shaw’s byline, but there are too many tell-tale signs of Silverberg’s typerwriter.

The little novel concerns a variety of mid life and sexual crises. Fred baumann is a CPA who, one night, picks up a young female hitchhiker, Joanne.  They park.  She seduces him.  In the middle of it all, she tells him no and fights him off but his blood is boiling too much. When all is said and gone, Joanne tells Fred she will go to the cops and claim rape if he does not pay her $20,000. He realizes he’s just been had, and under blackmail. A rape charge would ruin his career and cause him to lose his wife and teenage daughter.

He doesn’t have that kind of money so they agree on a $5,000 down payment and $100 a week until the end of the year.  Joanne knows she is getting more than she expected; she usually gets a few grand for each sucker; she has been a stripper and a streetwalker since she was nineteen and blackmailing men is lucrative for her, and keeps her and her hood boyfriend in money. She freely gives him her money and lets him have other women as long as he comes by each night and loves her up a few times.

Meanwhile, Fred Baumann’s wife, having no idea that their savings has just been hijacked, is getting hot and bothered in her middle-years.  She is not getting attention from Fred, so she starts offering herself to delivery men and repairmen and anyone else who shows up at the door.

Their 15-year-old daughter, Karen, wants to be bad, wants to be ravished, but she only dates nice boys who won’t take her when she offers. She masturbates in her bed to common rape fantasies: of hooded men breaking into the house, crawling into her window and taking her by force.  One night, in the wrong neighborhood, she is grabbed by a street gang guy, a knife held to her, and taken to a clubhouse where she is gang raped by a group of boys. They are flabbergasted when she drinks beer and undresses and tells them to do it.  This is her fantasy come true, right? But reality is too much, and although in terror, she falls into lust, the gang bang goes on for hours with men from all over the neighborhood libing up, broken up by the cops who investigate what is going on. The scene pays homage to the intense, surreal gang rape scene in Last Exit to Briooklyn.

And then Fred decides to murder Joanne because he can’t keep paying her,

Another good vintage read from Robert Silverberg.

Stark House Press to Reprint Don Elliott

Posted in crime noir, Don Elliott, Nightstand Books, noir fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags on November 28, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

We’re tickled yellowed paper that Stark House Press will reprint, in Spring of 2011, two of Silverberg’s Don Elliott Nightstand Books: Gang Girl and Sex Bum.

Introduction by Silverberg and Afterword by someone named Michael Hemmingson

Jungle Street by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Nightstand Books,1960; 1973)

Posted in crime noir, Don Elliott, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on October 22, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This is the third juvenile delinquent softcore Robert Silverberg published; the other two were in 1959, Streets of Sin as Mark Ryan and Gang Girl as Don Elliott. All three have similar plot lines: about teenage hoodlums moving to a new town and having to join a new gang, and then meeting their doom when their ambitions get too…ambitious.  In Streets of Sin, a young Brooklyn thug moves to Ohio and tries to muscle his way into being gang leader; in Gang Girl, a teenage girl moves to a new part of New York City and joins a gang as a deb, with her eye on the Prez and being Top Girl; in Jungle Street, Danny Flahetry has to prove himself in the new gang area to join the Golden Dragons: he headsup the robbery of a store, smashing a bottle on the head of the old store owner, putting him in a coma, later dying. Another initiation is similar to the initiation in Campus Sex Club: Danny has to get it up three times and have sex with three different girls in one hour.

His sister joins the gang too, and he watches, with an arousal that makes him feel odd, “Sis” strip for everyone, and have sex with the guys in the gang as spectator sport.

There’s a snobby 16-year-old girl in his apartment complex that he has a thing for but she won’t give him the time of say, so he rapes her in the basement laundry. she runs away, into the street, and gets hit by a truck and dies. Now Danny has two deaths on his hands…when he tries for a third,  attempting to kill the cop who is investigating him, things go to shit.

Jungle Street is the better of Silverberg’s juvie gang books; it goes beyond the point of genre literature as a page-turning crime novel, better than some of Hal Ellson’s tomes in the genre.  It also has a bit of Camus-esque existential noir to it, the story of a young criminal without a conscience, yet knows when karma comes to get him, he deserves it for his sins.

The 1973 Reed Nightstand reprint has the same cover art that the 1960 small paperback had.

Hellcats & Honey Girls by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake

Posted in crime noir, Don Elliott, Lawrence Block, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Sheldon Lord, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on September 20, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Subterranean Press is soon to publish a 400 page omnibus with three collaborative softcores from the 1960s by Block and Westlake, Hellcats and Honeygirls.

It contains two Sheldon Lords, So Willing and A Girl Called Honey, and one I am not aware of, Sin Hellcat (or A Piece of the Action).

There certainly seems to be a flurry of these old reprints popping up like lillies in the field, with Creeping Hemlock Press doing Block´s Campus Tramp and April North, Hard Case Crime doing two Block lesbian-crime books, Stark House doing two Silverberg-Don Elliotts plus all the others they have out, Ramble House with Ennis Willie, Borgo Press with Victor Banis, and so on…

Will this effect the collector market? I may boost it.  We here are delighted with these reprints and say, more, more…

Les Floozies by Loren Beauchamp aka ??? (Ron-San Corp/PAD Library #504, 1965)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on August 5, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This is the last of the Loren Beauchamp books. On reading the first chapter, I wasn’t sure if this was actually penned by Silverberg, as the writing is choppy and dialogue pretty bad.  But Les Floozies is listed in the bibliography on the Quasi-Official Robert Silverberg website.

Some other chapters do have that Silverberg feel, and others do not. Erratic. Was this one co-written with another writer, perhaps?  Or badly edited.  There are only eleven chapters, instead of Silverberg’s usual 12-14 for his softcores, and Chapter Ten is only four pages and feels cut.  In fact, the ending seems rushed, the typesetting uneven with large spaces between paragraphs in some chapters and tight typesetting in others — sloppy methods of getting a book to a certain page count, 192 here, but this looks more like 40,000 words of text instead of the typical 50K.

But wait — when I sent a link of an earlier version of this post to the Rbt Silverberg Yahoo Fan Page, Mr. Silverberg replied, “I didn’t write this book. I know nothing about it. It doesn’t belong in any bibliography of my work.”

So seems the publisher decided to use the pen name.  These pen names were not trademarks, after all.

The Beauchamp pen name was generally for Midwood, with one for Boudoir, The Wife Traders, although that was a truncated version of Suburban Sin Club by David Challon.

Ron-San Corp/PAD Library in Arizona was an off-shoot from Greenleaf/Cornith, created by former employees of William Hamling’s.  Did they buy this manuscript off Greenleaf or Silverberg and then butchered it?  It seems so.

The bad opening chapter reveals a guy, Romero, driving a hot rod with two girls fighting for his loving attention:  Linda Lou and Chastity. It’s hard to figure out what’s going on and why these people are together, other than they are a threesome of some sort.

Then we jump back in time and learn that Linda Lou is  a backwoods hussy from the south who runs away from home with a trucker, who lets her off in some Ohio town with brothels for her to work in.

Chastity is a society debutante from a family going back to the Mayflower; but when she gets pregnant and an abortion is needed, her wealthy uptight parents disown her.  She winds up getting a ride with the same trucker, but she goes to work in an upscale cal girl service in Manhattan to make ends meet.

Romero is 20, kinda dumb, but wants to be a pimp.  He learns the sex trade by working in a brothel and later running girls on the convention circuit for $100 a toss rather than $15 tricks in the whorehouse or $25 with call girl services.  Eventually, Linda Lou and Chastity go to work for him and both fall in love with him and fight for his approval and touch, each having their own nights with him if they are not with a john.

It’s not convincing, and Romero is so dull we wonder why the hell any woman, let alone a floozy, would fall so hard for him.

Unfortunately, this is the weakest of all the Beauchamps or any Silverberg softcore pen name, seemingly a victim of bad editing and slicing and adding.

The cover art, however, is excellent, and the book itself is quite rare and hard to locate and pricey if a copy is found.  We paid some bucks just to complete the Loren Beauchamp collection here at The Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks Library.

Expense Account Sinners by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Nightstand #1558, 1961)

Posted in Don Elliott, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on August 1, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Some of Silverberg’s best softsores are set in the corporate workplace and all the sexual shenanigans that happen there, found in Savage Love and Company Girl (Mark Ryan), The Bra Peddlers (John Dexter) Convention Girl and Woman Chaser(Elliott)…

In Expense Account Sinnes, Llyod Burks is Vice President and Public Relations Manager for an electronic firm…but he is more VP of Cal Girls and Good Times.  His job is to entertain VIPs from the government and other companies that are potential clients for electronics parts, meaing millions of dollars of contracts. 

Burks job is to show these buyers a good time, which means getting them call girls and partying it up.  To show the buyers he too is having a good time, Burks often has to sleep with one of the call girls too.

Burks makes 26 grand a year, good money for the early 1960s, a top exec job.  He lives in the suburbs with his wife, Miriam, and their two children.  He likes to see himself as a good husband, nine years of devotion, and he only sins for the good of the company…he never spends the night with a hooker, he always comes home.

Then he finds out one of the owners of the company has been phoning his wife Miraim and trying to get her to have an affair (similar to Company Girl).  This bothers him.  This bos even tells Miriam about the call girls and she doesnt believe him…until Burks secretary, Jean, tells her the same…seems Jean has harbored a secret love for Burks for a while, and when he rejects her and has her transferred, she decides to get revenge…

Here Burks is ready to call it quits with call girls and be a monogumous husband, and all his birds come home to roost…

He is indeed an expense account sinner…aprops title.

Tis is one of the best of the Don Elliotts, a great read about cause and effect and redemption.  The back cover copy, penned by Harlan Ellison in Ellisonesque flamboyant manner, is spot on…

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