Archive for Bedstand Books

Gutter Girl by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block (Bedstand Books, 1961)

Posted in Andrew Shaw, crime noir, Lawrence Block, Nightstand Books, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on December 1, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This one is defintely penned by the young Larry Block, one of the handful of titles from Nightstand’s stable when Hamling bought out Bedstand Books.

The premise of Gutter Girl is the same as many female juvenile delinquent books, such as Silverberg’s Gang Girl (now out in reprint from Stark House, by the way) but takes a few steps ahead with the graohic violence and sex: tough 15-year-old deb has to move to a new neighborhood and join a new gang, beds the President of the gang and becomes his main girl, then has delusions of taking over the gang. Rumbles, murders, cops…there is a gang rape of a 13 year old girl who is the sister of a Puerto Rican gang member where she is dismembered.  Our lustful heroine turns tricks for money, catches the eye of the local syndiacte guy and ex-President of the gang, moves in with him atr his upper East Side digs; and once he is bored with her, has her start doing tricks for fat ugly men connected to the mob, then is turned out as a high priced call girl at age 16.  Byt at least she has money, and she can take care of her nerdy little brother…there’s incest, but I won;t spoul the perverse fun of the gutter themes.

Quite a good one.

Campus Hellcat – David Challon aka Robert Silverberg (Bedside Books #973, 1960)

Posted in crime noir, Don Elliott, Loren Beauchamp, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on June 21, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This is the last of the David Challon books Robert Silverberg did for Bedstand. The others:

Suburban Sin Club (#803, also The Wife Traders by Loren Beauchamp)

Campus Love Club (#808, also Campus Sex Club by Loren Beauchamp, and plagarized as Slaves to Sin by S.N. Burton).

French Sin Port (#820, also Rouge of the Riviera by Don Elliott)

Thirst for Love (#802, also Wayward Wife by Loren Beauchamp and Free Sample by Loren Beauchamp)

Suburban Affair (#961), unknown if ever reprinted/pirated.

Like Illicit Affair by Mark Ryan, this is a short story collection, mainly culled from men’s digests and pulps like Trapped and Manhunt, etc.

The cover states “eleven short novels and stories.”  There are no short novels in the 186 page book.  The title story is a 3,000-word tale about men dating the campus slut; most of the other stories have a crime element with twist endings, but they’re not as good as the stories in Illicit Affair. Many of the male protagonists have to deal with the aftermath of a mistress — in “Hit and Run,” a man married to a rich woman (with shades of Loren Beauchamp’s Love Nest) kills his pregnant mistress, but he’s being set up by his wife and their financial adviser; “One Girl Too Many” and “Clinging Vine” deal with females scorned by cheating men; “Spoiled Brat” is about what a rich girl with a sports car does to her rapists.  “Jailbait” is about a con sex game, later expanded in Don Elliott’s Flesh Pawns.


One must remember that Silverberg was spinning these formula yarns for a quick buck, much like all the books.

It’s not that bad a read, but if you’re looking for early Silverberg non-SF short stories, I would recommend Illicit Affair.

Suburban Affair – David Challon aka Robert Silverberg (Bedstand Book #961, 1960)

Posted in pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Suburbia angst, ennui, and sex is another common sleaze book topic and Silverberg tackled it in a number of books, from Don Elliott’s Summertime Affair to Loren Beauchamp’s The Wife Traders (a truncated version of Challon’s Suburban Sin Club) and The FiresWithin

Joan Macklin is 30 and gave up her book editor job in Manhattan when she married Ed,  a stock broker who makes good money; she now spends ide hours in suburbia and is bored out of her head.

Walking around the neighborhood one day, she sees a man sitting on his porch and wonders why he is not, like most men around here, in the city.  His name is Nichols and he is an artist; his wife recently left him and he is seeking inspiration. He quickly asks Joan to pose nude for him. She’s shocked but intrigued.

There are problems in her suburban martial bliss — Ed is not interested in sex anymore.  When she hears a rumor he has a mistress in the city (she doesn’t believe it) she goes back to Nichols and agrees to pose, thinking if she gave Ed a nude portrait of his wife, their sex life might spark up again.

Of course, she is seduced by the erotic nature of it all and has sex with Nichols.  She vows never to do it again, it was a one-time mistake, but she still needs to pose each day, and each day she desires sex from the painter since her husband isn’t giving her any lovin’.

This may be the weakest of Silverbrg’s sleaze books, the ones I have read thus far.  It moves rather slowly.  That isn’t top say it is not readable — like all Silverber’s work, it is a good read; unlike his old cohorts Lawrence Block or Donald Westlake, it was never hit-and-miss with these earlier works.

Yet, the languid nature of the prose works to show how slow-going and boring the days are for Joan in suburbia.  She yearns for her old life, the hustle and bustle of Manhattan life, and sex.

Company Girl by Mark Ryan aka Robert Silverberg (Bedstand Book #957, 1959)

Posted in pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on May 11, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks


This is the last of Silverberg’s Mark Ryan books from Bedstand. Silverberg did five titles as Ryan for the Valiant Publications, and six as Challon.

The Ryans:

Twisted Loves (BB 807) — tragic lesbian tale. Reprinted as Loren Beachamp’s Strange Delights (Midwood, 1962).

Streets of Sin (BB 813) — tragic juvie gang tale.

Savage Love (BB 976) — tragic tale of a married man who falls in love with a prostitute.

Illicit Affair (BB 980) — story collection.

Company Girl has its tragic elements as do the others: here we have the pitfalls of the desire to move up with corporate greed, to get promotions to get more money, and the lengths a man will go to obtain these things he believes will make his life better.

In John Wallis’ case, he uses his gorgeous wife, Elaine, to move up the ladder fast at an electronics company he started at only a month ago.  The book opens with the two getting ready for a company party, and he wants Elaine to look her sexy best, even having her fake dropping her lighter in front of his supervisor, so the man can get a look in her dress.

Sure enough, this supervisor, Lou Klass, is interested in Elaine and calls her at home.  John encourages his wife to flirt, and meet with the man, and sleep with the man if he agrees to “promote” her husband.

Why does Elaine go through with it?  She is convinced by John the evil is for the better good — they have a two-year-old child, and they want more kids, but he needs to make more than the $7500 a year he’s getting (ah, 1959 money!); the first promotion means a raise to $9000 a year.

So she does it. She feels “dirty” but she thinks it’s for the best.

Meanwhile, at the party, John slips into the bathroom with Klass wife, Roberta, and has sex with her, and maintains an affair with her until he uses her husband for all the promotions he can get.

It was not the first time in his five years of marriage to Elaine that Wallis had made love to an other woman. He was not the sort to let a mere vow stand in the way of possible pleasure.  But never before had it happened to suddenly.  Never before had a woman — an important woman, in his scheme of things –thrown herself at him that way. (p. 31)

The theme of a the man who allows his wife to sleep with the corporate bosses for his own gain is an oft-used one in sleaze fiction, and Silverberg touched on this in the Don Elliott Woman Chaser.

People want things from each other and create a sexual quid pro quo — I sleep with your wife, you get this deal or raise; you sleep with me, I’ll make sure my husband promotes you.  The typical scenario:

On New Year’s Eve, the Wallises to Charlies Michelis’ place in New Canaan for a party.  It was a hectic, drunken affair at which everybody was groping for everybody else’s wife. (p. 148)

Swinging!

So John Wallis keeps having Elaine sleep with one boss after another, until he is up to $11,500 a year and looking at a possible exec job with a $25,000/yr salary.  But, as in all moral tales, his desire for advancement and a bigger paycheck is his downfall.  And in his drunken despair, he nearly rapes his sixteen-year-old babysitter.

But there’s a “light at the end of the tunnel” ending, at last.

A good read.

Passion Pirate – George Baker (Bedside Book #1228, 1962)

Posted in Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

It seems Bedtime/Bedside Books had three owners in its short life from 1959-1963.  It was a pioneer in sleaze, and Robert Silverberg’s association with them as David Challon and Mark Ryan was impetus for William Hamling to start Nightstand Books, starting with Silverberg’s Don Elliott novel, Love Addict.

Owned by Valient Publications, when Hamling bought the company out in 1961, Bedstand was changed to Bedside and was owned by Pert Publications, one of Hamling’s many shell companies. Looking at Victor Berch’s Bedstand/Bedside Checklist in Books Are Everything#20, the Haling run started at #1201 with Silverberg’s Don Elliott Woman Chaser, and went to #1224, Lawrence Block’s Andrew Shaw Gutter Girl . All the bylines were Cornith regulars: Dean Hudson, Alan Marshall, Clyde Allison, Al James, etc.

From  #1225 to #1251, the books were issued by EKS Publishers (seems to be the same as LS Publishers, with Bellringer and Gaslight Books) and the bylines were different.  My theory has been that Hamling still owned the imprint but changed the shell company and pen names to keep the feds off his back for them.  This seemed apparent to me with #1225, Sin Professor by Frank Peters, that read a lot ike Hal Dresner’s writing and had a character named Poltnik in it, for Dresner’s buddy Art Plotnik.

The bylines for Bedside’s end run seemed to all be generic names like Peters, and David Andrews, David Spencer, Jack Lechien.  The only names that I have seen with other publishers is Monte Steele and William F. Frank.

I have purchased a number of these, looking for Cornith styles. When reading Passion Pirate, I at first thought this was an Lawrence Block — it opens, in tight Block-like prose, with two broke drifters seeking out women to use and live with, scouring Greenwich Village.  They are Sebastian Wolff and Earl Dreggs.  They seemed a lot like two similar Lotahrios in Block’s Sheldon Lord Pads Are for Passion.

Reading further, however, I realized this was not Block, and when I got to a scene where a character puts on a record by an Albany-based singer named Plotnik, I realized George Baker was the same as Frank Peters, and this wasn’t Hal Dresner but Art Plotnik.  Plotnik was indicating that he was the author by adding himself in, and making fun of himself, as a character mentions having seen Plotnik in person and was “kind of weird.”

Plotnik was handled by the Scott Meredith Agency, so Bedside was getting its books from the same wellspring as Midwood and Nightstand and who-knows-who-else.

Passion Pirate was surprisingly good, a terse tale with real-feeling characters. Sebastian is the ladies man, a sly devil who seems to be able to hypnotize any woman who crosses his path, causing them to become submissive and hand over their pads, money, and hearts.  His sidekick, Earl, is a lug who seems to only get the leftovers and broken hearts — you know, the fellow who takes advantage of women hurting and on the rebound.

At the top, Sebastian picks up Christine, a 22-year-old Village nowhere girl whose rich Boston daddy is supporting for her a year as she writes poetry and tries to make a name for herself.  Sebastian wiggles his way into her pad and her heart, promising her he knows a literary agent who can get her poems published.

The agent is Cynthia, a married older woman who had a one night stand with Sebastian two years ago and still yearns for him.  She agrees to handle the poems if he agrees to fuck her twice  a week.  She claims her husband or no man has been able to please her since her once time with him.

Many women  seem to be the same. Sebastian is not only a lover, but a fighter, defending the honor of women with his fists, “speaking like an actor,” moving like a panther through the Village streets and bars.  Despite living with Christine, Sebastian can pick up women within an hour, make them fall in love, and break their hearts.  One is Ginny, that Earl runs into — Ginny was Earl’s ex-girlfriend that Sebastian has seduced.  Ginny lets Earl move in with her but she really wants him to get Sebastian back.

A lot of libertine sex goes on, including one gang bang scene with Christine as she fucks five guys in a row to get back at Sebastian’s infidelity.  The scene is more sad than erotic.

The novel ends in that weird way some of early Block books do, but this isn’t Block. I am convinced it is Art Plotnik now.

Savage Love by Mark Ryan (Robert Silverberg), Bedstand Books, 1960

Posted in pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Ryan - Savage LOve

A dark story here, about revenge best served cold, a Bedstand Book by Robert Silverberg writing as Mark Ryan.

Ted Dennis is a successful copy writer on Madison Avenue at age 32. All is well except his sex/married life — his wife of six years had major surgery four years  back and has low energy and a zero sex drive.

One day, walking down the street, Ted crosses paths with a woman from his past: Carol.  Ten years back, when she was 18 and he was 22, he was going to marry her, then two days before the wedding he got cold feet and called it off, and enlisted in th Army to escape ever confronting her.  He has felt guilty about this all these years and is surprised Carol is not mad — in fact, she had forgiven him, she tells him over lunch, and the old spark seems to still be there as they immediately check into a hotel room and have nostalgic sex.

Over the next two weeks, he meets Carol at the hotel room during lunch, and after work, them goes home.  She had two bad marriages and ha always been in love with Ted, she says, and he finds he still loves her. They make plans: he will divorce his frigid wife and marry Carol, and make up for the past 10 years.

She was a virgin with him; ten years of sexual experience and she has become a dynamo.

He takes her to the Caribbean on a free trip from one of his clients, an airline.  All is story-book perfect, until his divorce lawyer puts a private eye on Carol and finds out she’s a hooker.

Ted has never been to her apartment in Queens — she says it’s too shabby and she is embarrassed and prefers the hotel rooms.  Seems she really uses the place to meet 8-10 tricks a night; on slow nights, she goes to the local bar and picks men up.  She picks up the private eye who has sex with her and describes her body marks to make Ted think it’s true…then he spies on her and watches men come and go…

Finally he goes to her apartment to confront her. She admits it’s true: she’s a whore.  She blames him.  When he left her at the alter, rumors spread about her and she ran away. She had no money and had to sell her body.  She liked the money.  She was making $100 a day.

She tells him their chance meeting was not chance. She had planned it.  She had been wanting revenge all these years.  She figured the best revenge would be to seduce him with her expert bedroom talents, get him to marry her, and then systematically ruin his life be sleeping with all his friends and colleagues, and then abandon him.

Now that she can’t, she gets her pimp to beat him up…

Ted comes home, a bloody mess, and tells his wife the whole story…

A cautionary, moral story?  A dark story indeed — and is revenge a dish best served cold, as pondered in the previous book I reviewed here, Brutal Passions?

Sin Professor by Frank Peters (Bedside Books #1225)

Posted in Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Sin Prof

Frank Peters is quite an obvious pen name.  As I was reading, the style seemed familar…then a character named Anton Plotnik showed up…but this was not Art Plotnik, it’s Hal Dresner (aka Don Holliday) — it has Dresner’s whacky, playful style throughout.

Makes sense since Nightstand and Hamling purchased Bedstand in 1961, and after book # 1201 (Don Elliott’s Woman Chaser) many Bedstands were penned by Nightstand writers.

The sin prof is Boris Marholt, libertine English teacher, philopsher, and roustabout who has devised the theory of The Whole Man: a man who does as he pleases, takes as he pleases (women, wine, song) without a care for society, decorum, or the law.

He’s been fired from his teaching post for growing his beard long and shaggy.  Seems the university has an anti-beatnik policy, and no men can wear long beards. A student, Anton Plotnik, had previously been expelled.

Boris refuses to shave his beard. He leaves, but before he goes, he whisks off with an 18-year old student, Lydia, who was tormenting him in class with her mini-skirts, flashing him in class.  She falls for him, but can’t go to New York City with him until the semester ends.

Boris heads to Manhattan to look up his ex-girlfriend, Lisa, whom he lived with before.  She’s not home so he breaks in and helps himself to her scotch.  When she comes home with a man, Boris frigtens the man off and Lisa finds this delightful. They rush to bed. She says he can move back in with her.

Boris wreaks havoc across the city, picking fights in bars, picking up women in the streets, sleeping with his friends’ wives, and getting his heart broken by a vixen named Rosemarie.

Then Lydia shows up…he is living with a woman, having several affairs, and now he has this lovelorn teenage hottie to contend with…

A crazy, short and fun novel about a man spiraling downward after losing his job and his way, living in denial and masking his fear in a nutty philosophy of life…when in the end, Boris is just a loser who needs a good woman to steet him right.

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