Archive for Greenleaf Classics

Slavemaster’s Plaything by Jocelyn Ryder (Greenleaf Classics #1250, 1969)

Posted in pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on July 27, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

In 1969, Greenleaf Classics (Hamling, Kemp, etc) published a fifty title series called Keyhole.  Each cover had a keyhole shape cut into it, and on the other side was a lurid illustration.

Slavemaster’s Plaything is #12 in the series, and behind the keyhole is a nubile nubian slave girl being whipped on a post.

This is a plantation story set in the south, with bad southern dialect in prose and horrible sex scenes.

A great idea for a series…an awful novel.

The problem, as I stated before with Midwood’s post 1966 books, was when the censorship laws went lax, the writing seemed to degrade.

Orgy Maid – Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Pillar Book #838)

Posted in Don Elliott, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Pillar Books (like Ember, Idle Hour, Sundown, Late Library, Leisure, Midnight, et al) was one of William Hamling’s many imprints for Cornith/Greenleaf.  Like the editorially picked titles, and sometimes the pen names, the writers had no idea what imprint the monthly manuscripts would end up with, and what it would be called.

It’s not clear if certain imprints were meant to lean toward the theme and setting of the books — I have noticed that Midnight Books tend to be more crime-noirish, and Embers a little more risque than your average Nightstand.

Pillar often features the slightly altered pen names like Andrew Shole, Dan Eliot, and John Baxter.

Orgy Maid is a bit different than the typical Silverberg Don Elliotts — it’s the first backwoods hillbilly-type tale he’s tackled (usually Silverberg’s are about cheating husbands and wives in the city, crime, the sex lives of urban professionals, young women who find their wanton way to sinful lives as strippers or call girls).  The heroine of the little novel is 12-year-old Lonnie, who becomes a bride and a sex toy for the rich.  The prose style is done in mock southern-porch yarn spinning, with this opening that should b a classic in sleaze fiction:

In the hill country of Tennessee, where Lonnie Garth was born, they have a quaint little folk saying about virginity. “A virgin,” they say, “is a five-year-old girl who can outrun her daddy and her brothers.”

Lonnie was a fast runner. That’s how come her virginity lasted all the way to the age of twelve. (p. 5)

She lives in Holston Mill, population 1,407, and the Holston Family runs all the motels and shops and industry, so all the residents work and rely on the powerful family, who treat them the way nobles treated their serfs: as property.  If a Holston male wanted any girl or woman in town, married, virgin, or wanton, these females have to submit to them or else become ostracized or even killed.

This is why Lonnie’s father has not touched her and his forbade his sons from having sex with her — she’s gorgeous, and he has wanted to keep her a virgin in hopes that one of the Holston boys will take a liking to her and maybe marry her, or keep her as a concubine.

In a town where most girls lose their virginity by age eight from either their fathers, brothers, or a Holston, Lonnie is definitely an oddity.  She feels like she’s missing something since all the girls in her school have been sexually active for several years.

One day, she does catch the eye of a Holston — Tim Holston, the only son sent off to college and who is refined intellectually.  He’s back home on vacation and happens upon young Lonnie swimming naked in the pond.  Mesmerized by her nymphet-allure, he takes her virginity and falls in love with her.

Her father is very pleased she gave herself to a Holston, even more pleased when Tim says he wants to marry her — this means the poor family will have an inn with the Holston Monarchy.

Lonnie and Tim have a two week honeymoon; since she looks seventeen-eighteen rather than twelve, heads don’t turn. Tim’s father had a judge in his pocket who signed a decree that Lonnie could marry as a pre-teen.  They move into the Holston mansion, but soon Lonnie is left alone there when Tim goes back to college. She has a tutor during the day, to finish out her own education, but for the most part her days are idle.  She notices that Tim’s brothers and father sexually abuse the female domestics, like the maid and cook, and these women give in, because they don’t want to lose their good-paying jobs.

It doesn’t take long before the Holston males set their eyes on Tim’s defenseless twelve-year-old bride, alone in her room.  First one brother rapes her, then two of them rape her at the same time — Silverberg makes creative use of evasive words to describe a two-man-one-girl double penetration, and what it feels like for her.

Despite the rape, Lonnie’s body “betrays” her, and she finds she enjoys the forced sex; and wonders if there is something wrong with her for that.

If that isn’t enough, Ted’s sister, her own sister-in-law, makes her lesbian inclinations known to Lonnie.  Lonnie has already been forced to put on a lesbian with one of the maids (hence the title?) and found that she liked the twilight sex, so she gives herself freely to her sister-in-law.

And then one night her father-in-law pays her a visit, so now Lonnie is the sex toy of just about everyone in the house.

To escape the shame and humility, Lonnie hits the bourbon hard, slugging down entire bottles in an hour and passing out.

There is tragedy — at twelve and three months, Lonnie is a bride; at twelve and sex months, she becomes a widow and sexual tigress.

It’s a darn good southern read, and gets an A-minus.

Some Andrew Shaw Covers!

Posted in Andrew Shaw, Lawrence Block, Nightstand Books with tags , , , on January 2, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

AIMEE & CHLOE by Valerie Grey (Olympia Press)

Posted in pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

aimee

Olympia Press just reprinted as an e-book a collection of two novellas, Aimee and Chloe: Two Sordid Stories of Sin and Incest by Valerie Grey.

Also out in paperback here.

Where have I read the first one, “Aimee and Her Father,” before?  It seems vintage but may be imitating the style, set in the 1920s, about a consensual affair between a young female writer and her father — sounds like the same set-up in Anais Nin’s memoir, Incest.  The sex is pretty graphic, even with a dash of beastiality.

“Chloe” is set in the 1960s with incest as an experiemnt in free love. A strange tale with the father becoming a Christian and wanting to stop the affair but the daughter doesn’t want to stop, and they have a child together (no webbed feet).

Taboo topics done with grace and poetry. Incest was not really handled in bright lghts in the softcores until the 70s, when things got hardcore, even the covers were explict, as seen below.

One publisher, Suree House, from ex-Greeleaf employees and located in El Cajon, Calfornia, specalized in incest fiction, even with pedophilia.  These were mafia-connected companies; the mob seemed to think there was a market for this smut, and indeed there was.

Today, incest is only “a hot seller” in memoirs, like that Kathryn Harris autobiography a few years back.  Incest is always a topic for grand literature — from the Bible yo Joyce Carol Oates to seedy private eye yarns.

In some lesbian novels, incest (like rape) is often an impetus for the character to turn to women for the third theme of love.

Daughter DamnedShe Did It For Dad! by Vicki Keyes
Surree - Incest Motel

Surree - Kneeling to Daddy

Surree - Doing it Like DaddySurree - Aunt Eater

Affairs of Gloria by Victor Jay (Victor Banis) Brandon House 806

Posted in Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Victor Jay - Affairs of Gloria

Victor Jay was/is Victor Banis, better known for his gay titles such as The Why Not and The Gay Haunt, and his involvement with the boom of gay pulp paperbacks in the mid-60s, with Greenleaf/Cornith, where he published as J.X. Williams and John Dexter, and later Chris Davidson…he a

But his fist novel was somewhat hetero, The Affairs of Gloria, published by Brandon House, and part of the resaon for his indictment, along with Brandon House publisher Milt Luro, in Los Angeles by the Postal Inspector and Justice Department.

Banis talks about the legal problems in his great memoir, Spine Instact, Some Creases (reprinted by one of my publishers, Borgo Press); he also explains that he wrte Gloria after reading a handful of sleaze.  Gloria doe shave lesbian action.  He says he was paid either $500 or700 for this novel, which as the norm back then — keep in mind, in then-time cash that was $5-7,000.

With The Why Not, he convinced Earl Kemp and Greeleaf that there was a market for gay male books, just as there was a market for lesbiana and straight sex.  The Why Not was a huge bestseller, and Greenleaf went full force into the gay market, followed by Suree, PEC, and others.

He also assembled a group of young men to produce en masse gay novels for Greenleaf, taking a cut and making a modest furtune similar to the way Lawrnce Block and Hal Dresner farmed out work to ghost writers, paying them $500-800 and keeping the reest (usually $200-300, not bad for doing no work).

Gay Haunt - BanisHe wrote one book for Marice Girodas’ New York version of Olympia Press, The Gay Haunt,but seems ol’ maurice ripped him off, not reporting actual sales for royalties (he got a $1500 advance and maybe a few hundred bucks in roys, expecting thousands since Olympia’s first print run was 50K and went through several editions after.)

Banis is still alive, but not really writing anymore from what I can tell, and has had Borgo and some ebook places reprint his old work.

Another maker of sleaze paperback history, and caught up in the battle against censorship in the 1960s. But more, he helped pave the way for modern gay publishing, proving there were more queers in the reading public than the publishers realized back then (Iafter all, lesbian novels were really marketed for men).

Williams -- Goodbye my over

Victor Jay - Hidden FlaneGay Haunt 2

Caves of Iron

Go Down Aaron

The Sins of Seena by Don Elliott (Robert Silverberg) Ember Library 306

Posted in Nightstand Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Elliott - Sns of Seena

There are two booksellers who have jacked-up prices for this title ($75 and $95 — c’mon!) and both state there is “speculation” that Donald Westlake ghosted this one.

I asked Robert Silverberg last week if this was so, because he had mentioned hat he did have one Don Elliott ghosted when he was unable to meet the deadline.  He said no, this was not the book in question. “Sins of Seena is mine, I have a copy right here,” he wrote.  He did not, however, say which book is the ghosted Elliott.

Maybe the ridiculous prices on this book will go down now.  Do these booksellers really think anyone is going to pay that kind of money for a book?  In this economy? Sheeee-at. (Myself, I never pay more than $50 for any vintage book, and most are in the $10-30 range.)

As for speculation on which Elliott is the ghosted item, I think contenders are Sin Doll (as Dan Eliot), The Lady from Soho (originally Sin Club), and Diary of a Dyke – these three don’t seem to coincide wth Silverberg/Elliott’s usual style.

Eliot - Sin Doll

Eliott - Lady from soho

Anything Goes by Robert Carney (Newsstand Library, 1961) and Lust Farm by J.X. Williams (Harry Whittington) (Ember Books, 1964)

Posted in Nightstand Books, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Anything GoesI got this one because Feral House used the Robert Bonfils art for the cover of Sin-A-Rama, so I was curious about the book — as in, was the story as good as the “water baby” theme art (that Bonfils also uses for Don Elliott’s Lust Queen, soon on my reading list).

Elliott - Lust Queensinarama

Boy was I pleasantly surprised.  This is a great little novel, a lost gem in the blackhole of sleaze paperback publishing….take out sleaze, I would not call this novel “sleaze” per se…it is a hardboiled tale of a guy who has gotten himself into a few tangles in Los Angeles and is trying to wiggle out.

I have no idea who Robert Carney is — Sin-A-Rama calls him “Robert H. Carney” who used a pen name, Herbert Roberts, from what I can tell one novel, Mardi (on my list). The only other Robert H. Carney books I can find is a non-fiction title about the Atlanta Times.  There is a Robert H. Carney in Atlanta on Facebook who seems the right age to have written this 1961 novel…maybe it is him and this is not a another pen name who Whomever.

Carney is influenced by Nathaniel West, but there’s also some James Cain and Jim Thompson tossed in there.  The prose is lean, mean, and to the point.

Joey Allen is a used car salesman whose former partner destroyed their business by gambling, then killing himself.  Joey wants to be rich.  He is sleeping with three women and trying to keep them from each other — a former fiance he has dumped, a new fiance whose father owns used car lots all over California, and the bosses new, young, hot wife, who hates her fat rich husband and his spoiled daughter, and has a plan for getting Joey to committ murder, promising him the car business, money, and her sleek slender body.

Like any good hardboiled Los Angeles story, there’s plenty of drinking, sex, violence, colorful characters, Malibu, and Hollywood smog.

Finding these great lost novels is fun — it’s also depressing to think they are lost, and a book like this was not re-discovered by, say, Black Lizard, the way Harry Whittington’s noirs were.

Williams - Lust Farm

Harry Whittington was a pulp writer who penned in many genres, but is best known for hardboiled crime and nurse romances (I will talk about his The Young Nurses at some point, as well as more of his Greenleafs).  Lynn Munroe recently put together a catalogue and narraitive of his search for Whittington’s softcore:

In 1986, the prolific “king of the paperbacks” Harry Whittington (1915-1989) wrote an essay about his writing career entitled “I Remember It Well” for Black Lizard Books. Black Lizard used it as an introduction to the 1987-88 reprints of six classic hardboiled crime stories, originally published by Gold Medal and others. In that piece, Whittington revealed this:

“ I signed, in 1964, to do a 60,000-word novel a month for a publisher under his house names. I was paid $1000. On the first of each month. I wrote one of these novels a month for 39 months.”

These 39 unknown books became “the missing 39” for Whittington collectors.

These “missing” books were published under house names J.X. Williams and the ever-prolific John Dexter, and Curt Colman later on, ranging from crime, romance, office, and hardboiled themes.  Lynn Munroe notes:

John Dexter and J.X. Williams are well-known house names used by many different authors, but Curt Colman is a more obscure name. No one I’ve talked to, including Colman’s editor Earl Kemp, knew who Curt Colman was. Only eleven of this publisher’s books are credited to Curt Colman, and seven of those were in the box in Whittington’s house. It was a safe bet to look at the remaining four Curt Colman titles, and all four of them proved to be written by Harry Whittington.

Kemp did not know who Colman was since the manuscripts were coming from the Scott Meredith Agency, true identitfies hidden. Plus it seems Whittington’s wife did not approve of these books by her prolific husband, and Whittington kept them secret until after his passing.

The first was Lust Farm, as J.X. Williams, with (again) a Robert Bonfils cover; it is another James Cain/Jim Thompson infuenced story set in the Detroit farmlands.  Cora has escaped her brutal criminal thug boyfriend from Chicago, but he finds her in a small town working as a waitress.  She “accidentally” kills him and goes on the run.  In another town, as a waitress, dodging men, she meets a 50-year-old farmer, Aaron, and marries him.  She’s 22.  She figures she can lead a safe, quiet life as a farmer’s wife.

Here is Lynn Munroe’s review:

We tend to think of “backwoods” stories taking place in some hillbilly hollow or in the deep South, but LUST FARM takes place in Michigan. Not in any city, but out in a rural setting near a little town called Cold River, down the highway from Lansing. There is no such town in Michigan, but there is a real town on that highway called Coldwater, and LUST FARM is certainly set there. Small town waitress Cora Barnes has a secret. She has fled her previous life, killing the Jack Daniels-guzzling sadist Tony and stealing a package of his money. A kind farmer named Aaron Barr marries her and takes her out to the country to live on his farm. When his college-age foster son Caleb comes home from University up the highway at East Lansing, it’s lust at first sight for Cora and Caleb. Then someone disappears and the local sheriff comes out to the farm and starts asking questions. With names like Aaron and Caleb, LUST FARM reminds us of an Old Testament tale like EAST OF EDEN.

The three on the farm are reminiscent of the trio in Jim Thompson’s CROPPER’S CABIN. Even though it is set in Michigan, the farmers behave more like sharecroppers in Whittington’s DESIRE IN THE DUST than like Yankees. This is Whittington country, not Steinbeck’s or Thompson’s.

I will be reading more books by Whittington…

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