Archive for naked women

Naked Holiday by Don Elliott/Robert Silverberg (Nightstand Books #1512)

Posted in Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Orrie Hitt wasn’t the only soft/sleazecore writer taking on the nudist camp as a setting.  This Elliott was Robert Silverberg’s fifth title for Hamling’s Nightstand, the first written from an “I” protagonist (most the the Elliotts are third person).

Naked Holiday is told by Al Fieldston, a 34-year-old bachelor and Chicago ad man who has decided to take a “creative leave of absence” for three summermonths from his job to finally write that Great American Novel nagging at the back of his head — a novel about, well, the ad agency biz.

His buddy Jack, who makes a living writing articles for magazines, has gotten an assignment for a piece, as well as a book, on the nudist camp craze, and suggests Al join him out in the fresh country and write his novel among the naked people.

One of the big magazines wanted him to do a feature on Nudism. The idea was an unsensational piece, stressing the individualistic character of the nudists, pegging them as staunch rugged spirits  in the middle of a society of conformists. (p. 15)

There isn’t any actual sex until 50 pages in, unusual for a Nightstand, but there are plenty of naked people, from page one, to have given this book enough flip appeal, since the very notion of “naked” or “there was a naked girl walking outside” (p. 5) was enough to get the puritans writing letters to the D.A.

There was about a dozen people in the building, and they were square dancing. Men and women, and their ages seemed to range from age ten to seventy, with a heavy concentration in the thirties. [They] were as naked as the day they came into the world. (p.29)

He is, at first, shocked to see pre-teen girls and boys frolicing around like nymphs and satyrys, but learns that they have grown up with this, and there is no Americanized shame.

And these nudist kids [...] They wouldn’t grow into teenage sex addicts. They wouldn’t hover around trying to peep into the girls’ washroom.  They wouldn’t be customers for sleazy unshaven characters who hang around high schools trying to sell kids packets of little glossy prints of naked men and women. They wouldn’t have any interest in burlesque shows, strippers, nightclub comics. They wouldn’t turn into rapists of peeping Toms. (p. 88)

A good point — what society deems taboo and forbidden becomes a nasty vice. Take that sordidness out of something, it no longer has a torrid or criminal aspect.

There are a few rules, like no public displays of affection, no hints of sexuality, but b ehind closed doors, with consenting adults, that’s okay, and Al winds up having sex with two women who give him trouble — one is wildly possessive, and one is sixteen, the daughter of the camp’s leader, who sneaks into his bed at night and he thinks it is someone else.  A third woman is a masochist and cannot reach climax until she gets beaten and feels pain.  Soon, Al finds he cannot write with all these naked women in his life.

I had women on my mind.

Too many women.

Harriet. Bonnie.

Joanie.

Sandra.

Harriet with the freckled breasts and the ping pong paddle. Bonnie with the bug eyes and the pathetic desire to be loved. Sandra with her devil’s lust, her hotbox insistence that could not be brooked. And oanie with the flawless body and all the amorous fervor of a Greek model statue. (p. 122)

Trouble in paradise comes when the possessive girl, wanting revenge for being rejected, accuses him of rape.

A breezy, fun little novel.  I have yet to put down a Silverberg book — sleaze of SF or any — and not finish.  In fact, they tend to be the kind you can’t put down.  Silverberg was, and is, a consumate professional storyteller.  Some of them are great, some okay, but never bad.

Interesting to see that the 1973 Reed Nightstand reprint has a similar cover, but the woman is wearing a swimsuit, and the two are not kissing directly on the lips — maybe because these books were on the trade bookstore shelves instead of the lurid newsstands and adult bookshops?

She’s a redhead here, a blonde in the original, and tgheir hairstyles are updated for the 1970s.

Warped Ambitions by Ennis Willie (Merit Books, 1964)

Posted in crime noir, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

willie - WarpedAmbitionsLrg72

Several recommendations for Ennis Willie came in the past month or so…these used books are all pricey but managed to find a few on eBay in lots from people who didn’t know what they had (I got this one plus four other Merit Books for $9).

Merit Books evolved from Novel Books, both in Chicago, both boasting to publish shocking in your face novels “for men.”   On the cover spine reads: MERIT BOOKS – UNCESORED OFFBEAT NOVELS FOR SOPHISTICATED ADULTS.  Both were published by Camerarts, owned by Joe Sorrentino.

Orrie Hitt and George H. Smith were Novel regulars, but did not publish with Merit — some suggest that authors did not like their books re-issued with unauthorized new titles.

willie - vice townEnnis Willie published most of his books with Merit, and one with Sanford Aday’s Vega Books, Vice Town. Willie had a series character, Sand, who is the “hero” of Warped Ambitions (“A Sand Shocker”).

I didn’t need to read the previous Sand novels to get the gist of what was going on — Sand is a former syndicate knockaround guy who left the mob for moral reasons and is now on their hit list, but every time they send assassins, things get bungled.  I felt, half-way through, having read the first few Sand books would have been good, to get a better “feel” for Sand — he’s basically two-dimensional, your run of the mill killer with his own moral code not unlike Andrew Vachss’ Burke.

Warped Ambitions opens with a botched hit on Sand on the street; a passerby gets the bullet, an old man who, dying, makes Sand promise to “find Sarda.”  He later learns that Sarda is his daughter and they are carny people…and later he finds out Sarda is The Monkey Girl — she has a disorder where thick hair grows all over her body.

With “a blood oath” on his conscience, he sets out to find the Monkey Girl — was she kidnapped or did she run away, now that she has turned 18?  Sand uncovers info that Sarda was actually the daughter of an old time mythical mob boss who gave her up for adoption because of her condition, and has left her $250,000 for her 18th b-day.

There are stereotypical thugs and hitmen, the stereotypical overweight detective who is pissed that Sand is always leaving bodies around, and the usual gorgeous blonde rich woman who has a thing for apes and simian rights.

Despite the stereotypes, Willie is a remarkable writer — he is spare, minimalistic, violent and witty.  This book clocks in at 125 pages in large type and wide margins, probably 25-30K words long, far too short for commercial publishers like Gold Medal or Pyramid, where one mght expect gangster noir titles would come from.

Thee are some annoying issues with logic and continuity, however — if Sand is being hunted down by the mob, why do they have trouble killing him when he’s always out in the open, walking the streets, lives in a hotel room that everyone knows he is at?  In one chapter he takes taxi cabs, in another he has a car — why?  And the detective and cops just let him roam about with his gun, playing tit for tat…well, this is fiction.

In fact, the world Sand lives in is an alternate universe, much like Sin City — Sin City types of fiction ans film and many other dark crime works, even Andrew Vachss and Joe Lansdale, follow in Ennis Willie’s shabby footsteps.

I’m not sold on Willie yet.  I need to read more, especially non-Sand books. There is much to admire but there are some major flaws in the story-telling — but did that matter for a “sleaze” adult book?  This is not erotica or softcore, this is crime noir in the Manhunt vein with sleazy and dirty situations (a woman stripping in a private party to pay off her gambling debts), kinky encounters (a naked whore waits in Sand’s room as a gift to him, and she is surprised he does not take her as his slave), and warped ambitions (the rich woman wishes to have her favorite gorilla mate with the Monkey Girl and create a new species, which would be genetically impossible, but she does not care for facts).

EnnisWilliePhoto72Willie wrote 19-20 books it seems, and then stopped, taking up the fine profession of printing, or so I have read.  He apparently is still alive and kickin’ and there seems to be a call to put his work back in print. His books tend to be scarce and pricey to find.

willie - TwistedMistressLrg72

willie - Haven_DamnedLrg72

willie - scarlet goddess

Willie - Sensual Game

Willie - Luscious

Willie - erotic_search

Now, as for Merit Books — in this lot I got are some curious gems that I will talk about later, from writers Jerry Goff, Jr., Herb Mongomery, and Bill Lauren…I love finding these obscure writers who are obviously pretty damn good, lost in Amercan pulp literature’s margins…

Goff - Wanton Wench

Goff - Rocco's babe AGoff - Strange LoversNovel Books - Torrid Wenches

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