Archive for People v. Sikora

Lust Campus — Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block (Midnight Reader #408, 1961)

Posted in Lawrence Block, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , on March 26, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

The third title, along with Crossroads of Lust and Passion Bride, that was deemed obscene in the court case People v. Sikora, 32 Ill. 2d 260, 267-268, 204 N. E. 2d 768, 772-773 (1965), and later footnoted in a 1977 Supreme Court Case, Ward v. Illinois, appealing a conviction for selling obscene materials. Justice Brennan noted in footnote 3 of his dissent:

“`Lust Campus’ by Andrew Shaw is a story of sexual adventures on a [431 U.S. 767, 772] college campus `where even members of the faculty taught sin and evil.’ The book describes homosexuals `necking’ on a public beach; mutual masturbation; self fondling; a circle of persons engaged in oral-genital contact; rape; intercourse; lesbian intercourse; cunnilingus and flagellation; flagellation with barbed wire; an abortion with red-hot barbed wire; masturbation with a mirror reflection, and a transvestite episode.

Yeah, it has all that, but it’s a disjointed book.  Block was at his least when he did multi-character college campus sleazsy books; he was better at the first-person and crime stuff, which he later went on to excel at with Gold Medal and other places.

I also detect a hint of Donald Westlake’s style popping in and out, but it’s mostly Block done in eight very long chapters.

It opens interestingly — Mike Fisher is on a beach and he thinks, while sunning himself, he is being fondled by a gay guy, and he attacks the person, punching them, but it turns out to be a girl, Linda.  They wind up dating but she won’t give her virginity to him, she just lets him findle her and get her top off.  He tells her he loves her, hoping she will give her cherry away, but she doesn’t.

From there both Mike and Linda go off on various sexual adventures in and around New York City, without cohesion.  In a weird way, this reminded me of Don DeLillo’s style, such as in Players or even the recent Falling Man: an event happens to a man and woman, and then they both go off on their own adventures and travels as a result of the event.

For its place in U.S. court history, the book is worth a read but I can only give it a C+.

Crossroads of Lust by Andrew Shaw (Lawrence Block), Midnight Reader, 1962

Posted in Andrew Shaw, crime noir, Lawrence Block, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This Shaw is definitely penned by Lawrence Block — his style is all over it.  It’s essentially a heist crime yarn, in tune with the other crime fiction he was penning for Gold Medal and Beacon at the time.

Interestingly, Crossroads of Lust, another Shaw called Lust Campus, and John Dexter’s Passion Bride, were considered obscene for sado-masochistic imagery, as found in People v. Sikora, 32 Ill. 2d 260, 267-268, 204 N. E. 2d 768, 772-773 (1965), footnoted in a 1977 Supreme Court Case, Ward v. Illinois, appealing a conviction for selling obscene materials.  Justice Brennan noted in footnote 3 of his dissent:

The Illinois Supreme Court described the materials as follows, 32 Ill. 2d, at 267-268, 204 N. E. 2d, at 772-773: “`Lust Campus’ by Andrew Shaw is a story of sexual adventures on a [431 U.S. 767, 772] college campus `where even members of the faculty taught sin and evil.’ The book describes homosexuals `necking’ on a public beach; mutual masturbation; self fondling; a circle of persons engaged in oral-genital contact; rape; intercourse; lesbian intercourse; cunnilingus and flagellation; flagellation with barbed wire; an abortion with red-hot barbed wire; masturbation with a mirror reflection, and a transvestite episode. “`Passion Bride’ by John Dexter described curricular and extracurricular sexual episodes that take place during a honeymoon on the French Riviera. The book describes masturbation; intercourse; a party between an old man and three prostitutes; attempted intercourse in a bath; lesbian foreplay; flagellation; rape ending in the death of the female from a broken back and intercourse ending in the broken back of the male participant. “`Crossroads of Lust’ by Andrew Shaw describes the sexual adventures of various persons in a small town. There are numerous descriptions of intercourse; lesbian intercourse; oral-genital contact; and rape. A woman stabs a man in the course of intercourse, completing the act after he is dead. There are also three voyeurism scenes, two of which involve watching lesbian love play. The third is characterized by sadism and masochism.”

Did/does Lawrence Block know that his pen-named smut became a part of legal history, as a number of Cornith/Nightstand/Greenleaf books did?

Lynn Munroe notes that Crossroads of Lust is

a violent crime novel about an armored truck robbery. The Western movie The Sound of Far-off Tom-toms is on page 27 and, the John Dexter book No Longer a Virgin (NB1513) is mentioned by name on page 72.

Munroe has suggested that No Longer a Virgin, the first John Dexter novel, was penned by Block, or by Block and Westlake…I’ll get to that one soon…

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 72 other followers