Archive for rape in fiction

69 Barrow Street – Sheldon Lord aka Lawrence Block (Midwood #24, 1959)

Posted in Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on March 20, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This Paul Rader cover is the first of his lesbian couples, which he did many more, most of them quite stunning.  Rader seemed to tackle the cover for most of the Sheldon Lords, but not always the reprints…

Another Lawrence Block tale set in Greenwich Village, his favorite setting for his sleaze books, and where he (still does?) live.  The building at 69 Barrow Street also appears in Passion Alley by Andrew Shaw.

This one is somewhat soap opera-esque about the love and sex woes of hipstes in the Village.  Ralph is a painter who lives with a somewhat wild and nutty lesbian, Stella.  Ralph sets his eyes on a new tenant, Susan Rivers, and so does Stella.

Ralph is looking for love but Stella just wants another woman to fuck, and she has a long list of them.  Susan, however is a recent lesbian the past two years, six lovers and no more interest in men.  So she fears Ralph’s interest, but she poses for him for a painting on the condition they are just friends. Of course, he slowly falls in love with her.

There’s a great reefer madness party Stella throws for 1 people where they all get high and have various sexual connections. One girl, Maria, keeps asking every man do do it “Greek style” with her but no one wants to. When Ralph asks her if it hurts she says she wants the pain.  Some BDSM and D/s comes into play here as Maria moves in and becomes Stella’s “bad girl.”  Maria calls Stella Mummy and Stella gets her kicks from punishing and spanking Maria.

Pretty bold  for a 1959 novel.  But like many lesbian themes books back then, the dykes had to be portrayed as deviant and disturbed, so Maria soon lapses into insanity with the D/s mommy/bad girl game, and Stella becomes homicidal-maniac jealous of Susan and Ralph.

There’s also rape in the book — a lesbian rape, and a drunken moment when Ralph attacks Stella when she taunts him about her making love to Susan, and he rapes his friend.

The novel falls into strange violence at the end like some of Block’s Andrew Shaw Nightstands tend to do.

Overall, a decent Sheldon Lord, but not in the same ball park of greatness like Candy, The Sex Shuffle, or  A Strange Kind of Love.

The House of Seven Sins by Andrew Shaw (Lawrence Block or William Coons?), Nightstand Books #1575

Posted in Andrew Shaw, Lawrence Block, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Another good early Andrew Shaw about a neophyte writer in the big city of big sin and lust…

Lou Packer, 25, has come from upper NY state Clarksonsville to chase his dream of being a writer — he rents a two room apartment in a building in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan, to sit down and write his first novel, with hopes of selling it to one of the Manhattan publishers.  Not an hour after he arrives, does the super, a sexy woman named Ameila, have sex with him — several times.

Well, this is a sleaze novel…or, in the case of Nightstand Books, a sleaze periodical, that has all the characteristics of early Larry Block….or does it?  According to Lynn Munroe’s Reed Nightstand checklist, this Shaw was penned by William Coons, reprinted in 1973 as The Obsessed.

Coons started ghosting for Block in 1961, the first Passion Slaves (NB 1563), and if he did ghost this one (1961 seemed to be a busy year for Block as he began to publish under his own name at Gold Medal, first with Mona), he did a good job imitating Block’s style — the clipped paragropaghs and the long chapters — there are only nine chapters here, and Block’s usually has nine or ten chapters. (This is easy to see why — each chapter is 5,000 words, and 10 makes a 50,000 word book.  Craftsmanship.)

At least, I thought this was entirely Block after Chapter One, but reading on it is evident this is not entirely Block.  I’m thinking Block wrote Chapter One (and maybe a few others) and Coons took over. This seemed to be the modus operandi for Block back then with his ghosters like Donald Westlake and Bill Coons and whoever else…

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Mad for Kicks by Jack Lynn (Novel Books Special, 1960)

Posted in crime noir, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This is dubbed a “Novel Books Special” and is one of a number of Lynn;s Tokey Wedge private eye books.  Not sure which one is the first but doesn’t seem you need to start with the first, although there are references to characters and incidents from other books.

Wedge is not your typical tall, dark and handsome gumshoe.  Wedge describes himself as

five-six and one half [tall]. One hundred aned forty-seven pounds. A bundle of nerve and verve. Persuasive. Permissive. When it comes to girls, I love ‘em. (p. 19)

The women he connects with often note that he’s “a little guy” or “short man.”  On the cover of Tall and Torrid, we get an idea of what he looks like:

Like the typical 1960s shamus, he gets laid often, he’s tough as rawhide, and he kills the bad guys when necessary. Which has given him somewhat a rep — in Mad for Kicks,  a man offers Wedge $5,000 to track down the man men who kidnapped nd raped his daughter, and wants Wedge to kill them. He’s heard Wedge kills but Wedge tells him he’s not a hired gun, and has only killed ijn self-defense.  Wedge takes the five grand to track the men down, but says he will turn them into the cops. Wedge’s relationship with the local cops is shaky.

Novel Books’ usual hyperbole to make the book seem more than it cam be is employed with this blurb from Men’s Digest (which was owned by Camerarts, that owned Novel):

MAD FOR KICKS outdoes LADY CHATTERLY’S LOVER and any book that you care to name for that strong stuff that you men like. Not recommended for women and children.  This NOVEL BOOK powerhouse will make you do a double-take every time you pass a beatnik.

What the book’s connection to Lady Chatterly’s Lover is unclear, as this is a private eye two-fisted tough guy yarn…

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