Archive for sex books

Judge Not My Sins by Stuart James (Midwood, 1961)

Posted in Midwood Books, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

One goal of this blog is to discover lost works of American literature that were curiously and unjustly packaged cheaply as tawdry paperbacks for one reason or another — something Kurt Vonnegut once referenced to as literary art slapped between two covers that promised “WIDE OPEN BEAVER INSIDE.” It was the fate of his alter ego Kilgore Trout, whose fantastic works of science-fiction and social commentary could only find homes in the sex paperback market, and the only person who knew it was millionaire Eliot Rosewater.

Stuart James’ Judge Not My Sins fits the bill, to use a hackey’d phrase.

James was an editor at Midwood, as were other writers who doubled as editors for Harry Shorten: Elaine Williams (Sloane Britain) and John Pluckett (Jason Hytes) and probably others.  From what I can tell, James only published two titles with Midwood, at last under his real name: this one and Bucks County Report, both in 1961.

It’s a short novel, maybe 40,000 words. It starts with a 20-page “prologue” in the third person, and then moves into six chapters in the first-person about a 34-year-old hack writer on a one-night stand with a gorgeous young blonde lass, Leslie, who is afraid he will fall in love with her, as  most men do, after one night…and he does…

Stranger in a large, soft bed, brought together by city loneliness and the hunger for human touch. A cheap one-night grappling of sweaty bodies, the casual debauch, the dregs of immorality. But then there was something different, something new. As our bodies met in passion, there was an awakening, the birthing of something strange and unknown [...] I had achieved a new dimension that bordered on the metaphysical, a sharp delineation of love — not the meaning of the word, the feeling. (p. 33)

Can one night of casual sex really do this to a man, or is he just so lonely and needing magic to spark the fire for a life that has gone to ennui?

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Everything Happened to Susan by Barry Malzberg (Belmont Tower, 1972)

Posted in Barry N. Malzberg, Midwood Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Like A Way with All Maidens, this one is about the dream of acting — sort of.  A young lady named Susan goes to New York to chase the acting dream, “but, the fact is, she has very little talent and no luck” (p. 13).  So she gets into porn — she answers an ad for actors and actresses needed, $100 a day, not knowing it’s for an adult film.  Needing money, and naive enough to believe porn can lead to legit and mainstream work, she falls into it.  A common story told a million times in the lives of porn actresses, and in sleaze books — but this is Barry N. Malzberg, for Pete’s sake, and no one tells a common tale like Malzberg! Things get meta:

In the script, Susan is playing a young girl who has come to New York to look for a legitimate break in show business but instead has been forced into the making of pornographic films to support herself [...] she suffers from a deep sense of shame and seeks to degrade herself. All the characters in the film are seeking degradation. In the course of the role, then, she is to have intercourse three or four times, as well as much petting, and one incident of sado-masochism with a tall man holding a whip. (p. 11)

Susan also came to New York several months ago to look for legitmiate work in show business [...] she gas been forced into making pornographic films to support herself. Presently she is living with an unpublished writer named Timothy West who feels he is on the verge of a major breakthrough in style and technique but, at the present time, is an assistant supervisor for the New York City of the Department of Welfare [...] “You have no idea how doomed the welfare system in this country is,” he told her. (p. 13)

As we know, Malzberg also worked for the NY Dept. of Welfare, resulting in books like The Day of the Burning and The Social Worker.

This was also reprinted as The Masochist, that edition harder and far more pricey to locate than Everything Happened to Susan.

Everything does indeed happen to Susan, in life and in porn — she does every possible type of porn, even beastiality…

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The Curious Case of Carter Brown

Posted in crime noir, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Brown - The Blonde

Brown - The Blonde 2Brown - The Blonde 3

Carter Brown books are the penultimate in bad tawdry sleaze/crime/sex novels, and guilty pleasures.

They”re so awful that they are good fun reads.

Carter Brown was the pen name for British-born Australian pukp writer Alan G. Yates, who had an extended deal with Horowitz publications for one 42,000 word novel a month plus two novelettes for periodicals like Long Story.

Brown - Long Story

All were hardboiled sexual fiction featuring one of three heroes: L.A. County sheriff detective Al Wheeler, L.A. private eye Rick Holman, or LAPD cop Danny Boyd.  neither three were much different from the other: they all had the same first-person voice and the same sexual libido, meeting the same blondes, hoods, and crooks.

alanGYates His early books have a disclaimer at the end: “Written on an IBM Selectric.”  Electric typewriters were like high end laptops in those days.

What is hilarious about the books is that Yates/Brown had no idea what L.A and Hollywood was like, other than a few trips there, he didn’t live there;  writing from Sydney, AU, he just picked the locale because it was (and is) a popular setting for detective fiction.

It seems that Yates may have been ripped off by his publisher, which paid him about $1200/month U.S.  for his output and licensed his books in America to Signet for $1500 each, not mention in Europe and elsewhere…it was doubtful Yates saw a percentage of these foreign sales, or royalties on the “50,000,000 Carter Brown books sold!”

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Adios, Scheherazade by Donald E. Westlake (Simon and Schuster, 1970)

Posted in Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Westlake - AdiosDonald Westlake, RIP, wrote this funny book around the same time that Hal Dresner wrote his funny book, The Man Who Wrote Dirty Books, both novels about the sleaze publishing racket, both published by Simon and Schuster.  Both wrote for Midwood and Nightstand as young writers needing money experience, both were contracted out by Scott Meredith, both went on to bigger and better careers, both got a funny book out of the experience.

The narrator of Adios is a writer, 25, with a wife and kid and dreams of graduate school someday, knocking out a book a month for a New Orleans paperback house as Dirk Smuff.  The pen name used to belong to his friend Rod, who now has a spy series with a better house at $3,000 advances, publishes articles in Playboy, and has a movie deal in Hollywood.  The smut publisher still thinks they are getting Dirk Smuff novels from him, not knowing he has “a ghost” as they call it.

adiosP

His cadre of writing friends all have ghosts, collecting part of the $1,200 per book minus the agent’s commisson; they all have better careers and magazine or mainstream book writers. All except the lonly narrator, who is having a hard time getting his monthly books in on time…first two days late, then three, then four, then nine…the agency tells him if he’s late one more time, they will replace him with an eager writer who can do the work.

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