Archive for July 3, 2009

Joan Ellis – Elegant Dirty Books

Posted in Midbook Books, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Joan Ellis was the pen name for Julie Ellis, who later became a bestselling historical novelist…but in the 50s-60s, she wrote a lot of softcore for Midwood, also as Linda Michaels; other pen names for Bedstand and Newsstand Library.

In Lynn Munroe’s interview with Gil Fox (aka Paul Russo, Dallas Mayo, Kimberly Kemp), Fox says Ellis was too elegant for dirty books…there is a calm elegance to her writing, and her female characters are much more three-dimensional sexually than men writiting as women, but what bugs me about her style is she does use “said” or “ask” in dialogue, but a lot of adjectives, too many, such as:

“Turn around,” he coaxed. “Turna around,” he repeated.

“Okay,” she bushed this aside.

“I’ll pick you up afterwords,” he decreed.

“Smart,” Denise purred.

“She’s very attractive,” Denise forced herself to concede.

“Don;t worried, honey,” he whispered huskily.

All takes from Country Girl.

Ellis - Country Girl

Perhaps it’s just my preference of style, simple he said she said…but Ellis’ style grows on you. Country Girl about a precocious sexy teen girl, Denise, playing love games with two young men she’s dating, one a college guy from the city.  It’s a lot similar to Don Elliott’s Sexteen (no cover scan, Nightsand Books), which has more twists and turns than Country Girl, such as a Elliott/Silverberg-esque gang rape by a group of young thugs, a la Connie (Loren Beauchamp).

Ellis tackles sex on college campuses with Girl’s Dormitory and Faculty Wife.

Girls Dorm

Faculty Wife

Many of her books were illustrated by Paul Rader.

Ellis - Daughter of Shame

Ellis - Hold me Tight

Ellis - Pleasure GirlEllis - Snow Bunnies

Ellis - Redhead

Young Widows Gone Wild — Thirst for Love (David Challon) and Wayward Widow (Loren Beauchamp)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Challon - Thirst For LoveBeauchamp - Wayward

These two Robert Silverberg books are the same text. Thirst for Love (as David Challon) was published in 1959 by Bedtime Books and Wayward Widow (as Loren Beauchamp) by Midwood Books in 1963 (later, in 1968, again as Free Sample: Wayward Widow, a promotional editions).

The story is fitting for those 1950s alcohoic yarns like The Days of Wine and Roses and Lost Weekend, when boozing too much became a social stigma to find “shame” and “sin” within.

Kay Brighton is 22 and married 3 months when she loses hr husband; he dies in a car accident.  Drunk and in grief, she seduces a maried neighbor when he comes by to pay condolences. She goes on a drinking binge from there.  She takes the insurace money and checks into a cheap SRO and drinks the day away.

She meets a guy down the hall, Gordon Ryan, a hack paperback writer.  This is when the story gets fun as we meet some of Silverberg’s hack alter-egos — his pe names Gordon Mitchell and Mark Ryan mixed (various Elliotts appear in other books).  Rayn is an overweight, unshaven slob, but he charms her — he goes from paychecks to paycheck, writing books and stoiries in all genres, collecting money frm his powerful literary agent, Lou Michaels (a sorta Scott Meredfith( with a sexy busty recpetionist.  He’s  womanzier but she falls in love with him and they sublet a Hollywood writer’s Manhattan digs for six months.  He has a knack for ghoing on benders and vanihsing for days.  He comes up with a book that a publisher pays a big advance on and Hollywood wants, and all seems like days of wine and roses until his estranged wife shows up and he winds up killing her.

Alone again, Kay goes on a huge drinking binge.  Worried about  oney, she becomes a prostitute, has a fling with a beatnik lesbian, has a beatnik orgy, and so on.  She winds up in the hospital to detox and finds her true love — the married man she seduced the night her husband died, who is now a widow himself, as a car ran over his wife.

Sappy at times, it is a dark story, hardly erotic, as Kay only has drunk sex with most people and is barely aware of it; but the book does wor as interesting commentary on alcoholism.