Archive for July, 2009

Unfaithful Nympho Wives: Unwilling Sinner by Loren Beauchamp and Man Mad by David Challon (Robert Silverberg)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Uncategorized, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Beauchamp - Unwilling Sinner

Beauchamp - When She was Bad

Two books about unfaithful nymphomaniac wives, by Silverberg’s Beauchamp and Challon pen names.

Midwood published Unwilling Sinner in 1959 and then reprinted it a few years later as And When She Was Bad. It’s told in the first person by Ellie, a small town upper New York state girl, nineteen, and a nympho…she’s been a nympho since she was fifteen, although her parents and anyone who first meets her think she is a sweet, virginal kid.  The boys in town know otherwise: all they have to do is start touching Ellie and she’ll fuck them.

She is ashamed of herself — her actions, her reputation. But she cannot help herself; every time a man touches her, a fire builds up inside and she needs sex, only to feel dirty, shameful, and sin-ridden after.

A new fellow comes to town to take over the grocery store for a syndicate: Dick, twenty-seven (is the name supposed to be a pun?). He asks Ellie out for a date.  He has no idea about her rep. She tries to keep him at bay, to not lose control.  They fall in love. They get married…okay, so a nympho marries Dick, haha.

In her new home, while her hubby, Dick, is at work, Ellie gets vistors: the boys she has slept with. They know she cannot say no, and they blackmail her: if she doesn’t give in, they will tell her husband about her sordid past.

So it goes on for months: five boys round robin, visiting her 2-3 times a week. One brings a friend who whips her with his belt.

Then her husband walks in on her with one of them — to add insult to injury, he is beaten up by his wife’s lover, who laughs about it.

He wants a divorce.  There’s a problem — she’s pregannt and doesn’t know who of the five men and her husband could be the father.  She tries to kill herself by jumping in front of a car going 50 MPH.  She doesn’t die, she breaks some bones and ribs, and loses the fetus.

In the hospital, a doctor determines why she’s a nympho.  It is outlandish and I have no idea if there is any medical truth to this, but seems she has a tumor near her adrenal gland, and whenever she gets emotionally worked up, the tuimor presses on it and releases too much adrenaline, which causes the fire in her, the “unnatural” need for sex.  This may be as absurd as Deepthroat, a woman with her clit in her throat.

I just checked online, and it seems that such a tumor by the adrenal gland is indeed a cause for nymphimania.  You learn something new every day.

So the doctor says he can cure Ellie and Dick decides he will not divorce her, knowing her promiscuity is not her fault.

BTSilverberg/Beauchamp usually create sympathetic characters but I could not side with Ellie in this. She disgusted me.  Remidned me of Jay MacInernay’s Story of My Life — a 1980s Breakfast at Tiffany‘s that fell short; at least we cared about Holly Golightly.  Ellie is just a dumb hick kid, and the story was not as engaging as other Beauchamp Midwoods.

I don’t have a cover scan for Man Mad by David Challon, Silverberg’s pen name (along with Mark Ryan) for Bedstand Books.  This is Chariot Books #143 — I thought Chariot might be an imprint of Bedstand, but according to Sin-a-Rama, was a short-lived company.  I have found only one other Challon with Chariot.

Man Mad‘s front and back covers do not coincide with the novel.  On the front is a lusty GGA, on the back a real photo of some go-go dnacing stripper, with men and women watching her, and this blrub: “What happens when anymphmaniac marries for love” and “compulsive sex turned her life into a nightmare.”

The protagonist, however, is Paul Edmonds, a publisher in his late 30s.  He has an “open” marriage with a wealthy woman, similar to the situation in Beauchamp’s Love Nest (Midwood).  His wife, Elissa, has to have many lovers, and he has his; she’s not as much a nympho as she can’t stand to be alone and, in her aging, needs men to like her.  Her money, invested into Edmonds small company seven years ago, has turned his company into a large publishing house, and made him rich and powerful in the literary community.

This is a pretty good novel, bordering on fine literature about the publishing industry, like Bright Lights, Big City or Elbowing the Seducer. I had a hard time putting this one down.  Edmonds falls for a young actress; his wife’s current lover, a playwright, also falls for her.  There’s a lot of jealousy going around.  When Edmonds is lonely, he hires a high class call girl, Harriet, to spend time with.

It has a semi-happy ending…Edmonds finally decides to divorce his wife and the actress sort of says yes, she will be his next wife…

This is a novel Silverberg should be proud of, but he probably doesn’t even remember writing it.  It is defintely one that should be reprinted.

A Note on Craft: Nightstand, Bedstand, Midwood

Posted in Don Elliott, Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Nightstand Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Elliott - Gutter Road

As I have been reading these various books this summer, I have noted the excellent craftsmanship, especially by Robert Silverberg, inRS-Rotslerdelivering books that always reach the 50,000 words mark.

In his seminal essay, “My Life as Pornographer” (from Penthouse Letters, reprinted in Sin-a-Rama on in Kemp’s el), Silverberg states his books for William Hamling were 12 chapters, each chapter 14-16 pages (or 4,000 words); his memory is fauluty, because every Don Elliott and John Dexter he did consist of 14 chapters, 12-13 printed pages, and always reach 192 pages.  Every Nightstand/Ember/Midnight Reader/Idle Hour was 192 pages — if the novel only reached 188-190 pages, they would add in a list of available books to get that 192.  Earl Kemp once told me this was necessary for gang-running books — printing four at a time, all the same length, which saved on money; if books were more or less than 192 pages (later, 224 pages as Reed Nightstands), they would have to be printed separately from the gang-run.

Beauchamp - Unwilling SinnerSilverberg’s Beauchamp Midwoods were also the same length, with 12-5 chapters, reaching 158 pages in Midwood’s format and type front.  Bigger font, the books reach 186-188 pages. Ditto on the Bedstand/Bedtime Books.

Other writers kept to the same — it was a matter of craft, of sketching out a story so that it would reach that length with that many chapters.  This is not unlike writing for TV, when scripts need to be 45-50 pages, broken into a teaser and four acts that are 10-15 pages each.

I find this admirable, because I have a hard time writing that way.  My Blue Moons varied from 120 pages to 260 pages, and I never plotted them out for x amount of chapters to reach x amount of words.

Such discipline, Silverg notes in his essay, helped him plot his SF novels in the 1970s-80s better.

Bum - Sin

Dexter - Bra Peddlers

Elliott - Sin Hellion

Elliott -- Sin Bait

Bellmore - Shame Sheet

Back then, the min. word length for a book was 50,000 words.  The decade before they preferred 40,000 words (like the Ace Doubles).  In the 1970s-80s, it was 60,000 words.  Today, commercial publishers don’t want to see a genre novel less than 80K words, and like them up to 100,000.

Is more better?  The end result, sometimes, is a lot of padding and unneccesary banter dialogue, dreams, or sub-plots.

Sin on Wheels by Loren Beauchamp (Robert Silverberg, Midwood Books #70, 1961)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Beauchamp - Sin on Wheels

Robert Silverberg published two novels called Sin on Wheels — first for Nightstand as Don Elliott, about lusty driving instructors and teen girls, and for Midwood as Beauchamp, about swingers in a trailer park.Elliott - Sin on Wheels

I coveted this Midwood for a long time — it was difficult to find a copy for a reasonable price; some dealers wanted $100-200 for it, and I seldom pay more than $50 for a vintage book.  I wanted it for (1) the great Paul Rader cover; (2) for my Silberberg sleaze monograph; and (3) to complete my Loren Beauchamp collection.

Lynn Munroe was kind enough to find a beat up reading copy for me, and a day later I found a near-fine condition copy  priced a little more than $50.  So, I had one for the collection, that I would not take out of its bag, and one to read.

The cover is classic Rader, classic Midwood, classic sleaze era — the image has enetered the pop culture meme and has been used for posters, notebooks, T-shirts, mugs, chains, and boxes.  Several bands have pilfered the image for their CDs.

Would the book live up to its pop hype?  I prepared myself, read it on my birthday (July 12) as a treat…and was disappointed.

Sin on Wheels fell short as both a Loren Beauchamp/Silverberg novel, and a sleaze title.  Maybe I was hoping for too much.  But it was not as engaging as Connie, Meg, Nurse Carolyn or Another Night, Another Love — more along the lines of The Fires Within: an average novel, not bad, but not a page-turner.

Lenore is 19 and just married Jack, a husky he-man she met five weeks ago, who works as an engineer of some sort on missiles at the army base. He’s also a womanizer and swinger, but she doesn’t know this yet.  She goes to live with him in his trailer in a trailer park in a rural zone not far outside New York City.  There, in the park, all the men eye her as new meat to feast on: she is young, gorgeous, naive and untainted.

The parties there are drunk fests with  alot of groping and wife swapping. Her husband leaves for an hour with another woman; he later denies it.  Then he takes her to a strip poker party where after everyone is naked and drunk, they dance and slowly pair off with each other’s wives or husbands. She goes to bed with another man but stops it mid-coitus, running away.

She has just lost her virginity on her wedding night a week ago, and here she is at a swinger party. This is not her.  But to get even with her husband Jack (“turnabout is fair play” is the phrase often used) she sleeps with a much older married man, whose wife her husband has a constant “thing” with, and then has an encounter with a lesbian in the park…

All of Beauchamp/Silverberg’s lesbian encounters seem to be the same: they happen when the heroine is confused, drunk, hurt…the lesbians take advantage of this, mutter how men are bad and don’t know women the way another woman does…and after, the heroines feel shame…the lesbian here is a writer of children’s books, just like the chldren’s book writer lesbian in The Fires Within, but Lenore does not harbor as much guilt as the other Beauchamp heroines do. In fact, Lenore admits she liked it, and while the lesbian tries to convince her all men  are evil and to leave with her on a country-wide trailer jaunt, she does not want to be a dyke.

One of the drunk residents pays her a visit, wanting to know why she won’t do him; he’s just lost his job and wants some love.  He tries to rape her.  Jack shows up and stops the attack and beats the living crap out of the rapist.

Lenore wants to leave Jack and the park…she knows her husband will never change…he pleads with her, says he will reform and never look at another woman, that they will move out of the park, he’ll put in  a transfer for White Sands…Lenore knows he will cheat eventaly, and she might too, but decides to give marriage another whirl.

Again, an okay story that does not live up to its great cover: “the uncensored confessons of a trailer camp tramp” (which was removed in the second printing).  Lenore is not a tramp, and this is not a first person confessional, like Beauchamp’s And When She Was Bad, or even like Andrew Shaw’s Trailer Trollop, both of which I will read and discuss next.

Note: this has also been reprinted as Orgy on Wheels by Don Elliott (Companion Books, 1967).

Beauchamp - When She was Bad

Sadism by L.T Woodward (FULL TEXT)

Posted in Robert Silverberg, Uncategorized, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Woodward - Sadism

In the human soul, cruelty crouches like a beast, chained, but eager to spring.

—WlLHELM STEKEL

WE DO NOT live in a gentle society. The daily newspapers provide a record of atrocity and violence that will someday appall and terrify the historians of the future, if there is any future. Day by day the grim toll mounts: children maimed at the hands of their angry parents, frightened girls raped in dark alleys, helpless victims hideously mutilated by knife-wielding madmen. The impulse toward acts or cruelty runs like a dark ribbon through the shining surface of our affluent society.

We find cruelty everywhere, at the highest levels of society and at the lowest. The conversation at a fashionable dinner table is edged with razor-keen blades, designed to wound deeply; the nation’s sports fans pay millions of dollars a year to watch men batter each other into insensibility in the boxing ring or on the football gridiron; prisoners are interrogated with frightful ferocity in hundreds of police stations. The television screen is bright with the violent doings of detectives and criminals who rival one another in the ability to do damage. Our popular fiction is repetitiously full of scenes of whipping, torture, beating, and the more refined forms of unpleasantness.

Continue reading

Lust Damned by Andrew Shaw (Lawrence Block) – Midnight Reader

Posted in Nightstand Books, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

shaw - Lust Damned

Crime/mystery writer Lawrence Block wrote sleaze as Sheldon Lord for Midwood and Beacon and Andrew Shaw for Nightstand.  Later Shaw books are penned by Donald E. Westlake, William Cons, and Hal Dresner, and possibly others, farmed out by Block when he didn’t have time or desire, cutting the pay with these ghostwriters of a pen name.

Lust Damned seems to be Block, it reads in his early style. It is a dark story of pedophilia.  The crass, wise-ass narrator is a 33-year-old insurance guy with a wife and two kids and a secret desire for girls under 15.  He spends his time in suburbia one summer admiring the young teen girls running around.

This is far different than the Don Elliots or Bellmores or Dexters from Nightstand/Cornith/Greenleaf — darker, with no happy ending, and more realistic.  Obviously following in the footsteps of Lolita, the narrator muses, wax poetic, on the many fine points of the nymphet, in language that is not as graceful as Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert, but smooth urban prose nontheless.  Half way do we realize the guy is cracking up with the pressures at work and his need to break out of his suburban daddy/husband/breadwinner life.  He has been carrying on with a secretary at the office but she’s too old for him.

First it is all fantasy…but then he meets a 15-year-old at the beach who likes older men…one thing leads to another…then he visits a special brothel in Spanish Harlem and pays for a 12-year-old hooker…then he seduces the 14-year-old daughter of his neighbor, who baby-sits for him, and he decides to kidnap her and run off…

This pushes the envelope of 1960s obscenity for Nightstand — I recall Earl Kemp writing in his online memoirs that Reed Nightstand/Greenleaf never published underage sex fiction like other companies did, but here is proof that they did (other titls like Sexteen and The Teeny-Bopper also)…perhaps Kemp meant they never publshed work that had sex with pre-teens, which in the 1970s, places like Surree House offered, along with beastiality, incest, and other kinks for certain readers.

A disturbing little suburban tale of a fellow gone sex crazy, trapped in the gutter of his mind, making his shameful fantasies into sinful realities!  He is, yes, one of the Lust Damned!

As for a Block/Shaw book, it’s one of the best I’ve read so far, but I have some others I need to read, like Sin Alley, The Wild Ones, Flesh Parade, $20 Lust, and Passion COD.

Lesbian Sins: Twisted Loves by Mark Ryan (Robert Silverberg, Bedside Books, 1959)

Posted in Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Ryan - Twisted LovesRobert Silverberg wrote a handful of Bedtime/Bedstand Books as “Mark Ryan” — Twisted Loves, Company Girl, Suburban Affair, Suburban Sin Club.  All seemed to be published in 1959, so he wrote them in 1958-9, before moving to Midwood and Nightsand in 1959-60 (for better money no doubt, as Bedstand paid $400-500 per mss., but still decent money for the time, the equivalent to $5K).

Twisted Loves is one of those late-50s taboo lesbian novels.  Connie Chapin is a secretary in New York, a hopeful actress whose never even gotten an audition; the novel opens with her in a bar getting drunk, drowing her pain in booze, fighting off men who try to “make” her.  She hates men: her four relationships and encounters have been bad and heart-breaking.

After fighting off a fat drunk, she stumbles out of the bar.  She falls on the ground and is recued by an older woman who sees her — “Lee.”  Lee is 40, a successful lawyer with an Upper West Side home, mannish and flat-chested (all of Silvberg’s lesbians seem to be flat-chested and mannish).  She brings Connie back, bathes her, seduces her…and the sex, for Connie, is much better than with any man.

Sober the next day, Connie is shamed by her “Lesbian” act of depravity, though moved by Lee’s generosity and skill in bed.  Lee chases her but Connie backs off, and then when she decides all men are pugs, she goes back to Lee and they start a love affair.  It is much like Laura Duchamp’s Duet: the older, successful rich lesbian secuding the pretty young trollop.

Lee introduces Connie to Manhattan’s underground elite gay crowd: women who dress like men and take men’s names (Steve, Mike), artty-farty lesbians, gay men, etc.  In the 1950s, this was a taboo society, but a strong undercurrent in culture.

When Lee is away in Beverly Hills for a big case for a month, Connie is lonely and needs a woman, and one night makes a move on her roommate, a nympho but straight.  The roommates freaks out, finds lesbians disgusting, and moves out.

All during her lesbian romp, Connie is being pursued by a man, Ted.  She keeps putting him off but eventually gets together with him, falls in love, plans to marry…

This is typical of lesbian novels wrtten by men: the heroines eventually find the error of their ways and find a nice man to have a nice heterosexual relattionship with.  I just read in Susan Stryker’sQueer PulpQueer Pulp (Chronicle Books, 2001) that publishers required unhappy endings in lesbiana and gay male stories, or that the protagonist end up in the arms of the opposite sex — this way the books acted as “morality” and “cautionary tales”, seeminly anti-gay, otherwise they could be prosecuted for obscene materal, especially if the books were sent through the mail.  As the laws changed in the 1960s, and with women wrting lesbian pulps, endings were different, such as the books of Ann Bannon or March Hastings.

Not Silberberg’s best, but a good read, humorous at times — such as the girl fight scene: Connie and a former lover of Lee’s lock in a deadly battle, ripping all their clothes off, and in the middle of the cat fight they start to fuck.  Classic male fantasy!

**********

An annoying aside: I just paid $25 for Strange Delights by Lauren Beauchamp and it’s the same damn book as Twisted Loves!  Except, Connie is re-named Lonnie (maybe because of the novel Connie) and Lee is Vee.  Seems Silverberg reprinted a number of his Bedstand Ryan and Challon books as “original” Beauchamps, or even Elliotts.  Cahllon’s Campus Sin Club becomes Beauchamp’s Campus Sex Club; Challon’s French Sin Port becomes Elliott’s Rogue of the Riviera; Ryan’s Thirsty for Love becomes Beauchamp’s Wayward Widow…I am pretty sure that Beauchamp’s The Wife Traders is  reprint of Challon’s Suburban Sin Club, and Elliott’s Hot Rod Sinners is reprinted as Beauchamp’s Lez Floozies.  And seems Beuchamp’s Nurse Carolyn became Elliott’s Registered Nympho, and Beauchamp’s Sin on Wheels to Elliott’s Orgy on Wheels.

I still need to get Ryan’s Illict Affair and Streets of Sin, and Challon’s Suburban Affair and Campus Hellion, and see what Beauchamps or Elliotts they become.

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.