Sweet Smell of Lust – Arnold Marmor (Intimate Books/Art Enterprises, 1962)
This one is from Art Enterprises, a shady Hollywood outfit that published some cheap little books under a variety of imprints, later investigated by the feds for money laundering and mob connections with a corpoate board made up of people who were dead or retirement homes and had no idea they were officers of some questionable southern California sleaze publisher. (Apparently, Art Enterprises took over Midwood in the late 60s/70s in leiu of the debt Harry Shorten had incurred with mob types.)
Fittingly, this Marmor is set in Hollywood and has a similar feel to McCoy’s I Should Have Stayed Home: the petty rich and poor players of the movie industry, women using sex to get ahead, jealousies, games, strategies, art as commercial commodity.
This is a multi-character story and the problem, with Marmor’s short, snappy chapters, is you got lost in who is who, who is doing who, and what is going on. But the basic story is: Nancy Pulver, a one-time famous 38 year old actress, is vying for the lead role in a ne film based on a bestseller, only the lead calls for a woman in her early 20s…Kitty is the young starlet up for the part, and she has been sleeping her way up the ladder…Gertie is the screenwriter and a die hard lesbian after any girl flesh in Hollywood…but before Kitty can get the part, she has to do a strip show at the director’s wild Hollywood party, plus sleep with Gertie…Kitty feels like a whore but she will do what it takes to get what she wants, but not if Nancy does something to destroy her.
There are other characters and other games, like taking down the studio head by framing his wife in a sex scandal, but the other storyline is the main meat.
Not bad, nothing great…another fun read…three of the chapters include sexy illustrations, something a little different.