Archive for the Andrew Shaw Category

Gutter Girl by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block (Bedstand Books, 1961)

Posted in Andrew Shaw, crime noir, Lawrence Block, Nightstand Books, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on December 1, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This one is defintely penned by the young Larry Block, one of the handful of titles from Nightstand’s stable when Hamling bought out Bedstand Books.

The premise of Gutter Girl is the same as many female juvenile delinquent books, such as Silverberg’s Gang Girl (now out in reprint from Stark House, by the way) but takes a few steps ahead with the graohic violence and sex: tough 15-year-old deb has to move to a new neighborhood and join a new gang, beds the President of the gang and becomes his main girl, then has delusions of taking over the gang. Rumbles, murders, cops…there is a gang rape of a 13 year old girl who is the sister of a Puerto Rican gang member where she is dismembered.  Our lustful heroine turns tricks for money, catches the eye of the local syndiacte guy and ex-President of the gang, moves in with him atr his upper East Side digs; and once he is bored with her, has her start doing tricks for fat ugly men connected to the mob, then is turned out as a high priced call girl at age 16.  Byt at least she has money, and she can take care of her nerdy little brother…there’s incest, but I won;t spoul the perverse fun of the gutter themes.

Quite a good one.

Sin Devil by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block or William Coons (Nightstand, 1961)

Posted in Andrew Shaw, crime noir, Lawrence Block, Nightstand Books, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags on December 1, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

 A curious one from Block where he experiments with style like he has in a few other of his later books for Hamling. This one begins in the third person with a reporter named Jules covering the death of an old multi-millionaire, Martin Trane, whose life was surrounded by secrets and perversity, such as his paying a sixteen-year-old girl for sex. Jules gets hsi hands on the manuscript of a confession/memoir Trane had written…

Here the book jumps to first person. The memoir takes up 80% of the book. Almost seems like Block wrote that first, realized it was too short word-wise, and added the beginning and end to reach the necessary 50,000 words for a Nightstand. Who knows. The technique is not smooth but the memoir is full of wonderful debauchery, starting from Trane’s early years in boarding school to middle age and to an old lecher who wallowed in what his money could buy.

For Block fans, or Coons, a good little read.

Back Into the Swing

Posted in Andrew Shaw, crime noir, Lawrence Block, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on August 22, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

I know I have nbeen posting as regularly as I used to. Some personal and professional matters (having a baby, father’s death, book deadlines, etc) have kept me busy, but I hope to get back t the vintage swing of tings soon.

For instance, I have recently found and purchased two “holy grails” of difficul-to-find and priecey books if you do: Gutter Girl by Andrew SHaw (yes, it is Block) and Panda Bear Passion by Orrie Hitt. These will be the new postings soon…


 

 

Slum Sinners by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block (Midnight Reader #499, 1962); rpt as Pity the Damned (Reed Nightstand, 1973)

Posted in Andrew Shaw, crime noir, Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , on March 15, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Two characters from other books appear in this one:  Kyros the Greek pimp from The Twisted Ones, and Joan McKay from Girls on the Prowl (with a footnote).

Slum Sinners opens with ffifteen-year-old Monita Ruiz, a Puerta Rican girl who lives in a slum neighborhood up towards 100 Street and Columbia, is bed with a boy in a ratty room.  She can’t go through with it.

Then we see Ruth Lansing who lives on the upper West Side; she’s married, has a six month old baby, and is miserable. She really has deep secret lesbian wanton desires and has no idea what to do.

Then we meet Al Carter, newly released from a five-year prison stint for armed robbery. he has ten bucks to his name and needs to find some sort of quick con game to earn quick cash.

We tend to prefer Block’s Shaw and Sheldon Lord books that center on one character, or are first-person, rather than these multi–character stories where everyone’s lives mesh together at a cross in the road; still, this one is pretty darn  entertaining and smoothly written as both a softcore and crime novel. Like The Twisted Ones, he gets a little postmodernly reflexive at the beginning when giving a historical account of New York neighborhoods and how they changed racially and economically over time.

Monita decides she needs to lose her virginity and she doesn’t care who does it, so she randomly picks the first good-looking guy she sees on the street, who happens to be Al.  She also has another plan: she will blackmail him for statutory rape so he will give her money and she can get out of the slums and start a new life.  She loses her virginity quite painfully and she tries her blackmail on Al, he laughs and tells her he doesn’t have a dime, and tells her she’s bad at the con. However, he suggests they could work a “badger” game together….

Ruth goes to a lesbian bar and gets picked yup by Joan McKay…

The first mark Al and Monita get is a Manhattan businessman, who happens to be Ruth’s husband, Glenn.  He pays up on the blackmail: $500.

Monita is amazed at the easy money and wants to blackmail more unsuspecting men she picks up in hotel bars.

Glenn, although robbed, has gotten a taste of young girl and wants more. He connects with Kyros, the Greek pimp in The Twisted Ones who specializes in underage prostitutes. He provides Glenn with a number of them, from Canada to Europe to the south, girls 12-14…he so much desires this that he leaves his wife…

Ruth has a short fling with Joan, and some other women, but decides she would rather have men, and begins to let men, any men, pick her up in bars and have their way…

Monita has $3,000 in her bank account and she decides to start life over, changing her name to Mona, leabing Al and going to San Francisco.

Al needs a new girl, but young girls won’t be easy to find. He does find Ruth in a bar, and he talks her into a business deal: he’ll find the men and take them to her, she’ll wait at home, they’ll both make money…

Definitely a fun read. The Twisted Ones, Girls on the Prowl, and Slum Sinners would make an excellent reprint omnibus edition.

Reed Nightstand reprinted it as Pity the Damned.

Girls on the Prowl/The Wantons by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block (Nightstand Book 1548, 1961/Reed Nightstand, 1974)

Posted in Andrew Shaw, Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on March 13, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Girls on the Prowl (later, The Wantons) opens with a bang– pun intended. A cab driver picks up a sultry-looking blonde; he’s in 40s, married, and it pains him he could never have a woman likes this.  She tells him to drive into Central Park and starts to undress in back; she tells him to stop and asks if he likes her breasts; then she invites him to join her in back for sex. He obliges.

The woman is Saundra Stone, hailing from Ohio where she went to Clifton College.nd works at a pretentious literary quarterly, Agony Magazine (pergaos a take on The Paris Review?)  She lives on West 73rd Street in a four-bedroom apartment that goes for a pricey $210/month (this is the early 60s). She has two roommates: Marilyn and Joan.  Marilyn is waiting for her, asks her how the fast anonymous sex was. Seems it was Marilyn’s idea, something she likes to do, picking up strangers for quickies and one-nighters.  Saundra says it was exciting and fun.

Marilyn is an on-the-rise young assistant editor at a Phulcorte Press, which publishes a variety of magazines and books.

The other roommates, Joan McKay, is a lesbian, but they don’t know that; they would appalled to know that while Joan is just as promiscuous as they are, she sleeps around with women she finds in the Greenwich Village gay bars.

Lynne Munroe has a good summation from his article in el:

Sandy from Clifton College and her two roommates in Greenwich Village. Schwerner. A Sound of Distant Drums. Some great jokes, like a publisher named Phulcorte Press, a night club called Open d’Or, a Chinese restaurant called Haow Naow, a Spanish restaurant called Dolor de Estomago. Harvey Chase’s Agony Magazine is introduced. As Wayne Mullins showed us on one of his excellent Block checklists, two of the characters are anagrams for the author: Cornwall Becke and Lance Brecklow (“Phoney sounding name,” a character says.)

Saundra/Sandy may also be Sandy from The Twisted Ones. Joan, however, does make an appearance in Slum Sinners, which we will discuss next.

Girls on the Prowl is less than a novel than a character study of three sexually free and open women. They do evolve and change: Marilyn finds true love and leaves her career and New York to be with the man of her dreams, and Joan, at the end, fully embraces her llesbian desires, instead of being ashamed of herself and her feelings for the third street.

Again, this Block/Shaw is a bit more sexually explicit than the softcores of the day; the erotic elements are not as subtle and evasive as, say, Silverberg, Westlake and Harry Whittington’s Corniths. It’s not a matter of exact description, but the lewd nature. For instance, Sandy goes to an underground live sex show, which opens with “a Negro and a Puerto Rican girl” going at it n stage, and then they are joined by a young blonde girl that Sandy realizes cannot be older than fourteen, and the man and woman on stage rabish the young lady is a mock rape act.  So, here we have not only an illegal public sex act, but a sex show with an underage female…another is the final sex scene, with Joan and a pale woman meeting in the Village, never asking each other’s name, and having intense, kinky lesbian lovin’.

But we understand this pales in comparison with the Jill Emerson 70s novels, The Trouble with Eden, I Am Curious (Thirty) and Sensuous., which we have yet to get to, but will at some nifty point in the future…

On Call Wife — An Andrew Shaw We Would Like to Find

Posted in Andrew Shaw, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on March 3, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

The Twisted Ones by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block (Nightstand Books #1543, 1961)

Posted in Andrew Shaw, Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags on January 23, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

A clever early Nightstand from a very young Lawrence Block bends toward self-reflexivity, what later would be called postmodern fiction.

The narrative concerns three people: Dave and Nancy Schwemner, 34 and 29, and a girl who lives down the street, Lucy King, 16.

Dave is no longer sexually attracted to Nancy; he married her when she was 19 and delighted in her youthfulness, which she has lost.  He wants a young girl for a lover, a teen girl; he has come to terms with what sexologists now coin as Ephebophilia — the male adult attraction to those in the 14-19 age range. (Another Shaw, Lust Damned, focuses on this theme.)

Nancy knows her marriage is on the outs. She recalls a lesbian experience she had in her teens.  Her friend gives her a Fawcett novel, Strange Are the Ways of Love by Lesley Evans, Lawrence Block’s first novel in 1958.  Then she has sex with her friend — and while she was ashamed, she knew this was what she was, or liked.  Nancy wants to explore this hidden third sex side of herself.

Nancy is the neighborhood babysitter and she has boys over but never lets them go all the way.  She would if any of them were forceful enough to take her, but she finds high school boys too mamby-pamby to be men. She needs a real man to take her maidenhood.

Dave hears about, and visits, a fat Greek pimp in a New York cafe that he hears can provide any sexual perversity for  a price: from threesomes with twins, sadistic women who will torture a man or masochistic women who let men beat them, to ten year old vixens who will give a man fun all night.  Dave isn;t interested in a girl that young, but he does tell the pimp he’d like a girl n the 13-15 year old range. The pimp provides him with a 14-year-old Nephrida, of Egyptian blood, to quell Dave’s inner need.  It’s only for a moment, because Dave finds he needs to have young girls all the time, perhaps one as a mistress or wife.

Nancy meets a shop owner in town named Roberta, nickname Bobby, and Nancy knows the woman is a secret lesbian (Block has used the Robert/Bobby lesbian type in one of his Jill Emerson novels).  She makes her move on Bobby and Bobby asks, “How did you know what I am?” Nancy knows.  They have their affair, but Bobby is more afraid than Nancy.

Lucy heads into Manhattan to find a real man in a bar.  She finds a guy who says he will “teach” her the ways of sex, but she has to do everything he asks, no matter what. He shows her a porno reel of a woman with two men first, so she will see what to do.  He takes her virginity, a bloody and painful event, then makes her perform oral and anal sex (hinted at, really, for the time of writing) and she leaves disgusted with him, herself, and sex.

Block/Shaw then has the narrator, the author, step into the picture as commentator of these lives, sort of the way Rod Sterling did in Twilight Zone, or that Kurt Vonnegut did in his early postmodern novels.  Shaw clinically examines these three people, noting that each has a twisted need, but is it bad? Cannot sinful desires lead one on the road to happiness, the way de Sade pontificated  that if one had a need for debauchery, to embrace it and be who you are? “That which is natural is not always good. That which s good is not always natural.” (p. 189)

So one day Dave and Lucy cross paths on the street and they see each other’s need: he for a teen girl and she for a man who will treat her right. They get together and in a motel they have wonderful sex and fall in love.

Dave tells Nancy he wants a divorce. She’s okay with this. She runs off to the Village with Bobby and Dave marries his teen lover, much to the shock of her parents.

Do they live happily ever after? Seems so.

A fun read.

Reed Nightstand reprinted it in 1973 as The Unashamed.