Archive for the Beacon Books Category

Community of Women – Sheldon Lord aka Lawrence Block (Beacon, 1963)

Posted in Beacon Books, Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, pulp fiction, Sheldon Lord, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on January 11, 2012 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Was this one a “major bestseller” Beacon claims on the cover of the 1964 second edition, third printing? Who knows what is truth or hyperbole. Community of Women is Block fo’shure (BFS) and he has recently made it available as an ebook reprint.

The terse novel, told in 22 short chapters, is one of Block’s multi-character soap operas, like the many Andrew Shaws that take that form, a form Block still employs now and then, most recently with his 9/11 mainstream novel, Small Town. (I tend to prefer Block keeping to one POV, usually first-person.)  The caharcters here are residents of suburba, Cheshire Point, a commuter train’s ride outside Manhattan where many of the men work and their wives stay at home and have their own secret lives, such as Maggie, a secret lesbian married to a gay man for appearaces, who sets her seductive third sex sites of Elly Carr, a woman who sleeps with any man who comes around when her hubby is away — she has been a nympho since her days at Clifton College (a BFS giveaway). But when Maggie does get Elly into bed, Maggie convinces her the nymphomania has been misdirected, that no man has ever been able to satisfy her because she needs a woman’s lusty tongue and touch.

One fun character is Linc, a hack novelist having writer’s block; a new novel is overdue and he cannot seem to get any words on paper so he drinks to a stupor.  He and his wife, Roz, moved to Cheshire Point when he sold a novel to Warner Books for $35K…now, with books ovedue, no sales of stories, no advances, he and Roz are nearly in the poor house among the upper middleclass suburbanites. Not to fear, he gets his writer’s wings back, making love to Roz in between writing marathon hours.

One thing surprising here, for these books at that time, is the lesbian awkening is a positive thing; Elly does not discover despair in dykedom but seeks a happy new life in the arms of Maggie.

Another fun read!

Husband Chaser by Shelden Lord (Lawrence Block, Hal Dresner?) – Beacon Books, 1962

Posted in Beacon Books, Lawrence Block, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Sheldon Lord, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on January 3, 2012 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Fairly certain this one is Lawrence Block. Block did moist if not all Sheldon Lords for Beacon from 1960-63. It reads pretty much like early Block. Someone told me it might be Hal Dresner, and I am thinking maybe they collobarorated, or Block wrote this with someone, because there is a marked tone and style shift mid-way through the novel — and the second half is most defintely Block (aka M.D.B.).

Either way, either how, this is a pretty good one.

Stephanie has learned how to make money by marrying and divorcing men., She married at seveneteen to get away from her abusive moither, divorcing the guy two years later before he heads off to Korea and getting $15,000 as a settlement, one -tird to her shady Las Vegas lawyer.  $10,000 is better money than she has ever had to herself, and she lives high on the hog for a but.  She thinks: if dicorce is profitable, why not find men with money and do the same?

So she does.

The novel opens and she is 25 and on her fourth divorce, going the six -week Las Vegas route. In Vegas, she finds men to spend money on her in the casinos but she doesn’t let them sleep with her. Or some she does, especially when she wants to get rvenge on their fat obnoxious wives.

With twenty grand from her new divorce, she moves back to New York and takes a three room suite in a nice hotel at $425 a month (a fortune in 1962 money).  She starts pondering on a fifth husband. She notices the man living nextdoor to her is quite handsome and possibly well-off, his name is Jim Holloway (Don Holliday, Dresner’s pen name at Nightstand?).  She starts to see him, and surprisingly she falls in love with him and spends her money on him for a change.

Her money low, she knows she needs cash flow for her and Jim so she goes to get a job as a stripper, and then a call girl…Jim seems to know but does not care. This baffles her.

Her recent ex-husband does care. He wants her back. He has had a private detective on her and knows she’s hooking her sweet ass to any man with $100.

Things get violent in classic Block manner…

Everything is fine and noirsih dandy until the hokey happy ending, implausible in all ways. I was hoping for an ending like Sheldon Lord’s Candy…

…but genre needs at Beacon were different than Midwood.

Despite the sappy ending, this is an excellent little blast from the vintage sleaze past.

Sidney’s Wife by Sheldon Lord aka Milo Perichitich (Beacon, 1964)

Posted in Beacon Books, Lawrence Block, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags on December 30, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Boy had I hoped this would be a keen Lawrence Block Sheldon Lord in the vein of The Sex Shuffle or April North…but no, this one is not Block, it is Milo Perichitich, the lesser of the Sheldon Lords.  Possible, as was the case with Nighttstand, Block stopped being Lord and Andrew Shaw after 1963 as he persued his crime fiction career and was being Jill Emerson. (Being Jill Emerson would be a great title for something.)

This one is your typical corporate suit types who lust after each other’s wives and use one another’s wife to advance or get revenge. Been there done that in pulp sleazeland. Sidney’s Wife is almost unreadable.

Four Women by Orrie Hitt (Beacon Books, 1960)

Posted in Beacon Books, crime noir, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on December 6, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Examined here.

Got Book? We Like Book

Posted in Beacon Books, crime noir, lesbian pulp fiction, Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, noir fiction, Paul Rader, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on November 29, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Is there a vintage book or author you think we should discuss/review on this website?  Are you a publisher or have you had published a novel that has a vintage feel, pays homage to the style and subetmatter of the 1940s-70s?  Feel free to send them along. We will mention your name and thank you in the post if you like.

Send to:

Those Sexy Vintage Sleaze Books

C/o M. Hemmingson

PO Box 1284

Lemon Grove, CA 91946

Trailer Tramp – Orrie Hitt (Beacon Books #158, 1957)

Posted in Beacon Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on July 3, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Examined here.

Untamed Lust by Orrie Hitt (Beacon Book 336, 1960)

Posted in Beacon Books, crime noir, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on March 16, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This one, like many other Hitt books (Dirt Farm, Two of a Kind, Violent Sinners, Naked Flesh) is set on a big farm run by a sadistic old man married to a younger woman.

The usual Hitt motifs are present — a big and tall hero jumbling three women and a plot to murder the owner of the farm to get his wife and daughter.  Eddie, the hero, works mostly as a trapper, getting all the pests that run rampant on the land: snapping turtles, foxes, badgers, racoons…he actually feels bad for killing these creatures, but he needs the job.

The three women are:

Joan, the domestic, who is an old girlfriend and he’s still sleeping with her. She is in the process of divorcing her husband whose in prison and then wants to marry Eddie.

Kitty, or Mrs. Jennings, married to an old man in a wheelchair and hot to trot.

Carole, Kitty’s teenage daughter, who likes to hang out at nudist camps.

Carole seduces Eddie into seducing her mom so Eddie will testify in court that Kitty was unfaithful, on grounds for divorce; Carole will pay Eddie $5K for this.

Kitty wants Eddie to set a trap that her husband will accidentally stumble into and die. She promises a good chunk of the land and bank accounts, worth millions.

He only agrees because both women say they will claim he raped them and he’ll lose his job.

Despite these repeats material from other books, and the James Cain territory, Untamed Lust is well-written and a speedy, good read.