Archive for ad men

The Baby-Sitter by Vin Fields (Midwood #F342, 1964)

Posted in Midwood Books, Paul Rader, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Another ultra sexy Paul Rader cover!

Vin Fields was a pen name used by Irving A. Greenfield, for a handful of Midwoods and Beacons.  Greenfield wrote men’s action and military paperbacks for Zebra, Manor, Signet, Dell, etc.

The Baby-Sitter is an engaging, well-written short novel (about 40K words) about a Madison Avenue ad man, Cliff Morton, who has a lot of troubles and problems: his wife has gone frigid and she knows about his tom-catting around; he’s about to lose some accounts and a large one is uncertain; the boss has moral issues with his providing call girls to potential clients; and he has started to have a thing for his jailbait baby-sitter, Charna,  a little sex kitten that could be the end of him.

Charna is in the background of the novel until the end really; much of the story deals with Cliff’s jumbling business around, and sleeping with a female account exec who is trying to talk him into breaking off and starting a new agency, stealing accounts in the process.  We can feel Cliff’s Mad Man tension and who can blame him for needing a lot of sexual relief, the kind his wife won’t give him but what he can get from a blond, tanned teenage girl.

Then he fucks up and fucks up bad when he talks Charna into sleeping with a man who can get a potential account with a bra company, and the thing is, Charna’s uncle, who raised her, is a cop…

The ending is quite different from your usual sleaze or Midwood fair…

We will definitely read more Vin Fields.

The Sex Peddlers – Clyde Allison (Midwood #73, 1961)

Posted in Midwood Books, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on February 18, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

William Knoles was also writing as Clyde Allison for Midwood Books as wel as Nightstand/Cornith/Greenleaf.

This is my second Allison/Knoles and I am pleased to say it’s a wonderful, humorous, and mature read.  If Knoles had not written this as an assignment from Scott Meredith to provide books for Midwood, I am sure he could have sold thus to a more upscale paperback house like Avon or Pocket or Dell.

This one is about the scummy side of the publicity racket in Hollywood filmmaking.  Roy King, the narrator, is a pure self-made man — a hood from the wrong side of Brooklyn, he took speech lessons from a Shakespearean thespian so he could speak with a slight British accent and claim he went to Oxford and it rubbed off.  With a fake resume and fake letters of recommendation from England, he slides his way into the Madison Avenue game.

The company he works for wants to go Hollywood and buys a small PR firm in L.A. Roy and another guy are sent out to assess the company’s clients and determine what is good and what is bad and what they can fly with.

The major project is a cheesy low budget SF flcik called Amazons from Space, filled with barely-clad day players and extras, women who get completely naked after hours and provide Roy and his cohort plenty of women to paw.

Roy get entangled with two women: an ambitious actress who will sleep with any man who can advance her career, and his young nerdry secretary who looks like a model out of her clothes and glasses.

Roy comes up with all sorts of lies and tricks to get Amazons from Space noticed by the press, and he will stop at nothing to backstab and destroy anyone is his way to success.

Knoles knew the film business well — his family was in it and he was a Hollywood denizen with a slight British accent for his time in England.  Thus it has a ring of truth, and is one hell of a read.  Highly recommended, and I look forward to more Clyde Allison novels.

The Bedroom Route by Sheldon Lord (Lawrence Block/Donald Westlake?), Beacon, 1963

Posted in crime noir, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , on December 7, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

The Sheldon Lords are a mixed bag, depending on who penned them  — Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, Milo Perichitich, or Hal Dresner.

This one is penned by Block, with perhaps some help by Westlake; I detect two styles from chapter to chapter.  It’s an unbanite story of Madison Avenue ad account junior exec, Mike Hart, and his wife Cheryl.  Cheryl, it seems has become frigid, much to the dismay of her hubby Mike.  But no fear, there are other women, lots of them: his secretary and the lover of one of his rivals at the ad company, sleeping with the woman as an act of revenge and one-upmanship.

Cheryl learns why she cannot enjoy sex with men anymore, when she is seduced by another woman and enters the world of the third sex on twilight street.

Unfortunately, this one is not as good as the Sheldon Lords like the excellent Candy and April North. It’s slow-moving and droll much like Orrie Hitt’s droll Mad Ad novel, Tell Them Anything. This could have been an assignment from Beacon: “Give us a Madison Avenue sex book,” since Beacon published a number of them set in ad world.

It’s okay, the writing is smooth, but it’s just that: okay. There are better Sheldon Lords out there…