Archive for call girl

The Many Faces of John Dexter #10: Miami Call Girl by Al James (Reed Nightstand #3019, 1973)

Posted in crime noir, John Dexter, Nightstand Books, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , on July 29, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

We read the 1973 Reed Nightstand edition of this one, which had the same title of an early Nightstand, a Dexter penned by Al James.

Al James generally published all his softcores under his own name, with Cornith, Midwood, Novel, etc. (we have a stack of them here, ready to get to).  He was the son of popular crime noir author Day Keene, a Harry Whittington buddy and compatriot. The crime element influenced is present in Miami Call Girl.

Mandy is a young, hot hooker who works the hotel racket with her pimp, Philip. Phillip found her in the stix, a backwoods girl doing ten dollar tricks with a bad home life and a molesting father. He took her out of the hay and put her on the beach, where she commands $100 a throw, entertaining 3-5 men a day/night.

She meets Jim, a dashing lawyer who rescues her from being “raped” twice, by a pimply teenager with hot hormones and a room full of fat ugly businessmen who want to gang bang her.

She sees Jim as her knight in shining shields, a man who will whisk her away from her sordid life as a whore. He claims he loves her and wants to marry her.  She goes for it.  So long, Miami call girl life, hello to easy life as a big time Chicago lawyer’s bride.

Or so she thinks…

Once she gets to Chicago, she finds out differently. One, Jim has never really touched her, made love to her, not even on their quick Miami wedding night. Two, he expects her to sexually service anyone who wants it, from his driver to all the mob guys he represents.

Seems he wanted a hot hooker wife for two reasons: as flesh for his mob clients to exploit, so they can trust some floozy isn’t recording them for criminal info; and as a “beard” to cover up the fact that Jim is gay, as a front for his more legitimate clients.

A quirky book, fun at times, with a too-smoothly and unbelievable ending (as if any of these books have believable endings, but you know what we mean). A B-minus and worth checking out, and well see how the other Al James titles fare…

That Other Hunger – Sloane Britain (Midwood F117, 1961)

Posted in lesbian pulp fiction, Midwood Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This is the story of Lisa McBride, a somewhat naive young lady in New York, attending the New School for Art and modeling on the side to make money.  Her mother was once a model, and has sent Lisa to Fran, an agent and PR person.  But Fran is also an aging lesbian with an eye for the young ones, and just when she thinks she has Lisa for her lover, Lisa meets a hunky “he-man” model, Craig Phelps, and instantly falls in love with him.

Fran is annoyed but she doesn’t think the romance will last long.  Craig is a user, moving into her place and getting her to buy loads of marijuana, which starts off slow but becomes a daily, hourly obsession for him.  He sees Lisa as his property, and at a party, he tells his buddies “what’s mine is yours” and they can all have sex with Lisa if they want.

“Craig! Do you really mean that?  You  . . . don’t care if I have sex with other men?”

“Not all the time, baby. Just on certain occasions, when I feel in the mood. And tonight I felt like sharing you and our pad with some old buddies. I still feel like it, as a matter of fact. So let’s get going and get you high.”

Lisa fell bac into his arms, stunned and hurt […] She had no rght keeping him from entertaining his buddies — just because she was so jealous and didn’t want to share him with anyone.  So he wanted to show her off to his buddies. Nothing wrong with that. It was kind of nice, as a matter of fact […] He carried her into the living room.  Pausing on the threshold, he shouted for attention. “Now here this, all you cats. Here’s my chick, Lisa. And for tonight, what’s mine is yours.”

Three husky crew-cut young men, clad only in jockstraps, fell to their knees in front of Craig. They stretched out their brawny arms toward him. Craig spread his arms and let her drop down into their midst.  Her startled shrieks were lost in their roar of laughter and clapping from the others in the room. (pp.94-5)

There’s some lesbian sex too, like when Lisa spends the night in a Park Avenue pad and a maid who resembles her has sex with her, making Lisa like “she’s having sex with herself.”

Fran meanwhile has found a new young female paramour, Sally, to replace Lisa.  She hears of the crazy pot parties and orgies and admonishes Lisa that it’s only a matter of time before Craig starts pimping her out for money.  Lisa guffaws.

But in a matter of days, their money gone, Craig is desperate. He has been opening her mail and cashing checks not his, pawning her jewelry, telling her that what she owns he owns, vice versa — including her body.  He also seems to be hooked on heroin but denies it — similar in fact to The Needle, where the husband pimps his wife for junk and dollars, Craig talks Lisa into attending a “party” for a rich businessman they know, who will pay her $200 to “entertain” some out of town buyers. She thinks she’s just supposed to talk and act nice and then finds out she’s expected to have sex with any man at the party who wants it.  She narrowly escapes gang rape.

Lisa is a lot of Terry Southern’s Candy, so naive and always finding her way into sexual adventures she didn’t ask for; sometimes you can’t feel sorry for her for being so dumb, but she leans the hard way, with the help of Fran, who winds up getting murdered by Craig in a moment of madness.

That Other Hunger also has a lesbian-positive ending, where Lisa and Sally, grieving for Fran, wind up in each others’ arms, in bed, “wide awake and performing the ageless rituals of love” (p. 188).  Does the title refer to the twilight desire, or to heroin over pot?

The novel starts off slow, a tad too New York chic, but we slowly get sucked into Lisa’s sad glamor world of  modeling, drugs, and sex.

Score: B-.

A Girl Called Honey – Sheldon Lord & Alan Marshall/aka Lawrence Block & Donald Westlake (Midwood #41, 1960)

Posted in Lawrence Block, Midwood Books, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

We know that Donald Westlake sometimes contributed to an Andrew Shaw novel or three, and that the Sheldon Lord moniker was shared.  Here, we have Block and Westlake having their pen names collaborate — adding in a cute dedication:

this is for

DON WESTLAKE AND LARRY BLOCK

who introduced us

This is like K.M. O’Donnell once claiming that his pen name was Barry N. Malzberg!

Another little tidbit — a character in the story signs into a hotel under an alias: Andrew Shaw. “Call me Andy,” he says.

There aren’t any of the other clues such as references to Clifton College of The Sound of Distant Drums. It does start off in Ohio, where the fictional Clifton College, and major events happen in Albany, NY, where Block hails from.

This is an early work for both these writerly friends and co-workers in the Scott Meredith Agency fee department,and it shows. But it’s not a bad novel; it’s slow to start, but you get sucked in by the characters, and things get gradually bleak and the damn thing sticks in your head all night long…

Honour Mercy Bane–nickname “Honey”–is a small town girl from Kentucky who makes her way to Newport, Ohio, a town outside Cincinnati.

And Newport, fair city that it is, has everything that Cincinnati lacks. Cathouses by the dozens. Gambling dens by the score,  a pusher on every corner, and bootleg whiskey sold over the counter in every drugstore. (p. 10)

She was kicked out of her home by her religious parents, Abhraham and Prudence Bane, when they come one unexpected one day and ind her in the act of coitus with her lover, who happens to be one of her teachers at the high school.  “Go to Newport and be a bad girl,” they tell her, disowning her.

So she does.

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