Archive for hooker

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…

The Many Faces of John Dexter #9: Stripper! by Robert Silverberg (Nightstand #1530, 1960)

Posted in crime noir, John Dexter, Nightstand Books, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Strippers and hookers, call girls and club dancers were always good fodder for softcore novels back in the day (and still are, with more hardcore tossed in).  This is one of the few Nightstand/Corniths that is a single word high concept title without SIN, LUST, or SHAME.

Stripper! is told in the female first-person voice (making one wonder why this wasn’t penned by Marlene Longman, that Silverberg used for Sin Girls): Diana DeLisle, 22, is a dancer/singer at The Pelican Club who has moved from chorus line to solo act, meaning she has to strip completely naked and sing a song.  There’s a live band. This Philadelphia strip show is actually a show, where a dancer had to do more than just gyrate on a pole as they do these days.  This is a “class act” with both men and women watching, where the woman wear elegant gowns and are only seen fully nude the last ten seconds, as a big tease.

Diana loves her work: “It excites me to take my clothes off in front of an audience. It gets me all hot. That’s why it’s so easy for me to do it I like it” (p. 9).  She’s an exhibitionist.  In my own encounters with strippers — I’ve been known to date and live with a few in other younger years — some women get into it beyond the need for money: they just like to dance, or they get off on strangers looking at their naked bodies.

One ex-girlfriend dancer told me: “I’m like a marriage therapist. I keep married people together — when these married men watch me, they get hot and horny and they go back home and fuck their wives crazy, imagining they’re fucking me. The wife’s happy, the husband’s happy, I’m happy — the world is happy.”

Another told me:  “The men are like flies and I am the spider, they’re in my web and I draw them in, and I suck their energy away.”  (For more on interviews with strippers, see my ethnographic study, Zona Norte.)

Many strippers in te U.S. will say they are not also prostitutes. Not that case wth Diana. From day one she knows she has to sleepwith the club manager, Mack, whenever he wants her; othertimes she may go home with a customer if the price is right.

In comes Johnny Lukas, big time crime and Vegas roller, who owns the seven Pelican Clubs across the nation and has his hands in a lot of illicit business, from money aundering to abortion clinics to white slavery.  He takes a liking to Diana she at the behest of Mack, she sleeps with him.  Johnny son wants to set her up as a main mistress in New York.  Mack has been vying for this, because he is plotting to murder his boss, Mr. Lukas, with the help of Diana.

Diana is to get Lukas away from his bodyguards and somewhere remote, phone Mack, and Mack will kill him…the police will think nothing because he is a mob guy with enemies, and the IRS and FBI have been investgigating him (Lukas admits to Diana he was happier as a Vegas gamber living day to day, that having money and power is more a burden than asset).

Diana has no choice…Mack will have her tortured if she doesn´t agree, and if she rats Mack out to Lukas, Lukas will have her killed for being a rat because one day she may turn on him, and she will know that Lukas had Mack killed for his scheme.  She is stuck in a Catch-22 here.

This is a good crime-sex novel, something that could have been a condensed Manhunt novella at the time, but the female narrative does not ring true, we can tell this is a man writing as a woman…but that does not really matter. Again, Silverberg told a compelling page-turning yarn in 1960.

The 1973 Reed Nightstand version is called One Bed Too Many, with an appropriate cover, and “by” Jeremy Dunn, which was the later name for John Dexter…

Lover by Andrew Shaw (Lawrence Block), Nightstand #1551 (1961)

Posted in Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Shaw - Lover

Another potent early Lawrence Block, this time as Andrew Shaw; it’s a dark tale with a rather depressing ending, not the usual happy endings we tend to see in sleaze books where the protagonist repents from his/her sinful ways and finds happiness in the arms of a good man or woman.

Lover chronicles the making of a gigolo, how a kid from the slums learns to use lonely rich women for their money, and remakes himself through autodidcactism — similar in a way to Loren Beauchamp’s Connie, reviewed here months back.

Johnny Wells is 17 when the book opens. He’s a good-looking sexy boy in jeans and a leather jacket and long hair. He wanders the streets around 57th and Third in New York until he exchanges looks with older women who find him tasty-looking.

It all started when he was 15…

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Savage Love by Mark Ryan (Robert Silverberg), Bedstand Books, 1960

Posted in pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Ryan - Savage LOve

A dark story here, about revenge best served cold, a Bedstand Book by Robert Silverberg writing as Mark Ryan.

Ted Dennis is a successful copy writer on Madison Avenue at age 32. All is well except his sex/married life — his wife of six years had major surgery four years  back and has low energy and a zero sex drive.

One day, walking down the street, Ted crosses paths with a woman from his past: Carol.  Ten years back, when she was 18 and he was 22, he was going to marry her, then two days before the wedding he got cold feet and called it off, and enlisted in th Army to escape ever confronting her.  He has felt guilty about this all these years and is surprised Carol is not mad — in fact, she had forgiven him, she tells him over lunch, and the old spark seems to still be there as they immediately check into a hotel room and have nostalgic sex.

Over the next two weeks, he meets Carol at the hotel room during lunch, and after work, them goes home.  She had two bad marriages and ha always been in love with Ted, she says, and he finds he still loves her. They make plans: he will divorce his frigid wife and marry Carol, and make up for the past 10 years.

She was a virgin with him; ten years of sexual experience and she has become a dynamo.

He takes her to the Caribbean on a free trip from one of his clients, an airline.  All is story-book perfect, until his divorce lawyer puts a private eye on Carol and finds out she’s a hooker.

Ted has never been to her apartment in Queens — she says it’s too shabby and she is embarrassed and prefers the hotel rooms.  Seems she really uses the place to meet 8-10 tricks a night; on slow nights, she goes to the local bar and picks men up.  She picks up the private eye who has sex with her and describes her body marks to make Ted think it’s true…then he spies on her and watches men come and go…

Finally he goes to her apartment to confront her. She admits it’s true: she’s a whore.  She blames him.  When he left her at the alter, rumors spread about her and she ran away. She had no money and had to sell her body.  She liked the money.  She was making $100 a day.

She tells him their chance meeting was not chance. She had planned it.  She had been wanting revenge all these years.  She figured the best revenge would be to seduce him with her expert bedroom talents, get him to marry her, and then systematically ruin his life be sleeping with all his friends and colleagues, and then abandon him.

Now that she can’t, she gets her pimp to beat him up…

Ted comes home, a bloody mess, and tells his wife the whole story…

A cautionary, moral story?  A dark story indeed — and is revenge a dish best served cold, as pondered in the previous book I reviewed here, Brutal Passions?