Archive for Magnet Books

Violent Desires – Fred Martin (Magnet Book #310, 1960)

Posted in crime noir, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , on January 22, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

After discovering that Midwood’s Hired Lover by Fred Martin was actually an Orrie Hitt book, there was some speculation that the Fred Martin Magnet title, Violent Desires, was also Hitt, and this was a whole unknown Hitt pen name.  Magnet also published a book by a “Richard Challon” — was this connected to David Challon and Robert Silverberg?  Silverberg said no, the only Magnet he published was The Hot Beat as Stan Vincent — seems the publisher of Magnet Books picked his own pen names for purchased manuscripts as he chose “Charles Williams” for Fires of Youth.  This makes me wonder if the publisher was picking names that were close to 1959 titles seen on the stands — Hired Lover, any Charles Williams Gold Medal title, and David Challon’s Bedside titles…

Eagerly, I sought out a copy of Violent Desires and found one for $17 from Graham Holroyd, one of my favorite paperback booksellers (I make an order at least once a week) — seemed worth finding out on an unknown book; alas, I am sad to report that this Fred Martin is not rrie Hitt.

Violent Desires is a Manhunt-style crime novel, as is Silverberg’s Hot Beat, riddled with some unfortunate bad dialogue — too muc use of Brooklyn gangster cheesy dialect of the “youse” variety.

A former underground-type wanton dame, Victioria, calls on her old detective pal Benny to help her — she’s about to get married to a wealthy New York society fellow who has no idea of her sordid past; someone is blackmailing her: pay up or her husband-to-be will get some embarrassing photos o her having sex.  A vintage take on old nude photos popping up online or on cell phones, coming back to haunt youse…

I couldn’t get too far into this one as it gets confusing and the bad dialogue was driving me batty.  Great cover, though, and collectible for being published by the mysterious, short-lived Magnet Books.

Fires of Youth by Charles Wlliams (James Lincoln Collier), Magnet Books #309, 1960

Posted in pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This has to be the most curious case of fine literature packaged as sleaze in all of vintage sleazecore history.  Back in August 09, I had talked about it some here.  The fuller story is on Lynn Monroe’s website, noting the basic narrative of this short novel’s life:

In 1962, the Hungarian-born, naturalized-British author Arthur Koestler announced the Koestler Prize, “to alleviate the desolation of culture” for inmates of Her Majesty’s prisons. Prizes of 400 pounds were to be awarded for art, music and literature. The British government endorsed the plan, and the panel for the literature prize included well-regarded British authors Henry Green, J.B. Priestley, V.S. Pritchett and Philip Toynbee. A manuscript called YOUNG AND SENSITIVE by a Dartmoor inmate named Don Robson was awarded the first prize. As Koestler’s publisher at Hutchinson & Co., Sir Robert Lusty was “glad to have the first opportunity of considering Mr. Robson’s prize-winning script. As soon as it arrived I read it personally and at once shared the enthusiasm expressed by the panel of judges. At this time I also met with Mr. Robson (who had completed his sentence) and was much impressed that a not altogether articulate young man should have been able to write so sincere and moving a story.”

Robson had plagarized, while in prison, an obscure American paperback from an obscure sleaze company magnet, Fires of Youth by Charles Williams, aka James Lincoln Collier, who was unable to sell the sex-filled manuscript anywhere else.

A year after Young and Sensitive was published, and Robson was hailed as a great new British talent in contemporary literature, a reader happened to pick the book up and found it curious that it was quite similar to the cheap American paperback he’d read…

Continue reading

Fires of Youth by Charles Williams/James Collier

Posted in Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , on August 24, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

I just found out about this curious case…in 1960, short-lived Magnet Books published The Fires of Youth by Charles Williams, relegated to obscurity…and then an incarcerated man in the UK plagarized it as Young and Sensitive, winning a major literary award and hailed by the mainstream literati as a masterpiece first novel…

More can read the whole story here.

Proof that some of these cheap sleazecore books were not thrash all the time, and gems were published in the guise of porn…

I have ordered the book and will discuss it more down the line.

Magnet Books - Fires of Youth

Young and Sensitive