Archive for Paul Rader

Gay Scene by Joan Ellis (Midwood Books, 1962)

Posted in lesbian pulp fiction, Midwood Books, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Gay Scene

Ah, another delighfully fun Joan Ellis sex story with another great Paul Rader cover.

The Gay Scene opens up almost like an Orrie Hitt novel: small town scholl teacher Elise is a bombshell who seems to like married men. She is having an affair with the husband of her childhood best friend. They are caught, and the husband commits suicide.  To escape pain and scandal, Elise leaves and heads for New York and a new life.

She also considers her deep secret yearnings for women. Maybe she’s a lesbian and was only sleeping around to deny her twilight desires?

On her way to New York City, she stops off at a small town motel to get some sleep, and winds up trying her hand as a bar girl to make a few extra bucks.  When  she gets raped, she decides she hates men for good.

In the Big Apple, she meets Carol, a bar model, who gets her a job in that biz.  Carol is bi-sexual and they have an affair — her husband waks in on them and freaks out that his wife is with a lesbian.  Here Elise is doing it again: breaking up marriages.

But Carol leaves her husband so she and Elise can model bras and live together.  Carol introduces her to “the gay scene” in Greenwich Village, and meets Jo, a lesbian she gets a crush on.  Carol is freaky and possessive, and Elise leaves her for Jo, and then leaves Jo for Lorna, the daughter of the old man who runs the brassiere company. Loran is 19 and has a temper problem — here we get a good look at lesbian domestic violence.  Afraid she may one day kill Elise, Lorna leaves New York.

In the end, Elise finds that reltaionships are complicated and painful with either sex.  She and her gay male buddy, Zeth, decide to get married and be each other’s beards.

Probably the best Joan Ellis I’ve read yet.

Reprinted as No Men Allowed.

Campus Jungle by Joan Ellis (Midwood Books #182)

Posted in Midwood Books, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Campus Jungle A

Camous Jungle B

Both editions of this Joan Ellis novel are sought after by colletors because of the Paul Rader covers.  I prefer thsi first one, Midwood #182 (1962), that wild sexy kiss, than the two students on the second edition.

Entering a Joan Ellis universe is quite different than the world of Orrie Hitt, Don Elliott/Loren Beauchamp, March Hastings, or Block’s Andrew Shaw/Sheldon Lord…Ellis’ world is playful, never too dark, never too serious.  It takes me a chapter or two to get into her books and enjoy her writing — the dialogue rings true, but her pretentious adjectives and attributions drive me nuts sometimes, like: “‘That’s a compromising remark,’ she flipped unconvincingly.”  Why not just “she said”?

Campus Jungle is more absurd and un-realistic (well, is any sleaze erotic movel?!) than, say, her other college novel, Faculty Wife, reviewed here, which treated infidelity and academic politics seriously.  Ravenwood College, a small Eastern institution somewhat like William and Mary or Bennington, has been voted by a NY newspaper as the country’s Most Typical College. But there are also rumors of wild sexual abandon, not only among students but students and faculty.

Seeking her Big Break, scandal, and to make a name for herself, Annie Winters, a cub reporter, has talked the New York Comet, a daily paper like the Observer or Post, to send her undercover to the college and find out if the rumors are true.  She’s 24 but can pass off as a 19-year-old undergrad.

Less than an hour after arriving, accepting a ride from the train station to campus by a 30-year-old man, Mike Raden (who owns a bookstore near campus and is a writer working on a novel), she instantly has sex with him — she doesn’t know the guy, doesn’t know what’s gotten into her, but she accepts his advances and fucks him…feeling slutty and bad, she then ignores him throughout the book, not wanting another date, but secertly has fallen in love with him.  She can’t get him off her mind although she rejects and evades him.

She also reveals her secret assignment to him, since he’s neither faulty nor student, and he tells her his secret: he bought the bookstore an year ago because he wants to exact revenge on one of the profdessors, also the Dean’s son, who got his sister pregnant. She died on the abortion table.  He finds it hard wanting to destroy the Prof because he has a small child and wife — he doesn’t want to ruin their lives.  But he’s looking for a way to expose the dirty dealings of the teahcers and the Dean here.

He thinks Anne’s assignment could be dangerous — these are faculty with power and much to lose.  He takes her into the woods and shows her a secret lust cabin where the old Dean, and some faculty, lure young women to and have sex.  He knows about the cabin from his sister’s diary.

Anne roommates with Rea in the girl’s dorm, an 18-year-old hellcat hellion nympho who wants to have sex with every male student and teacher on campus.  From Rea, Anne gets an idea how much sex is going on, and she is also hit on by many males professors.  Seems to the male profs, Ravenwood College is nothing more than a haven for an endless supply of new pussy each year, all 17-22 year olds.

Ellis - Campus Jungle

Rea has sex with a married prof she calls “The Beard” because of his thick bushy, pretentious and arty facial hair.

Anne hides in the love cabin, wiating with her camera, and soon the Dean and the Beard bring two teenage girls inside, and pay them $50 for a strip show and sex.  There’s booze and music. Anne jumps out, takes a photo like a tabloid papatrazzi, and runs away.

News travels around the day before the story hits the Comet.  The Dean is terrified, thretaening to sue the paper.  Anne doesn’t have her real name on the byline, just “Sorority Sister.”  The Beard finds out she’s the reporter and kidnaps her at gun point, but Mike the Bookstore owner save sthe day, when he jumps in on the Dean, his son, and the Beard forcing Anne and her roommate to get naked.

There’s a happy ending, of course — Mike proposes marriage and Anne says yes.  He will be her husband instead of some guy she had sex with an hour after meeting him.

One thing I like about Joan Ellis’ Midwoods are that they’re short and quick reads, you can get through one in an hour or two.  She has also done a great deal of Midwood doubles noevellas, as Ellis, Linda Michaels, and a few others names.  College campuses and high school girls seem to be her favorite subjects.

I am curious about her Beacon books as Jill Monte, like Thrill Clinic.

Beacon - Thrill Clinic

In light of the fact that this week and next, many colleges are opening up for the Fall term, and I will be at my office at UCSD a lot, I will be reading a lot of college-set sleaze books for the next month, along with lesbian titles, Don Elliots and Orrie Hitts.

Ellis - Campus Party
Ellis - Dangerous Age

Ellis -- Hellion

Paul Rader Covers

Posted in Midwood Books, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on August 22, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

The blog Trixie’s Treats has a post with some cool Paul Rader covers.

I’ll add my contribution…you can never go wrong with a Rader…

Rader protrait

Rader - Peppets 2

Kid Sister - SaderRader - Gay SceneAlone at Kast - aderRader - Relucntant Nympho

Rader - High School Rebel

Rader - All of meRader - Baby Sitter

Reader - Sea of Thighs

Rader - Old Enough

The Drifter by March Hastings (Midwood)

Posted in Midbook Books, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks


I plan to write a bit of a lengthy discussion of March Hastings as I read more of her books.  My first was Duet by Laura Duchamp, that I have discussed here.  Hastings and Duchamp were the pen names of a writer named Sally M. Singer, who was a bonafide lesbian writing about bi-sexuality and lesbians, rather than a man writing them. Under her own name and as Amelia Jamison, she seems to have written some gothics, romances, and others, seen here.

At Lynn Munroe’s site, he tried to reach her for an interview but seems she had disappeared in obscurity, not wishing to discuss her days as a softcore writer.

In lesbian pulp lore, her most famous novel is Three Women, which has been reprinted by both Niad Press and Cleis Press as lesbian classics. In 2000, the Quality Paperback Bookclub issued Three Women back-to-nack with another lesbian classic, Women’s Barracks.Women's Barracks

private hellFor collectors, Hastings’ Her Private Hell is always priced around $100 of more, mainly for the Paul Rader cover, but Rader did many of her books, such as the first edition of The Drifter (above). The second edition has a photo-cover of a woman next to a piano player, with a jazzy slum feel — I prefer the Rader cover (beats me why Midwood would change a great cover to a not-so-great cover).

Glancing through the Hastings novels I have — Fear of Incest, A Rage Within, Obsession, Crack-Up, Barbie — and the Laura Duchamp books (I’m not sure if she had other pen names, probably, as she wrote for a number of companies), Sally Singer focused on the world of the wealthy and rich and their psyco-sexual probelms.  The women are often married to men who are sadists, impotent, or just “wrong” — and they often find solace in the arms of another woman, an oft-use set-up for vintage lesbian stories.

Her writing is amazingly good, far too good for “sleaze.”  I previously stated that Joan Ellis wrote elegant dirty books; March Hastings ups the ante, and is on par with Joyce Carol Oates’s 1960s work.  Her prose is smooth, her dialogue top notch, her charcters and their situations believable, if we want to believe the angsts of the upper crust of society.

In The Drifter, a woman named Dina has made an error in marriage —  her husband, Emil, is impotent, and only likes to watch her masturbate while he looks at a photo of his sister, whom Dina resembles.  He is also mentally cruel.  After a month of marriage, she leaves him and runs to Jeff, a rich ex-boyfriend on Long Island whom she has had an on-and-off relationship with for many years.

At Jeff’s house (or mansion, with servants),  she meets Lauren, a lesbian, and has an encounter, and becomes confused, thinking she loves Lauren and has always been gay, while Jeff wants to marry her when her marriage is annulled and Emil is hunting her down, revenge on his agenda.

She hides in a sleazy Harlem boarding house (hence the cover) and drinks her pain away,  where an old family friend, a “cousin,” rapes her, and she realzies he had been raping her alcoholic mother in the past.  Dina doe snot come from money, she came from the slums, and only mingles wth the idle rich via Jeff.

She also gets raped by a bull-dyke lez.

For all her sexual sins, she feels she deserves this.

There is a happy ending, of course: as she has a talk with Lauren and realizes she is not a lesbian, really, and she makes plans to marry Jeff, after Jeff pays off Emil a million dollars to agree to an annullment.

Recommended for a good, language-rich read.

I look forward to reading and discussing other Hasings and Duchamp novels as I get to them…

Hastings - 3rd Theme Hastings - Abnormal Wife

Hasings - Twilight Sex Hastings - fear of incest

Hastings - Circle of SinHastings - ShameHastings - Jealous and Free

Hastings - Savage Surrender

Hastings - veil of torment Hastings - Unashamed

Hastings - Three Women Hastings - Enraptured

Hastings - Chico Women Hastings - Whip of Desire

Sin on Wheels by Loren Beauchamp (Robert Silverberg, Midwood Books #70, 1961)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Beauchamp - Sin on Wheels

Robert Silverberg published two novels called Sin on Wheels — first for Nightstand as Don Elliott, about lusty driving instructors and teen girls, and for Midwood as Beauchamp, about swingers in a trailer park.Elliott - Sin on Wheels

I coveted this Midwood for a long time — it was difficult to find a copy for a reasonable price; some dealers wanted $100-200 for it, and I seldom pay more than $50 for a vintage book.  I wanted it for (1) the great Paul Rader cover; (2) for my Silberberg sleaze monograph; and (3) to complete my Loren Beauchamp collection.

Lynn Munroe was kind enough to find a beat up reading copy for me, and a day later I found a near-fine condition copy  priced a little more than $50.  So, I had one for the collection, that I would not take out of its bag, and one to read.

The cover is classic Rader, classic Midwood, classic sleaze era — the image has enetered the pop culture meme and has been used for posters, notebooks, T-shirts, mugs, chains, and boxes.  Several bands have pilfered the image for their CDs.

Would the book live up to its pop hype?  I prepared myself, read it on my birthday (July 12) as a treat…and was disappointed.

Sin on Wheels fell short as both a Loren Beauchamp/Silverberg novel, and a sleaze title.  Maybe I was hoping for too much.  But it was not as engaging as Connie, Meg, Nurse Carolyn or Another Night, Another Love — more along the lines of The Fires Within: an average novel, not bad, but not a page-turner.

Lenore is 19 and just married Jack, a husky he-man she met five weeks ago, who works as an engineer of some sort on missiles at the army base. He’s also a womanizer and swinger, but she doesn’t know this yet.  She goes to live with him in his trailer in a trailer park in a rural zone not far outside New York City.  There, in the park, all the men eye her as new meat to feast on: she is young, gorgeous, naive and untainted.

The parties there are drunk fests with  alot of groping and wife swapping. Her husband leaves for an hour with another woman; he later denies it.  Then he takes her to a strip poker party where after everyone is naked and drunk, they dance and slowly pair off with each other’s wives or husbands. She goes to bed with another man but stops it mid-coitus, running away.

She has just lost her virginity on her wedding night a week ago, and here she is at a swinger party. This is not her.  But to get even with her husband Jack (“turnabout is fair play” is the phrase often used) she sleeps with a much older married man, whose wife her husband has a constant “thing” with, and then has an encounter with a lesbian in the park…

All of Beauchamp/Silverberg’s lesbian encounters seem to be the same: they happen when the heroine is confused, drunk, hurt…the lesbians take advantage of this, mutter how men are bad and don’t know women the way another woman does…and after, the heroines feel shame…the lesbian here is a writer of children’s books, just like the chldren’s book writer lesbian in The Fires Within, but Lenore does not harbor as much guilt as the other Beauchamp heroines do. In fact, Lenore admits she liked it, and while the lesbian tries to convince her all men  are evil and to leave with her on a country-wide trailer jaunt, she does not want to be a dyke.

One of the drunk residents pays her a visit, wanting to know why she won’t do him; he’s just lost his job and wants some love.  He tries to rape her.  Jack shows up and stops the attack and beats the living crap out of the rapist.

Lenore wants to leave Jack and the park…she knows her husband will never change…he pleads with her, says he will reform and never look at another woman, that they will move out of the park, he’ll put in  a transfer for White Sands…Lenore knows he will cheat eventaly, and she might too, but decides to give marriage another whirl.

Again, an okay story that does not live up to its great cover: “the uncensored confessons of a trailer camp tramp” (which was removed in the second printing).  Lenore is not a tramp, and this is not a first person confessional, like Beauchamp’s And When She Was Bad, or even like Andrew Shaw’s Trailer Trollop, both of which I will read and discuss next.

Note: this has also been reprinted as Orgy on Wheels by Don Elliott (Companion Books, 1967).

Beauchamp - When She was Bad

Some Midwoods by Loren Beauchamp

Posted in Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Loren Beauchamp was Robert Silverberg’s female pen name at Midwood Books, writing at the same time as working for Nightstand, although neither publisher knew he was doing double-duty, as Silberbob was going through the Scott Meredith Agency with Midwood; his real identity was a secret (he also wrote as David Challon and Mark Ryan  for Bedstand/Bedtime Books, L.T. Woodward and Walter C. Brown for Monarch Books, Lancer Books, and Beacon; and at Nightstand did a few as house names John Dexter and J.X. Williams — a busy mofo!).

Many of these Midwood books were illustrated by Paul Rader, who died in obscurity but is now considered one of the masters of sleaze pop art Americana.

Beauchamp - Nurse
beauchamp - anoyher night another loveBeauchamp - Sin a la CarteBeauchamp - When She was BadBeauchamp - MegBeauchamp - Wife TradersLove nest

As David Challon —

Challon - Campus Lobve

Challon - Thirst For Love

From Lynn Munroe’s site:

Harry Shorten came from the Midwood section of Brooklyn NY. With his partner, artist Al Fagaly, Shorten made his fortune with a comic strip called THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW. Shorten thought up the ideas and Fagaly would do the drawings. Looking around for somewhere to invest all the money he was making from his cartoon, Shorten decided to become a paperback book publisher. He looked at the success of Beacon Books, a series of slick cheap throwaway melodramas and sexy romances with flashy girlie art covers marketed to men and published by Universal Distributing. Shorten figured he could do the same, and at 505 8th Avenue in Manhattan, in 1957, he started a paperback book line named for his old neighborhood. The first batch of Midwood Books were either THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW paperbacks or unnumbered experimental forays in the Beacon style. By Midwood 7 in 1958, the authors and artists we recognize as Midwood Books were in place. Midwood 7 is by Loren Beauchamp and has a cover by Rudy Nappi, Midwood 8 is by Sheldon Lord and has a cover by Paul Rader. Shorten was getting his early manuscripts from the Scott Meredith Literary Agency, where Meredith’s band of employees and clients were soon churning out a book a month for Nightstand Books, too. And he was getting his cover paintings from the Balcourt Art Service, the same agency that supplied many of the covers for Beacon.

Beauchamp - Sin on WheelsBeauchamp - Summer Sex Club

Beauchamp - Nurse Carolyn