Archive for pen name

Carole Came Back by John Turner (Midwood Books, 1963)

Posted in Midwood Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Turner - Carol Came Back

Have no idea who JohnTurner was; he did a handful of Midwoods (exclusively, it seems)  like Greg Hamilton, Jess Draper, Vin Fields, Grant Corgan, and Max Collier did.  In fact, I suspect that Collier and Turner were the same person, as the writing style is similar.  I’m not sure of this yet — need to read a few more books from both to determine this.

The sex is heavier than most Midwoods of this time, like Collier, and the book is well-written, like Collier.  While there are no graphic descriptions, Turner lets us know that unusual kinky things are going on “with hands and mouth” that most “normal” people do not experience in bed.

Bob Harper is a businessman in his late 20s, married, no kids.  One day he’s in his office and an old college flame calls, Carole — she’s in Boston and wants to see him.  Last time he spoke to her, she broke his heart in college by taking off tio Europe and marrying a Swedish guy and having a baby.

Now she has fled Europe and is in Boston, divorcing her hubby, baby in tow, and she wants to rekindle the romance from college with “Robbie.”

Bob is floored — she was the love of his life that he never got over; she showed him kinky and strange things in bed that he’s never asked his wife to do.

He goes to see Carole and of course she seduces him into her hotel room bed — she knows what buttons to push, she knows he is still in love with her and never quite got over her.

Only, he still loves his wife.  To make matters worse, his secretary has the hots for him and offers herself in his office.  He fires her. To get back, she calls his wife and tells the wife about Carole.

Bob is a mess — he wants to tell Carole to go away but he’s pussy-whipped and weak.  His wife decides that the only way to keep him is to do the kinky stuff “with my hands and mouth” that Carole did, and show her husband she can be just as dirty as his old flame.

We never see Carole’s baby — she’s in a hotel room the whole time, but the baby is never around, but may be at her mother’s house, as her mother lives outside Boston.

A curious love-triangle story with an ending that is not quite “happy” but not quite expected either.  A recommended vintage relationship novel (not “sleaze”)…I will be reading more Turner, such as The Captive, The Sinners, Christine, and Soft in the Shadows — all which have enticing-sounding story lines.

If anyone knows who John Turner really was (and Max Collier), please speak up!

Turner - Christine

Turner - Soft in the Shadows

April North by Sheldon Lord (Lawrence Block) Softcover Library, 1961

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Lord - April North

Like “Andrew Shaw,” Sheldon Lord was an early pen name shared by mystery/crime authors Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake, later used by others, for Beacon, Softcover Lib., and a couple Midwoods.

April North is Lawrence Block — his early style is easily identfiable, it’s set in midwest Antrim, Ohio, not far from his alma mater, Antioch College (featured in many Shaw Nightstands).  There’s also the mention of a film, The Sound of Distant Drums, some sort of in-joke connection found in all Shaw novels and others.

April North is 17, a senior in high school, and a good girl from a good, Christain family.  She has been “going steady” with a football/baseball jock, Duncan, and believes he loves her and intends to marry her — thus, one night, she “goes all the the way” and loses her virginity to the boy.  Like many a naive girl in these books, she thinks this is a contract for marriage.

Now that she has “done the dirty,” Duncan wants nothing to do with her.  She is not wife material and tells all his buddies she’s a tramp.  Within a week, all the boys in her class are calling up for dates, and Duncan breaks up with her.  She has sex with another boy in a field — as shown in the nifty splendor in the grass cover art — because she is dazed at her new reputation, and word gets “around” in the small town that se’s easy.

Knowing her rep is ruined forever, she withdraws her savings ($500) and decides to run away to New York City.

I thought this was going to be like Loren Beauchamp’s Connie — she would become a call girl in NY as a revenge against the men who hurt her.  April seems a lot like Silverberg’s Connie.  But before April can catch the NYC-bound bus, she crosses paths with Craig, a 27-year-old ladies man in a Mercedies 300-SL, who has inherited a fortune from his dead parents.  Craig convinces her to stay, to shun those who mock her, and he will teach her to be a sexually wise, wordly woman.

She falls in love, of course, and has visions of wedding bells with this lover-man, until she attends one of his orgies.  She ignores the rumors she has heard that he seduces young girls and degrades them — she believes she is different and that he loves her.  She discovers that all his rich, literary, and “world weary” friends are all alcoholics, drug addicts, and lost as anyone — and that Craig, despite his wealth and car and looks, is at heart empty and a loser.  To keep her from going home and to stay with him, Craig has mailed secret photos of her having sex with him, an a drunken lesbain encounter, so her parents will disown her.

Trying to escape Craig, she is picked up by her ex-, Duncan, in the rain.  She thinks he will help her get her to NY but leads her to a barn where he has arranged for 20 boys in town to come and have sex with her in a gang bang, $5 a piece.  “Work for the money you need for New York,” he tells her.

The second boy she had sex with, Bill, comes to her rescue and they run away and live happily ever after.

The book fell apart about 75% the way in, and rushed to a sappy romantic ending, as if Block was closing in on his reqyured 50K words and he needed to wrap up.  Otherwise, a fast-paced novel with good characters, and an interesting early-era Block novel.

Here is the cover for the UK editi0n:

Lord - April North UK

Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block, who started writing sleaze paperbacks when he was 19

Posted in Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Shaw - Call Girl Shcool

Shaw - Sin Alley

Shaw - Sin Time

Shaw - Camopus Tramp

Shaw - Lust Ladder

Shaw - Sex Captive

Shaw Lust Damned