Archive for Saber Books

Taxi Dancers by Eve Linkletter (Fabian Books Z120, 1958)

Posted in pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Who was Eve Linkletter? We cannot seem to find any info on her and if anyone knows, please do drop a line.

It does not seem she was a man writing under a female pen name.  One, Taxi Dancers has a womanly touch and understanding to it; two, other Fabian titles she did, Our Flesh was Cheap and The Gay Ones, sports back cover photos of the author, an attractive woman, so we see Fabian leading the way of author looks marketing before the NY trade houses did, starting with Truman Capote’s first novel…

Little has been written, in fiction and non-fiction, about the curious early 20th Century occupation of taxi dancing, the precursor of stripping and lap dancing.  According to a wikipedia entry, the taxi-dance hall

is a uniquely American institution that was first introduced in 1913 within San Francisco’s Barbary Coast neighborhood. At that time reform movements were shutting down many bordellos and red-light districts within America’s cities, and strength for Prohibition was gaining. In 1920, when the taxi-dance halls began to enter their steep upward climb to popularity, Prohibition was enacted and made serving alcohol in saloons, bars, and cafes illegal. The taxi-dance hall’s roots can be traced to a number of earlier dance establishments.

There was an early Chicago School of New Sociology study, Paul Cressey’s The Taxi-Dance Hall, started in 1925 and published in 1938, and June Miller worked as a taxi dancer, that Henry Miller wrote of in various books, most notably Sexus. At the end of Last Tango in Paris, we see Marlon Brando at a taxi dance palace (hence the double meaning of the title). In my ethnography, Zona Norte, I discuss the evolution of taxi dancing, and while it is no longer something you can find (in old form) in the U.S., it is still common in Mexixo, where women dance for a dollar or ten pesos per song, and get drinks and tips too.  (NOTE…Borgo Press will soon release a cheaper paperback edition of my dissertation on sex workers in Tijuana and San Diego.)

In Taxi Dancer, women get ten tickets per song, each ticket costing ten cents…they can also get drinks at the bar, and they can get tips from men.  Some meet the men outside the dance palace. The book mainly revolves around young Linda, who went to New York as a high school theatre star, knowing she would take Broadway by storm, and soon destitute and desperate for work…so like many young women in that era, being a call girl, streetwalker, or taxi dancer were quick options.  She is naive about what happens and what is expected at such an establishment.  She is lured in with the promise of making 100 bucks a week, which turns out to really be more like 30 or 50, unless she is willing to sell her body…

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Cool Covers from Saber Books

Posted in pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags on January 7, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

So Wild the Flesh by Mel Corbin (Saber Books, 1969)

Posted in pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

I picked this one up for he cover. Saber/Fabian books always had slightly odd-looling people on their covers — maybe more odd than Novel/Merit Books art and photis.

But what is the story behind this almost-naked woman pointing a heater at this fellow’s noggin?

You never know what you’d get with a Saber or Fabian from Sanford Aday’s company — sometimes good stuff, sometimes awful shit.

The book — short, at 35K words or so — starts off with Eddie, a newpaper reporter, getting a vist by a girl named Sharon who says he has to help her, her life is in danger, someone is out to kill her.  He suggests that she hire a private eye but she thinks having a reporter writing about her plight would protect her, if the public knew.

He goes along, as he thinks about her pussy and his “shaft gets hard looking at her.”  Thats the thing with this one, publihsed in 1969:  the indency laws had become lax and the books started to get hardcore. So there’s plenty of sex here — straight and lesbian, and lots of talk about vaginas and dicks.

Hardcore has its place, I have certainly written my share of it, but here it seems to only cheapen the novel than add to it, almost as if the sexual asides and thoughts were added in to an existing manuscript.

Plus, it’s hard to follow what the hell is going on. I was lost. I couldn’t get past page 50.  What was this all about, or was the set-up just an excuse to write explicit sex scenes?  Sharon takes Eddie to her big home — she’s rich — where her mother and a servant live, and all kinds of sex follows.

This is porn, but I ca’t say it’s good porn.

Others might like it.

Have no idea who “Mel Corbin” is.  Seems the name is only on this one book.  Could have been Aday writing under a pen name.

It’s interesting to consider that had Saber published this novel ten years earlier, a lot of people would have been behind bars, and indeed, by 1963, Aday did wind up doing time for Sex Life of a Cop, which was far less explicit than So Wild the Flesh.  But the cops and local authorities in Fresno, California, had been after Saber for a while, losing several court cases on obscenity. With J. Edgar Hoover watching quietly, gioing after all sleaze publishers, they were bound to get Aday on something, just as they got William Hamling and Earl Kemp later on.

We must keep in mind that it was not long ago, in America, that people were illegally spied on and harassed by the government and went to jail for practicing first amendment rights.  And while things are different now, as George Orwell warned us in 1984, things could easily revert back to 1950s suppression and repression.

In that light, the fact that Saber published a book like this as an act of free speech is not only comendable, but noteworthy in the history of publishing and the First Amendment.

Strange Three by Louise Sherman (Saber Books, 1958)

Posted in lesbian pulp fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Saber - Strange ThreeThe first Saber Book Sanford Aday published, after the success of his Fabian Books line.  Along with the Fabians, this little novel was on trial for being indecent, but the jury did not find it so (they’d get Aday later as they did to Hamling, for sending obscene material through the mail).

This is also an early lesbian pulp. I have no idea if Louise Sherman is a real person, pen name, a mask for Aday…

It’s a bit of a goofy book, and sometimes hard to follow, but worth reading as a history of sleaze paperbacks and lesbian pulp fiction.

It opens with Floyd and Stella Langley getting ready to go out for the evening. They seem to be upper class in Burlington(VT?).  Then suddenly Floyd dies.  Seems he’s the third husband of hers to die mysteriously for no apparent reason.  The cops think she’s murdering them and want to find out; the coroner, a family friend, does not think she is a killer.

The coroner’s son, Johnny Radford, is in love with Stella and always has been. e’s home from college. Stella loves him to but if he marries her, he may die too.

Johnny’s sister, Marcene, is a sexy vixen who never leaves the house.  Johnny sees her sitting with her skirt up, no panties; he tells her and she flashes him her hoo-hoo, laughing.  It’s too much. He goes to her bed that night. They make love.

Okay, it’s incest, but Marcene knows no other men but her brother and father. In fact she tells her father she’ll marry him or Johnny.  She doesn’t seem to be playing with a full deck.

Stella is sexually attracted to Marcene. Stella is bi-sexual.  She seduces Marcene just as she seduces Johnny and soon the three are having sex together — threesome incest!

Three strange people, indeed.

Funny at times, yes.  But what the hell is going on?

The bad thing, as with all Saber/Fabian/Vega Books, is the cheap production value — the cheapest possible thin paper badly glued into a flimsy spine.  All vintage books need care when reading them, but with a Saber of Fabian, extra extra care is required, and sometimes, as in the case of Orrie Hitt’s Love Princess, the type is too damn small.

Saber Books – Sex Life of a Cop – Sanford Aday

Posted in crime noir, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Sex Life of a Cop

This nifty little Saber Books novel, Sex Life of a Cop, was instrument in putting its publisher, Sanford Aday, in hot water and almost behind bars.

Aday was an unsuccessful novelist — out of his ten written manuscripts (housed in the special collections at Cal State, Fresno, only 2 were published. Part of it was his books were too racy for the mainstream,.  Frustrated, he started his own press, with three imprints: Vega, Saber, and Fabian.  These books often pushed the enveloped when it came to incest, homosexuality, and detailed sex acts.  As such, the cops and goveerment were after him for obscenity.

He  vigorously fought against censorship. He faced several charges in Hawaii, Arizona and Fresno. Then, as a jab to the local cops, he published Sex Life of a Cop, by an alleged former cop, publicizing the book as being a true account of how cops are crooked and take liberties with the law and sex.

Well, you don’t do that without pissing off the powers that be, so they really went after him. In the 50s-60s, the First Amendment and freedom of opinion/expression did not exist when it came to the law guys — after all, Jim Morrison was arrested on stage in New Haven when he made fun of the cop who maced him backstage.   Lenny Bruce would get arrested when he made fun of the cops in the clubs where he he did his act.

Saber and the other imprints mostly seemed to publish unknown pen names. They did publish one Orrie Hitt, Love Princess, and one by John B. Thompson, Hard Way.

He was eventually tried and convicted along with associate Wallace de Ortega Maxey for shipping an obscene book into Michigan in 1963. He was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison and fined $25,000.

The conviction was eventually overturned.

Sex Life of a Cop by Oscar Peck was the only book of seven deemed obscene by the jury.

Other Saber Books —

Saber - Depraved Debutante

Strange Three

Saber - Vicious Vixen

Saber - karla

Hitt - Love Princess

Saber - So Wild the Flesh