Archive for sleaze fiction

Desperate Women by Michael Hemmingson (Olympia Press/New Traveller’s Companion #160, 2010)

Posted in crime noir, noir fiction, pulp fiction with tags , , , on May 22, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Seven sinful, shameful stories of haunting, sensual and romantic desperation–one woman will do anything to keep winning in Las Vegas; another woman will do anything to keep her married lover while another woman desperately uses her body to blackmail men, until her own lustful greed backfires on her. Two young women turn to much older men for education and salvation while a desperate and lonely housewife falls in love with a man she only knows through email.

A story from the collection, “I Paid the Whore,” is online this week at Beat to a Pulp.

Recommended: Abnormal Norma: Confessions of a Postmodern Slattern by Valerie Gray (Ophelia Press, 2010)

Posted in noir fiction, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction with tags , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Not to be confused with Orrie Hitt’s Abnormal Norma.

What if A Clockwork Orange had been written by a crazy gang girl instead of a boy?  This is the book.

It’s dedicated to Kathy Acker, and the influence shows.  Seems Gray was once a student of Acker’s at UCSD.

Get the paperback at Amazon or as Kindle.

Regular ebook from the publisher.

Leased – Jack Woodford & Orrie Hitt (Signature Press, 1954)

Posted in Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , on April 21, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Leased is one of the many “co-authored” books that Jack Woodford did with up-and-coming adult fiction writers in the 1950s.  We see the same today — the co-written works with Tom Clancey, Larry Niven, Andre Norton, etc. — a commercially viable writer who is getting old and cannot produce like they once could will generate outlines, or have existing book ideas done by younger, hungrier writers.

I am guessing that Signature Books was most likely a precursor of The Woodford Press, where Woodford did the same.  The back cover of Leased lists nothing but Woodford and co-authors on many books:

We noted before that the books from Key that Hitt seemed to co-wrote as Charles Verne and Roger Normandie had Woodford’s silent stamp all over them.

In 1954, Hitt only had two books published the year before, I’ll Call Every Monday and Love in the Arctic, in hardback from Red Lantern Books.  In ’54, Monday was reprinted by Avon, and Beacon issued two paperback originals: She Got What She Wanted and Shabby Street.

What’s curious is that the reprint edition of Leased, published as Trapped (Beacon, 1958), only has Hitt’s byline.  Perhaps because Hitt seems to have written most if not all the book, using an idea of Woodford’s, and the Beacon edition has extra text, which has five more opening pages than the hardcover edition.  Chapters throughout have more material, so either Hitt added it in to get the paperback to a commercial 60,000 word length, or the Signature edition had edited down Hitt’s original typescript.

Leased/Trapped is narrated by a big red-headed man named Brick Hayden, who co-runs a farm with his alcoholic partner, Roy.  The two don’t seem to get along well, or see eye-to-eye on business matters, and Brick has been sleeping with the gal Roy plans to marry, a gal Brick has known for along time, and she admits she wished he had taken her virginity when she was ten and had a crush on him, when he was 14.

The novel opens with Brick negotiating with a guy who runs a “camera club” to lease out part of the farm for three months so young women can model for amateur photographers.  Brick is hesitant, but he needs the money, and one of the lead models, a gorgeous woman named Gloria, entices his decision with her looks:

She had long, black hair that wasn’t too curly and that hung down across the deep tan of her shoulders  She had a high forehead and very dark narrow eyebrows.  Below those were a couple of smoky, laughing eyes that looked out at me across a small, roundly pointed nose. Her lips were full and sensuous, half-parted, and I could see her white teeth and just a trace of her red tongue […] I felt the hair stand up on the back to my legs and the end of my toes became numb and dead. (p. 7)

Brick soon regrets his decision when he realizes that this “camera club” is a ruse for prostitution, that the men are brought in to eye the girls and pick, and pay for, sex.  This is a common Hitt theme in later books, such as Campus Tramp and Three Strange Women, as well as the whole racket of nude photos, found in The Promoter, I ‘ll Cal Every Monday, Hotel Woman, Naked Model, Sin Doll, As Bad as They Come, Affairs of a Beauty Queen, and countless others, including Hitt’s last published novel, Nude Model (1970).

A semi-violent love affair happens between Brick and Gloria.  He demands she get out of the hooker business and away from the nude photos but she seems to like the seediness of it.  But as we know from many Hitt books, when the hero falls for a sexy woman beyond his means, he’s usually being played.

Leased isn’t up to par with Hitt’s other 1954 titles, like the excellent Shabby Street, but for its connection to the legendary Woodford, and the beginning of one of his obsessive pet themes, it’s an interesting read; on the Hitt Scale, however, it gets a 7 for dragging along.

The House of Seven Sins by Andrew Shaw (Lawrence Block or William Coons?), Nightstand Books #1575

Posted in Andrew Shaw, Lawrence Block, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Another good early Andrew Shaw about a neophyte writer in the big city of big sin and lust…

Lou Packer, 25, has come from upper NY state Clarksonsville to chase his dream of being a writer — he rents a two room apartment in a building in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan, to sit down and write his first novel, with hopes of selling it to one of the Manhattan publishers.  Not an hour after he arrives, does the super, a sexy woman named Ameila, have sex with him — several times.

Well, this is a sleaze novel…or, in the case of Nightstand Books, a sleaze periodical, that has all the characteristics of early Larry Block….or does it?  According to Lynn Munroe’s Reed Nightstand checklist, this Shaw was penned by William Coons, reprinted in 1973 as The Obsessed.

Coons started ghosting for Block in 1961, the first Passion Slaves (NB 1563), and if he did ghost this one (1961 seemed to be a busy year for Block as he began to publish under his own name at Gold Medal, first with Mona), he did a good job imitating Block’s style — the clipped paragropaghs and the long chapters — there are only nine chapters here, and Block’s usually has nine or ten chapters. (This is easy to see why — each chapter is 5,000 words, and 10 makes a 50,000 word book.  Craftsmanship.)

At least, I thought this was entirely Block after Chapter One, but reading on it is evident this is not entirely Block.  I’m thinking Block wrote Chapter One (and maybe a few others) and Coons took over. This seemed to be the modus operandi for Block back then with his ghosters like Donald Westlake and Bill Coons and whoever else…

Continue reading

Recommended: Hellcat Hellions on Sin Campus by Dawn Elliott

Posted in Don Elliott with tags , , on December 26, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Olympia Press has recently published as an e-book, Hellcat Hellions on Sin Campus by Dawn Elliott (pen name of Sandra Boise, it seems) and is a wild romp like, or so it claims, like Terry Southern’s  Candy.

The novel also seems to be a core element in an SF time travle yarn called Time Lust.

Is “Dawn Elliott” a take on Silverberg’s sleaze nom de plume, Don Elliott?

Older Woman by Sheldon Lord (Lawrence Block or Donald Westlake), Beacon Books, 1962

Posted in pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Lord - Older Womam

Not sure who was the name behind this Sheldon Lord — some parts read like early Lawrence Block, some parts read like Westlake…it could be one of those books where they collaborated.

Older Woman is about the May/December thing, a coming-of-age novel for a young man with no experience and the married older woman in need of love, or sex….or attention.

The young man is Andy McNeil (Andrew Shaw?), who attends a small college the mid-west that is not unlike Antioch College in Ohio (where Block went to school, later to drop out and pursue the life of a writer in New York at age 19).

This was written/published around the same time as April North, but does not include the little in-jokes and clues found in April North and many of the Andrew Shaw books for Nightstand.

It’s a brisk and fun read, as are many Block and Westlake novels.  Andy is awkward among gils.  There is one he likes, but when he findsout she’s an easy tramp, he is hurt, especially when his dorm mate sleeps with her at a party.

Natalie Foster is 39 and married to a 50 year old professor she chased after when she was an undergraduate.  She chased him hard back when she was 19, and she got him; the 20 years of marriage have gone from good to bad. He’s too wrapped up in his research of 18th Century poetry and a monograph and his high brow career to pay attention to her needs…

She and Andy both get cast in a play at the off-campus theater.  She rents a motel room nearby, her excuse is to not disturb her husband when she comes in late, but her real motive is to have somewhere to take lovers — she has her sites on Andy, a good-looking freshman who seems virile.

Andy is terrified — he is attracted to Natalie, he’d like to have sex with her, but he’s a vrigin and doesn’t know what to do.  He goes into Springfield to a brothel to learn, but he’s so nervous he cannot get an erection.

Eventually he tells Natalie this.  She is touched, and says she will teach him all he needs to know.  For the next two months, during rehearsal and the run of the play, they go to the motel each night where he stays and learns to become an excellent cocksman of the campus.

I have had older women in my life, from age 16 to 29, so I identified with this story in certain ways, mainly knowing why it is, psychologically, some women will seek younger males when they know there is no future in it…and especially married woman, where danger lurks.

Her husband never finds out but he does realize he’s been a lousy husband, so he shows up on closing night with roses, and whisks his wife away, much to Andy’s chagrin.

Andy does have confidece in himself to take what he has learned and apply this knowledge to the girls on campus, so we know he will be just fine in the end.  Natalie was a necessary component in the sexual education of a young lad — she reminds him their affair was mutually beneficial: she needed sex and he needed to learn about sex.

Not the best of the Sheldon Lord novels, but not the worst either.

Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks — The Coolness of the Past

Posted in Uncategorized, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Holliday - Scars of List

Welcome this Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks Blog.  The purpose of this blog is to post some hot, cool paperback covers for the gaze of your eye sockets, and to review and discuss selected titles.

Most of the titles will be from Don Elliott, Lauren Beauchamp, David Challon, Mark Ryan  (all pen names of Robert Silverberg), Gerrold Watkins and Mel Johnson (pen names of Barry N. Malzberg), as “notes” toward the two monographs I am writing, one on Malzberg and one on Silverberg and his pen names.

(But I will discuss others too as I go along — Joan Ellis, March Hastings, Andrew Shaw [aka Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake], Don Bellmore, etc etc.]

I wanted to write a short monograph or essay on the Don Elliott/Laoren Beauchamp books, as they were/are of high quality, compared to many books of the time or even erotica today.  They also exhibit Silverberg’s early style. But I was uncertain where such an essay or book would find a home — best here on the net.

I have discussed Barry Malzber’s US-era Olympia Press titles under his name and Gerrold Watkins in a monograph, Barry N.  Malzberg: Beyond Science Fiction, Toward Psychoanalysis (Borgo Press) due out late 2009, but I do not have 3 of the Watkins and none of the Johnson (Midwood Books) that are hard to find…as I do locate them, I will post a blog here.

Beauchamp - Sin on WheelsDon't Ever Love MeCarnival GirlGang GirlsGang Girl

Kept - MidwoodLord - Badelliott - beatnik

Horizontal Woman


Instant Sex A

Challon - Suburban Sin Club

The Fires Within by Loren Beauchamp

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

beauchamp - Fires

A desperate housewife yarn.  Not as engaging as Silveberg’s other Beauchamps, but a good guilty pleasure read…

She’s 37 but books 27, married to a man ten years her senior who is a big time Manhattan lawyer living in a giant house on Long Island, two cars, lots of money…and no sex life…

A yoing auto mehcanics sets the fire within her loisn and she has an affair with him; one day they go to a motel where the owner is a former client of her husband’s.  This sleazy motel owner blackmails her: have sex with him or he’ll tell her husband.  Seems he does this to a lot of married women who come to his motel for a romp.  But he likes to spank and hit and bruise.  She only does it once.  He threatens to tell. She tells her husband the truth and he forgives her, but her husband and the motel owner have it out, the motel guy falls down the stairs and dies and her husband has a heart attack.

Now she is a rich widow and can sleep with whomever she wants…this is not a morality play, obviously, and does not have the patent “happy” ending the other books have.

Robert Silverberg must have had, or still does, a thing for busty red-heads, and many of this heroines thus far are all that — Connie, Meg, Wayward Widow, other womne in the Don Elliott books…just an observation.

(Sidenote: the woman in this novel reminded me a lot of a certain married woman I had an affair with in the late 1990s, who was also 37, older than me at the time — I was 29-30 — and well off. She was an actress ad hung around my theater crowd at The Fritz Theater in San Diego.  She was in a sexless marriage, but also on a crazy binge after the death of her mother.  But she was just like the woman in this book, so I find it…curious and odd I suppose…and she was a red head!  I write about this affair in semi-autobio fashion in my novel Drama (Blue Moon Books, 2002), reprinted as Bad Karma and Kinky Sex (Ophir/OlympiaPress, 2009).