Friday, December 21, 2007

Sleaze novels for your XXXmas pleasure

A while back I posted minireviews of some fifties and sixties sleaze paperbacks to the Rara-Avis e-mail list. I thought it should be posted here as well. Sorry, don't have time to seek for illustrations for these. These are made up from the notes I've been making in the process of trying to do a book about sleaze paperbacks published in Finland. And with this, I wave my hand and yell: "Merry Christmas!"

Brad Curtis: Too Young, Too Wild, Midwood 1966: Brad Curtis was Giles A.
Lutz, a pretty prolific Western writer who penned some dozen sleaze novels on the side. Too Young, Too Wild is a soap opera gone bad: a young girl likes men, but his father, a powerful financial and political figure, destroys all the men the girl has sex with.

Paul Daniels: The Cover Girls, Monarch 1962: Paul Daniels was Paul Fairman,
a prolific hack of science fiction and sleaze, sometimes mixing the two; The Cover Girls is a pretty well-written drama of modelling girls, with some flashbacks and homosexuality thrown in.

Ben Doughty: Sex Slave, Playtime 1965: I haven't been able to find any info on Doughty, except that he wrote some other sleaze novels, beside this one which is a picaresque story about a young woman who gets trapped inside prostitution and sex industry, some interesting points: bad cops work as pimps. How hardboiled can you get?

Arnold English: School for Sex, Midwood 1961: English was really Morris
Hershman (who's probably still alive, in his late eighties), a prolific writer of short stories, crime novels for low-end paperback houses and some science fiction. He was interviewed in Paperback Parade some years back, he said he hated writing sleaze. No one in the business looked him in the eye (except Mike Avallone, he said). School for Sex, Hershman said, was the first bestseller Midwood, one of the biggest sleaze publishers in the sixties, ever had - and he got 600$ for it! The book is a P.I. mystery, about Roy Knox who gets hired by the principal to find out just what the teenagers in the school do after the school closes. Sadly, the book is not as interesting it could be and there's moralism that doesn't seem to be in the right place in the book. ("Arnold English" - compare with "William Irish". It's a homage, Hershman said.)

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